Naava combined an experiential showroom and a health-promoting work environment: “The premises and location create a platform for global growth”
Naava, a smart green wall designer, wanted premises that create an inspiring environment for meetings and which boosts the company’s growth. Both the employees and customers fell in love with the premises that combine experientiality, design and well-being solutions.
What does your company do, Eeva Niemelä, Head of Customer Experience & Service Design?
We are the world leaders in producing green walls. Our mission is to create health-promoting and human-friendly work environments and to nurture the connection with nature of people living in urban spaces. Our company has around 80 employees in Finland, Sweden and the USA, and we have sales in 16 countries.
What created the need to move?
Our number of employees and turnover have grown continuously. After the pandemic, our office was too small and no longer served our needs. We also wanted to move from the edge of the city to the heart of Helsinki, close to customers, architects, good transport links, the city buzz and the design life.
We wanted to create an experiential showroom and the most human-friendly work environment in the world.
What were your requirements for the new premises?
From the right part of the city centre, we wanted a larger, functional and attractive work environment and a business-like showroom with excellent visibility. The premises also had to meet the criteria of a biophilic, i.e. nature and human-friendly space. There had to be enough natural light, vast landscapes, the building technology had to be in order and the premises easily modifiable.
Why did you choose the current premises?
Sponda’s premises gave us exactly the right feeling and level of ambition. The spaciousness, views, atmosphere and, above all, the central location of the office. We use the space not only for the Finnish customer and partner activities, but also for global business development, so a central location and a design-driven space suitable for event marketing were number one factors for us.
What kind of space are you currently using?
We have 436 m2 of space on the second floor of Mannerheimintie 4, of which about 300 m2 is showroom and the rest is space intended for internal work and relaxation. The showroom consists of the world’s most human-friendly work environment, experiential conference and retreat areas, a large event space and a kitchen equipped with a juice and smoothie bar.
How did the modification of the premises go?
The renovation schedule was tight, but Sponda and the team and contractor chosen by Sponda bravely accepted the challenge. We had high expectations for the quality and functionality of the space, because we wanted to make the most impressive showroom in the city and an indoor environment that truly supports human biological needs. All of our wishes were taken into account in the project.
How do the finished premises serve your customers?
The employees and customers have been delighted, even amazed. Our office is so attractive and atmospheric that many people ask if they can stay with us to work remotely. The employees appreciate easy accessibility, a location in the heart of the city centre, and urban and green views.
The space has also served our event activities brilliantly. Already the opening attracted a showroom full of guests. Just with a few steps from the premises, you can enter the Esplanade Park.
Why is it important for you to be located in the heart of the city?
The location shows how much we value our customers and employees. It is easy and ecological to get to the centre. Customers and other important stakeholders, such as architects, can also find us easily. When people come to us, they can also run errands in the centre or visit other showrooms in the design area.
The location also enables us to have a special strategy for brand and business development. We want to create a continuous flow of people in the premises from business decision makers, architects and people interested in Naava. Also our stakeholders benefit from this. The aim is to organise weekly informative happenings, PR events, openings and other meetings in the premises.
You’re doing an interesting space collaboration, what kind?
We have implemented the space together with several companies offering high-quality work environment solutions. Our partners include Vitra, Nespresso, BE WTR, Taiga Concept, Signify and Artome. They also bring their customers to our premises and organise events here.
Our visitors ask if they can stay with us to work remotely.
What does the sustainability of the facilities mean to you?
Sponda’s sustainability as a property owner means a lot to us, because we also operate according to very high sustainability criteria ourselves. We are also proud of the WELL Healthy Safety Rating certificate awarded to our new premises, which ensures that our premises are certainly a safe and healthy environment to work and spend time in.
How could other companies also attract people back to the office?
After the remote work boom, it is necessary to rethink the purpose of work environments. Business premises are, for example, a good aid in drawing the line between work and free time. An attractive office creates community, helps recovery and offers something that is not easily achievable at home.
These things can arise from, for example, top-quality breathing air or a health-supporting biophilic environment that offers thrills for all the senses. Or multipurpose furniture. For example, people are now asking a lot about movable and acoustic Naava walls which have whiteboard on the other side.