Exterior photo of the ESA client office

Case Study European Space Agency

Goal: Designing a work environment incorporating leading-edge innovations.

ESA is an inter-governmental organisation whose mission is to ensure and develop cooperation between the European states in space research and technology. ESA’s Centre for Earth observation in Frascati, near Rome, manages the ground segment for ESA and third party Earth observation satellites, maintaining the largest archive of environmental data in Europe.


Frascati, Italy

Project Specs

Storeys: 1 floor
Area: 370 sq. metre
Video conference room
Informal meeting zones

Design Firm

Zuccon International Project


Space Planning: Full Project Srl

A breakout training space at the ESA client office

The overall project included the demolition and reconstruction according to new seismic standards of Building 12 of the Italian headquarters of ESA, and its complete restructuring to enable new ways of working. 

The intention was to achieve an evolution not only in the building’s architecture but also in space planning, the interior design and work styles. The new design concept was strongly influenced by the institution’s commitment to achieving Leed certification, and we implemented the project with sustainable furniture and materials.

While the previous design relied on individual spaces and workplaces, our client desired to create an experimental space, which would accommodate all the cutting-edge innovations in the working environment.This successful pilot-project inspired future development at Esa-Esrin. Building 14 is undergoing a complete renovation in 2021.

Fern chair and Epure desks at the ESA client office

The challenge with the interior design initially led the architects to suggest tailormade products, but Haworth could easily use standard and already proven solutions to meet the needs. Engineers’ workstations are Epure benches for four or six positions, whose tops offer an extra cut to integrate the Artemide floor-mounted luminaires. We also installed Be_Hold design lockers for personal storage and completed the workstations with Fern task chairs, which - like the Epure range - contribute to achieving LEED accreditation.

The project focused on the user’s wellbeing, taking up the challenge of creating a unique, yet acoustically strongly protected environment, with panels and partitions, including vegetation, to optimize sound absorption. Acoustic expectations were to reduce reverberation on the desks as well as on the entire workspace. We, therefore, equipped the benches with Universal Screens, installed MeetYou partitions in various key-locations, and introduced suspended screens in others.

Corporate colours and biophilia at the ESA client office

We created an ambience in line with ESA’s corporate identity, selecting brown/grey finishes for the Fern chairs, yellow fabrics for the conference room, with a green accent on the workstations. 

The green colour comes right to the workstations with Artemide lighting, but mainly through a wide variety of plants chosen to absorb indoor pollution and reduce electromagnetic areas, making this environment truly pleasant and attractive, as well as healthy.

The evolution of the office environment and the attention paid to the comfort of those who work in these spaces always led me to explore any form of innovation for this purpose.

Roberto Franciosi

Head of the Facilities Management - Corporate Services Division

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