French-based petroleum company, Rubis, officially opened the doors of its multi-million dollar state-of-the-art headquarters for the Caribbean in Welches, St Thomas, in June 2017, ending years of leasing at their location in Spring Garden.
The project has been heralded as a huge success by both the client and developers whose ambitious 14-month mandate allowed for minimal “wiggle room” given that the lease for their Spring Garden location was not being renewed.
The creative leadership behind the construction of the elegant black and red 15,000 square foot, three-storied structure was provided by the award-winning architectural team at Tatem Architects who set out to create an edgy and notable structural marker in the Welches area.
“One Rubis Plaza is a highly functional, yet strikingly original landmark— a first for Barbados,” said Architectural lead, Pierre Tatem, who credits the leadership of Rubis for allowing him the flexibility to implement his artistic vision.
“The solid black aluminium (Alucobond) tiles on the front of the building reinforce Rubis’ brand, as a strong and innovative company. There is also no front or back to this building— the building simply has two fronts,” described Tatem of the innovative outer-design of the building.
The internal workspace is clean and minimalist, with “pops” of corporate colors and conveys an atmosphere of creativity, energy and efficiency, with each workstation boasting at least one window view, and maximized natural lighting throughout. Pierre along with Josee Atkinson of Blueprint Management collaborated on the interiors to create this exciting interior environment.
“Our objective for the office plan was to be both productive and stimulating without being claustrophobic. The challenge of providing adequate space for 70-workers while allowing for sufficient parking space on the outside was a major design consideration and the initial hurdle that we had to overcome, given the limited land area,” explained Tatem.
A rich palette of warm, neutral textures is provided by Tatem’s signature materials, including concrete, rustic wood and steel and glass tiles that bring both warmth and elegance to the space. Other aesthetic details include an atrium overlooking two floors, skylights in the stairwell, and a rooftop lounge with views of the Welches area.
Environmental considerations were paramount during development and include occupancy sensors that adapt to the number of users in the building, a building management system to gauge energy usage, LED lighting, energy efficient air conditioning, as well as the use of furnishings and materials that are conducive to health and safety.
According to Josee Atkinson, CEO of Blue Print Management who were the Project Managers on this project, the “phenomenal success was attributable to a client that clearly defined their goals, providing a clear brief, setting a mandate (budget and timeline) and remaining consistent with their expectations throughout the course of the project, as well as a great team of consultants who understood their role and superior contractors who understood the mandate and vision of the client.”
Rubis’ investment in the state of the art headquarters in Welches provides further demonstration of what CEO, Mauricio Nicholls has referred to as “a firm commitment to staying here in Barbados for the long, long term.”
According to Tatem, “This is but one of many exciting things to come.”
Additional interior visuals: