City guide

The new office of Prezi

Photo : Somay Márk
Robert Capa Kortárs Fotográfiai Központ, kiállítás

We’ve recently visited the old Prezi office to ask Alyssa about her new home, Budapest. This time we wanted to check out the new premises to get an insight into a world we thought was awesome based on a single picture. We weren’t disappointed and the reason we fell in love with the new location is not (only) that it’s beautiful. It’s rather due to the fact that all the details (both those already in place and the ones being added based on the ideas of the employees) are meant to make working here a good experience. Simply good.

We kicked off our tour from a bistro on the third floor of a huge office building located at 56 Nagymező Street, where we first listened to a “presentation” by architect and co-founder Ádám Somlai-Fischer. We were fully convinced by what we heard that they’ve come up with another big dream at Prezi continuing to rely on people, ideas, creativity and quality to hold it all together. Wood is a dominant element in the new space where light and smart division facilitate individual and teamwork alike.
The guys at Prezi are planning to dedicate a room to workshops, conferences and lectures collectively referred to as Ideasex, where the audience is seated so close to the presenter that anyone is free to pop down to give him/her a quick pat on the back or to make some polite remarks. Really.
Unusual architectural solutions
The workforce at Prezi has doubled every year so far, so this is a tendency worth factoring in when it comes to space. At present about 120 employees work on a total floor space of 2400 m2 with a desk and a chair of their own. This leaves a lot of room for communal activities, but if someone wants to withdraw to have some alone time, that is possible as well. In addition to space, light is an important factor, too; and what is perhaps the greatest challenge from an architectural perspective is the production of the so-called created surprises.
The unexpected details develop partly organically through “graffiti” and the decoration of meeting rooms and personal spaces, but some of the solutions are carefully planned. Like the so-called Cabinets of Curiosity, for example, which are designed to hold found or personal objects. We were already amazed by the fact that plants function as dividers between desks here, but these treasure boxes could truly make anyone who visits the Prezi office forget that this is in fact a workplace.
This is what it’s like when a former communications palace undergoes a complete overhaul and the new structure is designed with possible new directions in mind. Curiosity is key.
As absurd as it may sound, there are spaces so vast in the new office that they are more easily covered by riding a scooter than on foot. It is also worth mentioning that the new location is in the city centre (the company moved from Károly Avenue) which is great news for the majority of Prezi employees since they prefer to travel on two wheels. Getting to work by bike would be a much bigger issue in, say, the hills of Buda. The new office has a bike storage area, a shower and a changing area as well. This, however, might seem self-evident compared to the fact that the installation of a fresh air circulation device in the quiet nook hidden under an elevated, grass-covered chill-out area is in the works.
This is a place where it doesn’t matter if it’s a little messy, and where the things that give character to the space often seem insignificant at first. Even though a lot of things are still temporary here, this doesn’t detract from how pleasant the environment is. Girls, boys, dogs, kids, gadgets, colours, movement, attention and ideas – filling up the new Prezi office one at a time.