LINKSIUM, a company with 26 employees, whose goal is to assist in technology transfer. With a sizeable investment capacity and support from shareholders who are major players, it plays a leading role in creating innovative start-ups. It benefits from the technological innovation available in the laboratories in the Grenoble region in the Alps, with 4 areas of focus which are digitalisation, new energy technologies, health technologies and sustainable resources.
Since its launch in 2015, with the aim of building an extensive portfolio of projects (90 so far) and of bringing together teams on the same site, Linksium has rented additional premises. Installed in the midst of brickwork and beam facades in the majestic shed of a former industrial site, these offices, which are decorated in a very traditional manner, in no way reflect the innovative nature of the incubation and company growth projects which Linksium manages. Wide corridors lead to huge individual and partitioned offices with no shared spaces, nowhere to meet or talk.
The refurbishment of this 760 m2 area is therefore an opportunity to clear away these old offices and to create a more open space that reflects the innovative character of the projects, that is more welcoming for project backers, more suitable to the company's collaborative approach and that offers a high-quality workspace to employees. To achieve this, Linksium issued a call for tenders from architects whose proposals needed to meet the following aims:
Open up the spaces as much as possible Create a heart for the company, a hub for dialogue Create fluidity within the company Set up meeting areas for a variety of purposes Design an original area for co-working The architect who was selected chose to take the site back to its shell and remove all the partitions in order to rethink the organisation of the entire floor area… with the added challenge of employees needing to keep working through the changes! A game of musical chairs then ensued between March and July 2016, requiring the 26 employees to move 3 times! "To soften the blow of this inconvenience, we needed plenty of discussions and communication. So I made sure that employees were well informed about the different phases of the work though a special newsletter and a regular update on how the project was progressing during our bimonthly company meetings," explains Nelly Biboud, External Relations Manager and in charge of this refurbishment. "To help them take ownership of their future working environment, the team was involved, in a fun way, in naming the new shared working areas. This way, everyone felt they were involved in the area," she added.
For the furniture, the architect opted for a visit to the Kinnarps showroom so that Linksium could meet and talk to the teams in Lyons. Important discussions were held about ergonomics and well-being (a subject of vital importance to Linksium). This trip also allowed Linksium to seek inspiration from the showroom, and fine-tune their choices for the finishes and colours... A delicate subject, because the owner of the building required all the doors to be grey, which threatened to give a very sombre look to the offices. Luckily, the architect deliberately went the other way and gambled on colours. Starting with orange and blue, the colours of the Linksium logo, the architect then worked with complementary shades and colours. The result is dynamic, warm and refreshing.
"On the one hand it is very open, thanks to removing the partitions and to the glassed-in areas, while also being very cosy. That may seem like a contradiction in terms, but achieving this stunning result just shows how talented the architect is!" explains Ms Biboud.
The inauguration of the newly refurbished offices took place in December 2016. The Linksium employees, and also the talented young project innovators, have really taken over the new living spaces, which proves how well the refurbishment is working. The level of satisfaction can be seen every day in direct feedback from the users, and also by the actual usage of all these areas, and especially the heart of the company, made up of an area with a bar and sofas, allowing many informal and sociable discussions.