At the center of Krakow, capital of the south of Poland and a major technology hub, the new Qualtrics headquarters challenges traditional approach to office design. Marrying the company’s values of openness, transparency and caring for the employee wellbeing with the rich heritage of Krakow, this space introduces a fresh perspective on modern workplaces.
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Qualtrics Street Office in Cracow
Corporate Interior (Built)
Architecture & Planning: Agnieszka Ulatowska, Paulina Palmowska, Maja Bielecka, Monika Gut-Kintzi
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The mandate was clear: craft a modern office that resonates with the informal and experimentative culture of Qualtrics, who jokingly describe themselves as “scrappy”, while ensuring the space enables effective work and community building as well as paying homage to its Krakow location.
One of the primary challenges was the integration of three distinct floors. The solution—an elegantly conceived internal staircase—does more than just connect spaces; it fosters a sense of unity, facilitating seamless communication and integration. The functional layout supports both focused work, collaboration and community spirit. Open spaces with adjacent meeting rooms and strategically located break-out or social spaces, ensure ease of transition between different modes. Complementing the work zones are the themed communal areas like:
- Coffee Roasters – Serving as both a gourmet coffee space and a venue for corporate gatherings.
- Arcade Kitchen – A vibrant area reminiscent of arcade pubs, equipped with neon lights, gaming consoles, and diverse board games.
- Streetfood Kitchen – A nod to the bustling street eateries, decorated with distinctive light garlands and pallet décors.
For employees looking to disconnect and rejuvenate, the “Botanical Garden” offers a serene green retreat to enjoy a quick “digital detox”. Prioritizing employee well-being, the space also boasts dedicated zones like an employee-inspired gym, yoga room, and a climbing wall with additional areas equipped for stretching and spinal care. Such thoughtful design elements don’t just cater to the present needs of employees but also foster a culture of health, integration, and holistic well-being.
An industrial palette was selected characterized by concrete, steel, brick, and glass, with an emphasis on retaining the raw, open ceilings. The use of modular carpeting and acoustic baffles ingeniously addresses potential acoustic issues. Additionally, to cater to the unique movement preferences of employees—on skateboards and scooters—hard vinyl flooring was chosen for communication spaces. Energetic color accents, paired with distinctive graphics, further solidified the brand’s identity within the space.
While the design is global in its appeal, the local touches—ranging from graphics reminiscent of Krakow’s charm to decorative elements co-created by employees—ensure that the space is firmly rooted in its locale. This strategic integration promotes a sense of belonging, reinforcing the tagline by making the workspace a cultural nexus.
Qualtrics’ Krakow headquarters is not just a workspace; it’s a manifestation of a commitment to a healthy organisational culture and authentic caring for staff wellbeing in all aspects. Through intentional design and an unyielding focus on both the physical and psychological wellbeing of its users, it truly epitomizes “a healthy workspace for a healthy culture.”