of the Success Story
Voodoo is one of the 16 French unicorns specializing in the publishing of video games on smartphones. Created by two founders, Alexandre Yazdi and Laurent Ritter, this company is now a business success model, estimated at 1.2 billion euros ($1.42 billion).
Since its creation in 2013, Voodoo has achieved a global leadership position in the “Hypercasual” mobile gaming segment: more than 5 billion downloads and 300 million monthly active users.
In contrast to its resounding success, Voodoo has developed very quietly. The company has focused its efforts on an internal management strategy, rather than on branding. Productivity and well-being are the two intrinsic values that make up the Voodoo DNA. A brand that demonstrates itself through performance, rather than storytelling.
Realization & Layout
5 700 m2 (61,354 sq. ft.)
THE CLIENT‘S NEEDS
The first part of our support focused on real estate search advice. Indeed, Voodoo was based in the co-working space WeWork, located in the 9th district of Paris. They now wanted to take over their own premises. A place that would match their status and that could integrate their medium-term growth objectives. At the time of the project, there were about 100 employees, but they aimed for a location that could accommodate up to 500 people. Moreover, the managers wanted to find a unique location to match the company’s culture, which is based on the values of cohesion and collective synergy.
We pinpointed an exceptional opportunity: premises in La Poste du Louvre (the Louvre Post Office), which was inaugurated in 1888. Transformed by Dominique Perrault, it is located in the heart of Paris, facing the city, with a large central patio. Its contemporary architecture combines the site’s industrial and historic heritage with mixed use. It is an imposing and stately place, but resolutely turned towards practicality.
This emblematic address was equal to Voodoo’s ambitions and influence. Highly prized, it has a symbolic value that gives stature to the company that occupies it. It met both the company’s image challenge and the technical constraints of a single floor and an open space.
Once we found these premises, we focused on the architectural concept!
CREATE A CORPORATE SPIRIT, NOT A CORPORATE IMAGE
Most of the time, an architectural project must reflect a brand image. At Voodoo, it’s the opposite approach, the logic was not to make this place a business card address, but to design the offices as a functional place.
We therefore defined several objectives:
– To imagine a sanctuary entirely dedicated to creation: a place connected to nature and inspiring for the teams ;
– To make the teams interact with each other and to create a synergy and a collective dynamic ;
– To propose a space that cultivates well-being, offices where one feels good and productive.
At the same time, we imagined a concept that draws its origins from a Japanese philosophy, Wabi-Sabi. It is an art of living, a certain way of thinking about one’s habitat based on the notion of balance. From simplicity comes the possibility to feel the beauty of imperfect, ephemeral and modest things. This state of mind based on imperfection, which pays attention to the way man interacts with his environment, has guided all of our work because it perfectly reflects the values of the company Voodoo.
A project built on the company’s managerial culture, the human experience and productivity.
ALWAYS FUNCTIONAL, NEVER ANECDOTAL
The approach adopted for this project goes against the grain of current trends, which tend towards a multiplication of innovations, new technologies, decorative elements, new services… Here, we returned to the basics and to what really counts by creating a functional, fluid space, where each element has a role, a purpose. A perfect balance, which creates a calm universe allowing employees to evolve in a space conducive to productivity.
The middle space is the heart of social life: the dining area, a hybrid place that allows people to meet at any time of the day. Around it, the rest of the space is designed according to a simple logic, as it is efficient. In the center, there are the work areas with open spaces, around the utility modules. Each employee must have everything he or she needs within a short walking distance: a meeting room, a tea room, a phone area, and photocopying equipment.
This movement is also felt in the visual identity. In keeping with the Wabi-Sabi way of life, raw and textured materials were selected, many of which have asperities that are assumed and valued. For example, there is cork on the meeting ceilings, coated concrete on the walls that reveal the craftsman’s handiwork, or even curtains whose fibers can be seen. There are no paintings, sculptures or artistic installations : every element is anything but superfluous.
If the functional aspect was a key issue, well-being was just as essential. Indeed, comfort and calm are not antinomic with the utilitarian dimension.
NATURAL COLORS TO ENHANCE WELL-BEING
The specifications of La Poste du Louvre forbade the creation of high partitions, which represented a challenge, in order to create pleasant meeting areas. We therefore installed meeting rooms in insulated boxes that give the impression of reassuring bubbles, with carpeting that produces warm acoustics.
As with Wabi-Sabi, the return to the functional and the non-anecdotal is done with precise will: to create a healthy atmosphere, in which the relationship of man to his environment is done while respecting a reflected balance.
We also took advantage of the technical floor which offered the possibility of gaining 50 cm (19.6 inches) of ceiling height by creating different zones:
– Horizon zone (the floor) ;
– Low areas: recessed spaces, surrounded by vegetation that give the impression of sitting in an outdoor space ;
– High areas: mezzanines that also allow for informal gatherings.
We used a palette of natural colors, beiges and browns, which soften – without altering – the metallic black of the existing structure. No other colors were used, even in the furniture, we let the raw materials speak for themselves. In a work context, where we are in the office for several hours a day, we wanted to create a feeling of naturalness and openness to the outside world by adding vegetation.
This large-scale project was completed in 9 months from the time the location was found to the delivery of the project. It was exceptional in its scope, but also in its conceptualization, which focused on a return to the essentials. Every detail – from the layout, to the furniture, to the materials – was thought out with balance and overall coherence. We succeeded in reconciling well-being and productivity by creating a soft and serene, yet functional atmosphere!
Photo credits : Gwenn Dubourthoumieu