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Interior design solutions that accommodate the needs of a company in office refurbishment projects

Office refurbishment

ESCREO’s writable paint has been utilised in many different spaces – classrooms, offices, at home, to make them more productive and more creative. Today we speak with Mila Ivanova and Tsvetomir Pavlov from Cachè Atelier – a leading architectural and interior design studio which in recent years has realised in its distinctive style sustainable and creative office fit out and refurbishment projects.

You are different. So are we. That’s how our partnership started. Tell us more about Cachè Atelier, what makes you different?

“When we started, no one knew us, so we decided that we would be the “hidden studio”. Over the years we have realised that “cachè” has many different meanings and creates different associations. The computer’s supplementary memory system is “cache”. In Hebrew this is the word for “difficult” and our Israeli clients wonder how we named our studio “difficult”. Our “cachè” is written with an accent to the left, which is misspelt in French and our French partners always notice that. No matter how we read “cachè”, we are the little hidden studio and over the years we have chosen to remain such. We still work on an equal footing with our employees and it is very important for us that the work goes through our hands.” – Mila shares.

Arch. Mila Ivanova, Co-founder at Cachè Atelier

“It is more important for us to devote the necessary time and attention to each project than to do countless ones.”

“We know everything about our projects and this is something very important to us that our clients also notice. We do not make a universal office space to work for every client. Every office space that we create is specific to each company and we create it through a lot of conversations. We find out how the company’s business works and what its team needs in order to offer an individual solution. We also have a lot of experience now… The most important thing for an office is its functionality. It should best serve the interests of the company and meet its needs, not just look good. We are always looking for a balance between looking and working well.” – Tsvetomir adds.

Arch. Tsvetomir Pavlov, Co-founder at Cachè Atelier

Recently, indoor air quality and carbon footprint have become increasingly important topics for companies and their employees. How does this affect the design of new office spaces and what are companies looking for?

According to Tsvetomir, “it will take a little longer for things to happen in the right way and for the right technologies to be used”. Mila adds that “on the other hand, we should not over-sterilise the environment in which we live. Our body needs the beneficial bacteria. If we over-sterilise it, we will kill them and become too susceptible to the slightest external attack. In this line of thought, there should be the necessary hygiene but without overdoing it. The main thing that companies are currently looking for is for the office to have natural ventilation and the ability to inject fresh air. The other one is the heating. In order to avoid part of the air conditioning, gasified areas are rising now – heating with convectors, radiators and others. They do not work on the same principle as ventilation and therefore do not create conditions for so many bacteria.”

Companies are paying increasing attention to their carbon footprint. There is a tendency for an increasing number of larger companies to prepare their own carbon budget and to keep their own carbon accounting. For now, however, this is the focus of the largest corporations only, which have dozens or hundreds of offices around the world. “We have witnessed companies making decisions to buy one piece of furniture or another, depending on whether it is made from recycled materials or not, but only the largest ones can afford it yet. There must be businesses who set the beginning and it seems that these will be the big ones; and the others will simply follow them. However, global policies must also be created and only then will the process cover the entire planet Earth.” – also share from Cachè Atelier.

And what are your observations regarding office refurbishment in the last year? Is there a change in customer requirements and/ or in the proposals you make yourself as interior designers?

There are inquiries but they are more than the projects themselves. For its large clients, Cachè Atelier reorganises their office spaces, while the new projects are conceptualised with the idea that the circumstances are already different. “Putting arrows and dots on the ground at the beginning of the big return to the office was impulsive, because no one knew what to do.” – Tsvetomir shares. However, “the truth is that this makes the environment aggressive… nobody wants to spend their day surrounded by tonnes of hand sanitisers, masks and gloves” Mila adds. As they share for themselves, “we all want to go back to an environment that seems friendly to us, an environment that will accept us and we will feel at ease there nonetheless.”

Therefore, according to them, the approach should be different. It all starts with diluting workspaces. If a company employs 100 people, the capacity to be targeted is 50, leaving more space between workspaces. It is also good to have more areas for meetings, collaborations and internal communication – employees need to meet and collaborate. Places for “focused work” are also designed; there one can separate and work independently. “We are talking about a rhythm that the standard workplace did not know until now. A rhythm, in which you have more flexible working hours, you go to work so that you can meet people and then you separate in a specific place to focus and get the job done quickly and efficiently.” Mila and Tsvetomir share.

“The office has to offer a suitable environment to the people and their needs at all times. This is the most important.”

PaySafe whiteboard paint
А Paysafe office with ESCREO whiteboard paint designed by Cachè Atelier and photographed by Minko Minev

How does ESCREO contribute to your projects and why with ESCREO whiteboard paints? What does working with ESCREO bring you?

“The truth is that the last sample which Iskren made for me can answer the question” Mila jokes. She adds: “First, because he’s patient enough, and second, because he’s adequately looking into such strange things such as making a whiteboard on concrete for example. Let’s ask ourselves the question: “How many whiteboards have been made on concrete?!”. The answer is 0. So here he is now, and we will make it together”. ESCREO whiteboard paints have been placed in most Cachè Atelier projects since their first major one, which is why Tsvetomir adds that there lies the answer to the question. “It happens that our clients request other products but they turn out to be not that successful. Hence, there is no need for much explanation here.” he also adds.

“It’s nice to have a match here and it’s great that we get that match between us. And will we be able to do it on concrete? Well, let’s try! And now we will see… ”

Cachè Atelier and ESCREO

Over the years we have realised many projects together with Cachè Atelier as they shared in our interview with them. Depending on the specific needs of each company, they have been making use of our white whiteboard paint, our clear whiteboard paint and our magnetic whiteboard paint in their projects. We are glad that we are their trusted partner as well as that ESCREO whiteboard paint products have been best serving their needs when it comes to writable surfaces in office fit out and refurbishment projects. If you are interested in learning more about their interior design projects you can visit their website.