If there is one lesson the digital age has taught us it is that start-ups can have an instant impact on the world. A well-implemented idea can disrupt existing ways of doing things and open up markets nobody had previously known existed.
What technology is particularly good at is building bridges. By connecting people to each other, organisations, institutions and markets in new ways it not only transforms the world as it is, but also offers new visions of what it can be.
Based in Ljubljana, Nekster is a pioneering financial services start-up that offers ordinary people their first chance to invest directly in the EU’s lucrative insured loans market. And the firm is ambitious. Not only does it want to revolutionise the way people invest, it also plans to become the largest commercial lender of its type in Europe. It will do this by continuing to innovate and delivering exceptional, secure service. Those features of a business are essential in a digital, fast-moving, competitive world.
So Nekster’s plans embrace uncertainty and agility as factors that ensure the firm’s continued growth and success. As a result of its rapid growth, Nekster had quickly outgrown its existing offices. Not only were they too small to accommodate the expansion of the business, they no longer represented its progressive, innovative personality.
A new office had to reflect those characteristics. Its design also had to combine the energy of a start-up with the maturity of a major player in the financial services sector. Crucially, the design of the new office was to serve the people who worked in it.
The building is not primarily a customer facing facility, but one that meets the day to day demands of people for comfort, agility, productivity and innovation. After selecting the right building for its needs, Nekster invited Kragelj to transform the space into a high-performance workplace that met the client’s vision.
The office was to be particularly focussed on the creativity, productivity and wellbeing of staff, so the provision of ergonomic seating, indoor air quality, acoustic comfort and lighting was key. The project also changed as a result of the advent of the pandemic.
The space requirement was reduced significantly, and certain spaces seen as less necessary while others became more important, such as social spaces with writable walls. Kragelj shifted quickly to meet these new requirements, not only halving the space but creating a design that reflects a rapidly changing work culture.
Kragelj always builds responsiveness and agility into its designs, and this was essential when it came to delivering to a firm that was not only innovating and growing rapidly but also adapting to the needs of a rapidly changing world.