Länsförsäkringar Västerbotten has been collaborating closely with LINK arkitektur to develop a new office build-ing with highly set sustainability goals. The office building will be environmentally certified in accordance with the BREEAM Excellent rating and will meet the demands of tomorrow in terms of flexibility, ease of access and per-sonalised customer interaction.
The office building is located along Umeå’s high street, Rådhusesplanaden, which is listed as a cultural milieu of national interest. This has imposed stringent demands on the building’s architectural quality, both on the outside and inside. LINK arkitektur has been involved throughout the process, from the initial sketches and detailed planning of the entire district to the final design of the building and interior fittings. Considerable emphasis was placed on con-veying the company’s identity, with its staunch values of proximity, community involvement and simplicity.
Länsförsäkringar’s work environment has been transformed from its cramped and messy state to a well-arranged and spacious area with uncluttered passageways. Meetings between staff and customers are held in welcoming venues that feature birch wall panels and textiles with close-to-nature colours, while providing stringent bank security. The workplaces were designed in close dialogue with employees who had the opportunity to try out sample facilities with the aim of planning the best possible work environment specifically customised to their requirements.
The efforts to reuse existing fittings was not for economic reasons alone, but also for the sake of the environment. An inventory of fittings in the existing premises was compiled early on, to determine what could potentially be reused without detracting from the overall design, function and ergonomics.
The Västerbotten region is reflected in the solid natural materials and the distinct concept, “from coast to mountain”. Three close-to-nature colour ranges are used to symbolise the various landscape characteristics: blue for the coast-line, grey and brown for the mountains, and green for the inland countryside. The Västerbotten tradition is discernible on both the interior and exterior, with distinguished textile floor textures, pavements, leather, wool and woven mats.