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Modern financial center
with hybrid office functions

GIRO office building modernization

Client: GIRO Zrt.

Size: 2800 m2

Location: Budapest

Completion: 2023

Architect: Andrea Baktay

Awards: BIG SEE Interior Design Award 2024

Services: , , ,

Sectors:

In the spring of 2021, we were commissioned for the interior design aligned with the new identity of the GIRO Settlement and Clearing House Zrt.’s office building. The project, initially initiated for minor renovations, took a completely different direction after the first presentation when it became clear that achieving the real corporate goals required a larger-scale development with a new conceptual approach.

The Client

GIRO Zrt. is a central and distinctive player in the Hungarian banking system, with its main responsibility being the seamless operation of the interbank financial settlement system, the BKR (Interbank Clearing System), therefore the works required special attention from the project participants.

GIRO office building

The house, originally conceived as a residential building, was built in 1882 in the neorenaissance style. Its street facade still carries the distinctive architectural solutions of its era to this day. Based on the plans of the renowned Hungarian architect Alfréd Hajós and other architects, it underwent multiple transformations to serve as the headquarters for various organizations, including the Hungarian Football Federation.

The GIRO Zrt. moved into the property in 1992, and in its current state, it is an eclectic office building with a tenement house exterior. It is a locally protected building with numerous elements of historical value that need to be preserved. All of this presented us with numerous technical challenges, but the project is not only interesting for these reasons.

Harmony between function and design

Spatial organization was still based on the characteristic working methods of the ’90s, which only partially supported today’s organizational functioning. In the past three decades, smart devices, the internet, and the possibilities of remote work have completely overridden our expectations of the spaces and services of a sustaining, flexible workplace.

After presenting our proposals to the management, we were given the freedom to reconsider the scale of the transformation. Beyond the visual refresh, we proposed a complex transformation, placing a focus on efficient communication, work-life balance, and digital advancement.

Reimagined collaboration spaces
with fresh branding elements.

Project development with BIM tools

For efficient and accurate refurbishment, we needed a 3D as-built model reflecting the current state of the building. Since the original and renovation plans of the nearly 150-year-old building existed only on paper, the first step was laser scanning and detailed modeling of the area.

Scan to BIM

During the building digitization, we created a point cloud model through laser scanning, based on which we developed the existing condition’s 3D version in Revit. Afterwards, we enriched the elements with information content suitable for BIM goals, ensuring that the model could be actively used in the later stages of the project.

Spaceplan

Following the approved design program, we created the space plan. We configured the spaces, traffic, and access routes, positions of built-in and mobile furniture, and the flooring in accordance with the approved design program.

We consolidated the functions of small tea kitchens into a communal cafeteria capable of accommodating up to 50 people, suitable for company events and gatherings, and established coffee points in the vicinity of shared office spaces. The large meeting rooms, suitable for various group sizes and purposes, also introduced a novel aspect to the design.

With the redesign, we reduced the circulation area by 57%, while expanding the common spaces from the previous 25 sqm to a significantly larger 291 square meters.

Hybrid office

In the post-COVID era, the key allure of office work lies in workplace community and culture, elements that cannot be replaced at home. In the company development strategy, loosely connected building spaces and flexible, activity-based, shared furniture play a prominently important organizational and operational support role.

Collaboration

We designed flexible office spaces with a relaxed atmosphere, incorporating coffee corners, breakout points, and isolated chatboxes for 1-2 people between fixed and occasional workstations.

We addressed the issue of multi-person meetings with comfortable, well-equipped rooms for 4-6 people, along with a representative, high-end technical meeting room. We designed the large cafeteria to serve not only dining purposes but also communal and representative functions.

Common spaces
reinvented

Reliability and classic elegance

Based on the accepted space plan and the visual identity plan (logo, color scheme, etc.), we first compiled mood boards to define the design more precisely. Along the chosen direction, we created photorealistic renderings, which we made perceptible in 3D using VR technology for the client.

Illustration (BuildEXT)

The reception is the living business card of the company, the first physical experience the visitor encounters. Therefore, we designed a reception area that conveys a stable, refined, modern yet classically valued interface, which seamlessly continues into the staircase.

The open office space is easily accessible, providing small collaborative areas and meeting rooms for quick, small-scale discussions, which can even take place in the garden.

Designing in Revit

Due to the GIRO office building’s special status, it was necessary to conduct the collaborative work of 24 disciplines with the involvement of specialized engineers possessing the appropriate permission levels. To facilitate this, we created a single shared information model, where participants collaboratively shaped the plan in near-real-time, working together exceptionally efficiently.

The resulting clash-free 3D model contains diverse information. In addition to precise technical content, with its help, not only can the location of elements be clearly queried, but also the associated quantities and costs.

Solar analysis

In the design, special attention was given to the reconsideration and integration of the first-floor garden into the functionality of the building. The original concepts focused on covering the area, but this would have eliminated the ventilation of internal courtyard windows.

The sunlight simulation contributed to rethinking the possibilities along a new concept. In the end, we resolved it with covered-open pavilions, charming pathways, benches, and green spaces to ensure that the outdoor area functions well as both a recreational and collaborative space.

Solar analysis, the impact can be examined from inside the building as well (BuildEXT)

Common Data Environment (CDE)

The BIM model creates value when the information accumulated within it is easily accessible and up-to-date for all project participants. Therefore, for this project, we also utilized a Common Data Environment (CDE). With this, information sharing and communication can be directed into a common, logged channel.

The CDE environment we preferred was a novelty for many participants. Since we relied on this throughout the entire project, we provided training on the software’s usage and created a user manual for both the client and the contractor side.

Tender

On the CDE’s digital application platform, we have made it possible to query the area to be redeveloped in detail and to walk around it in 2D, 3D, or AR.

As the entire process took place in regulated conditions, with automatic logging and closed communication solutions, the tendering process was carried out extremely efficiently on the platform.

Project management and construction monitoring

We delivered the current version of the GIRO office building model to the construction site using a smartphone or tablet. Assembly and construction activities were carried out based on always up-to-date plans, visible in 3D and using AR technology.

We continuously scanned the current state to monitor the realization of the plan and identify any deviations. We also worked closely with the contractor to record the errors in the closed system of the CDE environment, thus avoiding difficult-to-track communication and misunderstandings based on phone calls and emails.

We put changes back into the model based on the point cloud survey, resulting in an as-built model reflecting the current state at the end of construction.

On time, within budget

Throughout the redesign and project management involving 24 disciplines, we actively used digitalization tools of the construction industry, which also enabled us to track communication between project stakeholders. This allowed the various participants to make the best use of their skills through well-organized, disciplined teamwork so that the whole project could be delivered on time and within budget.

The success of the project was largely because GIRO Zrt. was open to the BIM solutions we delivered, with an environmentally conscious, modern IT and management approach, so that we were able to effectively manage the changes and their consequences that were necessary.

The modernisation also received international recognition; it won the BIG SEE Interior Design Award 2024 in the Workplace category and was selected by the jury as a Grand Prix semi-finalist.

Team

BuildEXT
Project leader, lead architect: Andrea Baktay
Architectural design team: Dávid Cserháti, Eszter Lipák-Sipos, Petra Nagyistván, Viktória Rónai, Petra Sass, Bernadett Tóth, Péter Tóth
Project manager: Ágnes Révész

Heritage Conservation Expert: Dr. Attila Déry

Photo & CGI
BuildEXT
Archive sources

Sandor Nagy

Talk to Sandor about this project
Sandor Nagy

Business manager

+36 30 953 8212

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