Behold! Human beings living in a concrete den, which has a mouth to the south open towards the light and reaching all along the den, wide as wide is the den; and an entrance to the north; here they have been, since morning, working with devotion and passion, so that they do not want to move, and wish only to look before them, being prevented by their affection for their work from turning their heads. Behind them from a window sunlight is blazing at a distance, casting shadows on a wall.
Once tired they may arise from the desk and work standing. When they feel the need to relax they sit right in the sunlight and stretch in their favourite asana to watch the shadows.
When they feel like socializing they emerge from their caves to talk and eat and feel the joy of being together, working.
The inquisitive ones may feel like peering into other caves or even enjoy sharing their cave with others. They may work as a team in one cave together – designing and creating.
In the evening, when the sun is being replaced by the moon, which seems to stand still, and the normal working time is long finished, they leave their caves and a different life begins. It is nice and carefree, they spend it together knowing that the work is safely closed in the cave, and they can start it all over whenever they feel like. To be creative and passionate once again.
Workplace of the future
With our project we answer the question of what work means to young people. The idea of work has developed from an inevitable necessity to passion and way of living. Nowadays the goal of working is to be as efficient as possible and to finish the job in the shortest amount of time. That is why workers understand the need to exercise and relax during working hours. Young workers feel the need to have a flexible environment around them that can be adapted to their needs. The Creative Cave Project is like that – the organic, undefined form responds to the need for flexibility. Because of its timeless form it can be easily placed in the fabric of the city. The project is as flexible as the people working inside – helping to self-determine and self-define one’s way of working. Whether one wants to work on his or her own? Or maybe surrounded by others? To have an open or closed Cave? At what time does one want to start work? Nowadays people have a need to make decisions and redefine space to make it as ergonomic and comfortable as possible.
The shape of the Cave was dictated by the need to provide a wide variety of functions in the smallest area possible. That is why a parametric design has been used. After analysing the types of activities that can be done inside the pavilion we designed an algorithm that organized the space in the most efficient way. The space created is designed for two types of work in a standing and a sitting position; with desks whose positions can be modified. It provides a space for exercise inside and a hammock where workers may relax and a place for leisure activities outside.
Function and flexibility
The Creative Cave project is dedicated to freelancers whose remote nature of work allows them to spend their working time outside a traditional office. To meet the expectations of these people the Creative Villages have been placed in easy-accessible parts of Cracow. Their shape is based on the archetypical model of the common space – round piazza surrounded by pavilions. Each of the pavilions provides a personal space for work and leisure.
The Caves are formed in a modular pattern that may be easily transported and distributed all over the city. The exemplary positioning shown in the project was chosen after analysing the public transport and frequency of use as an interchanging communication node. The Village is located in the city centre, on the verge of a public park and a lively crossroads. On one side of the project two main roads intersect each other providing easy accessibility by tram, bus, car or bike, on the other the tranquil park invites us to enjoy sunlight by the lake surrounded by greenery. The main market square of Cracow is only five minutes by bike from the Village. On the other side of the road users may find cafes, bars and shops.
The Creative Cave is supported by a mobile app which allows booking of the workplace. Among seven pavilions in each village six are designed to be rented for a long period of time, the remaining one is to be rented only for a few hours. It creates a space where each day the long-term workers may meet somebody new. It would attract students from nearby universities to join the Creative Cave just for a few hours and will prevent it from becoming an enclave.
The Creative Cave app allows its users to book and pay for the rental of the Cave. It also opens the chosen Cave for the user, which means that the access to the workplace is flexible and does not need any scheduled hours of working time. The mobile system also helps with sharing the Cave with other users.
One of the most important features that a modern, creative workplace should have is to provide workers with good food and coffee. That is why the Creative Cave App may be used to order food and drinks from chosen restaurants. Users may also request and rent a coffee machine or other amenities for their personal use in the Caves.
The Creative Cave is made of Cembrit Fibre cement that allows the use of only a thin layer of construction materials. Its durability and endurance predispose usage of this material in outdoor projects. It also has excellent acoustic properties that mutes any side noises and makes working inside the pavilion a pleasant experience.
The Graphical representation of the project emphasizes the new way of perceiving work. Bright and exotic colours have been used in order to be reminiscent of a carefree summer and the joy of holidays and travel. The strong colour palette highlights the statement that work nowadays is associated with passion and excitement. The Creative Cave Project is a space where passionate people who love life meet to work together.