Tour Inside Erwan Heussaff and Nico Bolzico’s Millennial Workspace!
In this day and age when Millennials (those born in between 1980-1996, some studies say 2000) are slowly but surely taking over the workforce, the employment and work setting has also undergone some shifts. While some offices are taking these shifts one step at a time by having a more flexible schedule, others allowing working from home (or somewhere else like cafés and co-working spaces), there are those who go all-out like Hectare One, brothers-in-law Erwan Heusaff and Nico Bolzico’s very own millennial workspace. And we’re definitely listing this one on our #officegoals!
Erwan and Nico wanted a place where both their businesses could cohabit, as well as those that they are yet to invest in. However, they don’t want it to be a conventional office space with unfriendly cubicles and a strict nine-to-five shift. Their dream workspace is where life and work are integrated more than balanced, and where they can collaborate, create, and even cook their meals at.
“I think the challenge nowadays, especially for us, is we want something that looks good but that is also very practical. I think we really wanted to approach this whole design project with that whole industrial-agricultural kind of look to it. We wanted to create a very open space,” shares Erwan.
“Being brutally honest I think I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t know how to make it into a reality… Erwan has a lot of taste and he understands more about architecture. He knows what this is about, while I have no idea. About the whole look and feel, I just said I wanted Agri, I wanted it planned and I wanted it to look cool—those were my three things,” shares Nico on how he envisioned the office.
Interior designer Mara Manalo of Studio Mara in collaboration with architect Mervin Afan designed the look of the office, taking into account the brothers-in-law’s vision for their HQ that is agriculture- and food-inspired, casual, open, communal, and one that actually makes you enjoy working.
To make the design come to life, Erwan and Nico sought the expertise of Mundo Design and Build. “With Mundo, all the design ideas that we had or how we wanted it to look, it was always: ‘Okay we can do that, but you might have problems with this, this and this.’ It was a very realistic approach to building which I really appreciate,” shares Erwan when asked about working with the builders.
As a result of the collaborative effort of the very hands-on brothers-in-law and their designers and builders, the entrance on the ground floor greets guests with farming and fishing murals by artist Achie Oclos on the walls by the staircase that leads up to the main offices. Plants also line up on the landing halfway up, where an oversized quote from Yoda hangs.
More plants await you when you enter the Hectare One office, accompanied by an Isabel Diaz painting that complements the texture and color of the rawness of the concrete walls in the background. To the left, upon entry, is a corridor that leads to Nico’s office marked by a framed football jersey of Argentina, and a few more doors beside it. To the right is the LM10 Lab, and in the middle is a corridor to more office spaces.
A long bench by the glass window of the LM10 Lab, encased by two panels with four-petal flower designs, serves as another lobby or sitting area for guests and employees who wish to chill and chat for a while after a few hours of work. Beyond the lab is an open space with a plant wall and desk areas for more employees. By the windows facing the street are more seats with overhead pendant lamps in stainless steel. Across the open space is another office encased in glass walls so it still evokes that openness that Erwan and Nico wants for Hectare One.
Throughout the office is a predominance of concrete, wood, steel, and glass that adheres to the industrial vibe of the space. Black is another color that is present throughout the office besides the greenery from the plants that symbolize the agricultural aspect of Hectare One.
Beyond these workspaces are Erwan’s The Fat Kid Inside studio and the pantry next to it. The brothers-in-law claim the communal areas, especially the pantry, as their favorite spots in the office; although, Nico has another area he loves hanging out at.
“For me, the pantry is a very special place because this is where everyone comes and gets together here. But, I have to say, I have to be very honest, my favorite place is Erwan’s spot. I go there all the time, to chill, to relax, to try to trick him to eat lunch with me every day. It doesn’t work all the time, but I like his studio very much,” Nico shares laughing.
Nico furthers, “I think that with Hectare one, it has that feel that you enjoy what you do on a daily basis, kind of as if we do not call it ‘work.’ We don’t often go to offices on Saturdays and Sundays, but we can enjoy it here and it gives you a sort of like inspiration or a way to focus on more of what you are doing. I think it’s one of those places that you really want to be at because you have a bigger purpose, and the whole space and the whole place helps you to focus on that issue.”
Erwan concludes, “Definitely, I do think the office is driven more by our values rather than anything else. To house first and foremost businesses, but also to give the employees that the work here has a really great working space where they feel at home, where they feel comfortable. And getting everyone under this roof regardless if we are in the same companies or not, it really does establish values of Hectare One, and what you would feel like when you eat together, you really become one family under one roof.”