Flexible Farao, The Office Of The Future

The facades of the office block, Farao, in Solna are not yet fully completed but already the rust-coloured building looks magnificent reaching towards the sky. The inside is more complete and one tenant has already moved in. Stepping into the office areas, you are struck by the clear light, the open areas and the smart solutions regarding the technical installations.

After completing a small test project successfully, property developer Sundvalls Bygg AB, architect Kristian Lindgren, glass supplier Fasadglas B�cklin AB and techincal contractor, Flexible Office AB, have completed a major project which in many aspects is unique for the construction industry.

For the first time in Sweden a large number of high tech solutions are being used in the same building.

The project group are certainly convinced that the basic reason for the sucess of Farao is the close cooperation between developer, contractor, architect and technical contractor. "In this project, persons with the same thinking about technical matters, flexibility, contruction and design, together with a forward looking modern developer, have created a tight group with the same focus, which is rather unusual when we look at large projects such as Farao", says Sebastian Wrethagen, reponsible for the underfloor climate and power distribution installations, the "Protek System".

"As a result, we have achieved an extremely short completion time and have created a building which is far in advance when we talk flexibility, indoor environment and techincal specifications."

The project group contributed to the result in different ways. Architect, Kristian Lindgren, tells us about his ideas for the exterior design. "I certainly did not want a building looking like a glass prism and I managed to avoid this by combining three different types of facades; one facade of aluminium profiles, one with traditional shutters, and the third one of glass and aluminium. This also created an exiting contrast between a heavy contruction and a very light one. The glass facade is really double-glazing with almost a one-meter gap in between the glass - in this way, we can reduce the heat during hot summer days. In southern Europe this method is well known, but in Sweden it is almost unknown."

The interior of the building is open and, at first it seems like you can look right throught the building. And you almost can! Kristian explains that this is exactly the concept - to create a bright and spacious indoor garden.

As all partitions, the lift walls and even the stairs are made of glass, and the shafts for the lifts are transparent, the light goes right through the building.

But it is not only the extreme brightness that is unusal with the Farao building. The indoor flexibility is enormous compared to normal office areas. As the distance between the floor and the ceiling is the same in all areas, and the glass partitions are secured to the raised floor with easy to release snap-on fixings, the office space can be changed in minutes. This is essential to modern computerized companies - especially to the fast growing ones.

"Offices of the future must be designed so they can easily adapt to tenants with different needs", says Kristian Lindgren. "We have been able to achieve this by being responsible also for the total interior."

"Of course the easy to move partition are important to indoor flexibility", Kristian continues, "but even more important is total flexibility when it comes to electrical supply, data / voice cabling and the climate system. These systems must be easy to allocate without major work in the building."

"By using the Protek System, which utilises the underfloor conditioned air and services, we have reached the flexibility the developer and his tenants were looking for." says Sebastian Wrethagen.

The combination of high tech, light, space and exiting exterior makes Farao one of Sweden's most interesting building projects of its time.