FAD (Fostering Arts and Design) is an association of professional and business associations in design. Founded in 1903, it is a leader in Europe in all areas of design. Promoting good design and architecture as tools for the progress of people is part of its foundational DNA.
Since 1964, through the LAUS awards, the association has honored best design practices in multiple categories.
the Laus Companies and Entities Award pays tribute to a company or entity with a history of good relationship with design and communication. Companies or entities that make good use of design, understood as a key factor for the development of society and the improvement of people’s quality of life.
Josep Lluís Mateo, responsible for the design of Banc Sabadell’s offices is interviewed by the awarding organization.
- Why has Banc Sabadell been able to assume an advanced communication and image?
The corporate image is the result of the will of Banc Sabadell’s direction board which has been able to communicate it to both employees and collaborators.
The management team has been clear that the business growth process involved generating a modern and contemporary image, which had to be transferred to all its communicative elements: space, brand, design elements… Its correct implementation has been carried out due to the client’s demands and control.
- What was your role in the development and spatial application of the new identity of the Bank?
My collaboration as architect with Banc Sabadell began when I won the competition in 2002 that defined the standard office of the entity. We made 3 real pilot offices in different locations. It established everything related to the overall collective image, the formal control of the space and its elements (furniture, merchandising, artwork) and served as a guide to follow for new openings.
Afterwards I have been involved in special commissions, singular projects of great importance for the Bank. An example of this was the remodeling of the historic headquarters in Sabadell, built in the 40’s. And also the remodeling of the entrance, basement and second floor of the mythical Torre Banc Sabadell by the great architect Francesc Mitjans.
Often the challenges have been concentrated in notorious existing buildings that have to be related, modernized and adapted to the needs of the space. Therefore the active dialogue with the existing was a question to integrate with the new spatial and formal needs.
- Regarding the spatial conception of offices, what would you change, with the perspective of time?
Three years ago, the Bank created a commission to review the transformation of its offices, in which I was invited to participate. The irruption of the digital world, the change in users’ habits, the reduction of staff caused a paradigm shift.
The traditional commercial space model was left behind, to take it to an abstract space. A meeting point, a place for consultation, active exchange, where activities are carried out around specific topics… The typical offices were redefined and implemented in three locations: BS Hub Empresa in Valencia, BS Space in Madrid and the recently opened BS Welcome Hub in Barcelona.
- What are your influences as an architect?
Many….I am an architect trained in the abstract world, the reduction of things.
And on the other hand, I am influenced by the line of expressionism, and at the same time I am very interested in matter. In fact I believe that idea and matter in our work are interrelated issues.
In addition, over time I have become more and more interested in the control of those elements that intervene in the sensation offered by a space, such as acoustics or light.
- And as a user, what do you like to find in a space?
I am interested in finding conditions of comfort, clarity and a certain life, since minimalism often has little soul.
- What do you think people’s experience of their environment should be like?
I am unable to define how it should be. In fact, the environment speaks of the person himself.
It is a free expression of each person.