Office – Maden Group – Kosovo

Exciting office spaces in Prishtina – Vjollca Limani (XK) – Photography: Artan Korenica

Maden Group is a new and aspiring architecture studio established in 2009, where young professionals are committed to bringing new, exciting, and innovative solutions to their work. One of their latest realized projects is the office design for Gjirafa – an advanced technology company located in Prishtina. Maden found a great partner in Gjirafa, which has built a team of young professionals as well; in this case, software engineers, software developers, and graphic designers. They worked closely together, trying to convey a message that Kosovo, too, is coming up to speed with the progress in technology and Internet-related developments in the world, and Gjirafa is a front-runner.

The office area is 1500 square meters, and occupies the ground floor of a multifamily housing block, located in Arberia neighbourhood, within a 20 min. walking distance from Prishtina’s city center.

The entering hallway serves as place to display products. It’s dark and minimalistic, with hanging lighting fixtures that are sensitive to the movement of heat, this way trying to portray how technological progress influenced design as well. To the right hand side there is gjirafa.biz offices and opposite to it gjirafa.com. The two branches have the same shares in the Gjirafa Company. Likewise the office space is almost symmetrically divided. As they have different objectives and target separate costumers, they also had different requests, regarding the design and functional arrangement of their working space.

Gjirafa.com wanted a cozy and friendly office area for her employees, which is why the space is treated with soft and bright colors. Additionally a lot of office space is planned for leisure activities, such as: the mini-bar clad in organic wood; the bean bags with a TV; rocking chairs; a brainstorming zone and the mini-library. However the most depicted element in the office, beautifully integrated in the interior is the orange metallic shipping container, custom designed and shaped by the architects, to be used as a meeting area on the inside, and as a resting spot, on top.

‘The container was one of the most challenging design elements of the interior’, states the architect. ‘As first, transporting it from the workshop to the project site was extremely difficult due to the high of the container, then its unloading and finally tearing off one part of the facade to make way for the big container entering the office space took a lot of our time and energy’.

Contrary to the elaborated Gjirafa.com requests, Gjirafa.biz wanted their offices to give out a sense of professionalism and seriousness. The space extends form the hallway with the same approach. A meeting room with a central location opens up as a box enveloped in wooden cladding. Even though two branches have their own office space split by a wall, they collaborate and share staff. This connection between the two, is created by adding a visual element to the .biz offices that is part of the .com offices, by cladding the dividing wall with a side of a container.