Bringing the Great Outdoors Into the Workplace: The Office Space With Over 1,000 Plants

Thu Jan 27 2022

More Than Just a Pretty Face

A co-working space in the capital of Portugal is challenging the way offices are designed. Architectural firm Salgascano came up with the idea of filling the workplace with over 1,000 plants, in order to enhance people’s quality of life significantly. The result is a tropical eyeful that brings to mind an Amazonian jungle.

Sitting in the shared space of Second Home Lisboa, the plants obviously serve their purpose as a decorative element. Natural surroundings in a modern warehouse give this workplace a contemporary feel, while also adding splashes of color and texture to an otherwise fairly blank slate. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits.

Such a large assortment of plant life provides the 250 members with much better ventilation. There’s a high quality of air here, meaning that the wellbeing of its workers are being prioritized. And to top it all off, the dense foliage limits the background noises of a shared space significantly, meaning greater focus and concentration for the employees.

You’ll notice that they’re mostly all of a certain size; well it’s not by accident. With the majority of them standing anywhere between 30 – 50cm, they provide workers a little bit of much-needed privacy. We’d certainly pick a wall of potted plants over cubicle drywall and blinds any day. Project architect Lucia Cano spoke more about the divided space: “The flowing design of the table gives members their own area of private space to focus on their work whilst keeping a sense of community.”

Elevating the Quality of Life

In today’s current climate, you can’t afford to be wasteful of resources. Salgascano designed the entire workplace with sustainability in mind. Using cutting-edge tenchology, they were able to dispose of the air-conditioning system to make way for a “radiant floor system” that has natural ventilation.

The building itself was made out of recycled materials, making it environmentally friendly in a way that most places aren’t. They are situated in the building of a big market hall that was built back in 1892, allowing for workers to peer through the windows at the fresh grocery produce. But ultimately, the goal was to create an inviting space that encourages a healthy and inspring lifestyle, and we think they did just that. They have boardroom meeting spaces filled with just enough luscious greenery so as not to be distracting to outsiders, and even a yoga space for employees to recenter themselves. And as Lucia explained, “the plants are the only thing you notice when you enter the main space, even if 250 chairs, 100 lamps and 250 people are also hidden in between that densely occupied big ‘greenhouse table.'” We hope this is just the beginning.