Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Center of Excellence in Finance Educational Lobby in Ljubljana, Slovenia by Arhitektura Jure Kotnik
January 16th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Arhitektura Jure Kotnik
Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) is an educational institution that shares knowledge and experience in banking and finance through workshops, seminars, tailored trainings, certification programs, and conferences. Their highly focused programs provide guidance for current and future tasks in reforming public finance and strengthening central banking.
Perceiving learning as creative, future-proofed, supportive, bold, challenging and fun, the client strived for an environment that would support such an educational process. CEF’s postmodern ambient inside a formal state building thus clearly called for an upgrade, starting with the design of the dull central lobby. It functions as the hub of the building where training participants gather: it is a place to rest during coffee and lunch breaks, browse the internet, relax, and chat to one another.
CEF’s transformation included reducing obsolete existing elements in order to create a contemporary educational space,carefully selecting and adding new elements, and transforming some existing ones.For instance,one of the central pillars in the lobby was converted into a blackboard to become an informal learning surface. The few flower pots at the entrance were renamed a Micro Botanical Garden – a transformation that adds to a more relaxed atmosphere and has been seen to elicit witty self-reflection unusual for the serious semi-government sector. Minor graphical interventions on walls and chairs were done in the same spirit. The kitchenette windowsill became a small library, and a fish tank appears as a screensaver on the large TV, which has a calming effect on visitors.Of the new elements, nooks with information about workshops and CEF work were added into the lobby as well as a winners’ podium that can be used as a bench, chair or working space during workshops.
Another novelty is the tailor-made office traffic signs that act as conversation triggers and initiate informal contacts among people. The signs also help relieve the visitors’ minds and take their brain into another realm of thinking. They were introduced because a relaxed and informal learning environment stimulates the brain to memorize more information and better connect the different pieces of the puzzle.Other small interventions in the offices – such as table tennis, office yoga and transformation of the interpretation booth into a Skype booth – add to the quality of the working environment at CEF, while the renovated lobby offers a new learning experience and is said to quickly loosen-up the traditionally reserved bankers and officials.
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