No boring office spaces here – our new HQ dares to be different

Published 17 Sep 2019

At the end of June 2019, we cut the tape on our new headquarters in Nový Bor. “Headquarters“ is however not really an accurate term. This isn’t the same dull office you see everywhere else, because we dare to be different. We breathed new life into a building which has been serving local glassmakers as far back as 200 years ago. And this place’s atmosphere really inspires some great artwork!

In the very heart of glassmaking

The founder and president of the firm, Leon Jakimič, was also born in Northern Bohemia, and it always made sense to us to have the firm in the very heart of the glassmaking craft. But we always knew that we need our own space to work and create.

And then one piece of estate right beside a picturesque town square caught our eye, and we found out these buildings have been housing glassmakers since the 18th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, one of the buildings was turned into a large glass production plant, and the glassmakers remained in those spaces throughout the two world wars and afterwards. It was after World War II that the building started to house a local glassworking school for young apprentices and also featured a cutting shop. The second building was originally used as a private residence, and its history stretches all the way back to 1790.

When cutting-edge architecture touches tradition

The famous Czech architect Adam Gebrian, who is also a celebrity critic and commentator, helped us with the arduous selection process. We finally agreed on the solution presented by architects Štěpán Valouch and Jiří Opočenský from the architekti, s.r.o. studio. It was them who came up with the plan to reconstruct the original glassmakers’ houses on Palackého square, and who also designed the proposal for adding two new buildings. “The most unusual and unique thing about the design is the relationship between the two original Baroque-era timbered houses, and the totally contemporary buildings which have a very distinct form, both from the inside and the outside. The black house is closed in on itself, while the glass house is basically a giant lamp for the city and ought to become the very symbol of the gradual rejuvenation of this glassmaking region’s confidence in itself and its craft,” says architect Štěpán Valouch.

The glass house is paneled with original glass tiles which we have developed specially for this structure. “The paneling is inspired by the traditional slate shingle which has been used for the houses in the region of Česká Lípa for centuries,“ says the architect. The black house which stands right across from the glass one is paneled in a similar fashion, but it has been paneled with a shingle made of special, black cement.

The perfect place for a day’s honest work as well as for highly ambitious projects

The new headquarters aren’t just a pretty shell with little inside – the interior was created in the spirit of modern design and keeps the highest work standards. Apart from the company’s top management, the building also houses many of the company departments. Here you can meet design engineers, electric engineers, specialists and project managers, as well as people from logistics, HR, IT or finances and accounting.

We often undertake very ambitious projects and installations which can span dozens of meters and weigh a number of tons – and you really do need a generous workspace for this kind of work. The black house now also includes a hall where we will be able to test the installations out and present them to clients under various lighting conditions.

A daring move with a twist

The project technically started in 2014, and this July saw the big move into the new spaces. It was a big challenge for the team – apart from the files and stacks of documents and furniture, we also had to transport a large number of fragile glass samples from our storehouses. We were however rewarded with the final outcome and also by the diverse surprises which the new offices offered us.

For example, in the project managers’ office, hidden between the work tables, we found an original, stone well. This well was not registered in the historical records, and it was discovered by accident by the architects while they were constructing the house. You can now step out on the glass cover, and look down an abyssal 21 meters (69 feet) underground. This gives a whole new perspective on one of our most important values: “Action and Courage.” But fear not, as there is a light at the end of the well – LASVIT’s signature.

Do you want to know more about what it looks like inside, and what it’s like to work with us? You can look forward to more blog posts on this topic in the future.

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