Based in Ljubljana, Nekster is a pioneering financial services start-up that offers ordinary people their first chance to invest directly in the EU’s lucrative insured loans market. And the firm is ambitious. Not only does it want to revolutionise the way people invest, but it also plans to become the largest commercial lender of its type in Europe.
It does this by continuing to innovate and delivering exceptional, secure service. Those features of a business are essential in a digital, fast-moving, competitive world. So Nekster’s plans embrace uncertainty and agility as factors that ensure the firm’s continued growth and success.
As a result of its rapid growth, Nekster had quickly outgrown its existing offices. Not only were they too small to accommodate the expansion of the business, they no longer represented its progressive, innovative personality.
A new office had to reflect those characteristics. Its design also had to combine the energy of a start-up with the maturity of a major player in the financial services sector.
Crucially, the design of the new office was to serve the people who worked in it. The building is not primarily a customer-facing facility, but one that meets the day-to-day demands of people for comfort, agility, productivity, and innovation.
The office was to be particularly focused on the creativity, productivity, and wellbeing of staff, so the provision of ergonomic seating, indoor air quality, acoustic comfort, and lighting was key.
The project also changed as a result of the advent of the pandemic. The space requirement was reduced significantly, and certain spaces seen as less necessary while others became more important, such as social spaces with writeable walls.
Kragelj shifted quickly to meet these new requirements, not only halving the space but creating a design that reflects a rapidly changing work culture. Kragelj always builds responsiveness and agility into its designs, and this was essential when it came to delivering to a firm that was not only innovating and growing rapidly but also adapting to the needs of a rapidly changing world.
The result is an office that marries a corporate feel with a startup’s sensibility. Small details shift the meaning of design elements, such as the angular designs of the frames of meeting rooms. The design rejects cold linearity, replacing it with nature’s angles.
Walkways are similarly non-linear, reflecting the organic ways information and ideas flow around buildings. And encouraging people to consider their relationship with each other and the building. The design of the space not only encourages people to work together in new ways, but also not to work at all at times when they need to relax. Kragelj shifted quickly to meet these new requirements, not only halving the space but creating a design that reflects a rapidly changing work culture. Kragelj always builds responsiveness and agility into its designs, and this was essential when it came to delivering to a firm that was not only innovating and growing rapidly but also adapting to the needs of a rapidly changing world.
Architects & Designers: KRAGELJ Design + Workplace
Photographer: Matej Kolaković
Flooring - Textile: MILLIKEN, products: CLERKENWELL in JUXTAPOSE
Interior lighting: Shilo Shima; Esseci Bright; Grupa Arigato; TOSSB YPSON
Office chair: Steelcase Series 1 Task chair
Lounge chair: Zuiver Nikki Lounge chair
Meeting chairs: Narbutas Tango chair
Small table: Maxdesign Pic
Meeting table: Inclass Essens