And yet it turns!

2021 SKF

Would you like to be so important that everything turns around you? A company exists around which the whole world literally turns. It is active in over half of all countries and it established a subsidiary in Czechoslovakia during the First Republic. Its importance lies not only in pushing the boundaries of engineering to new magical heights, but it also saves everyone time, health and money. Meet SKF – the leader in the production of bearings, seals and lubrication systems. 

Smooth rotation and energy efficient operation, that’s what it’s all about. SKF bearings almost invisibly stretch through the lives of each of us like Ariadne's thread. They help with peddling our bikes, they help planes lift us above the clouds and enable power stations to reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions. SKF has a fundamental influence on the environment of our planet. It is a key partner in a project for floating tidal electricity generation. On the route to zero emissions, they will take advantage of the gravitational force of the moon.

SKF knows how to go beyond the boundaries of what is imaginable. They can’t yet stop people from aging, but in the world of industrial lubricants, as the company proves, old age need not be a limit. SKF ensures that the oil is used all the time with a two-stage separation method. We also strived for the same timeless perfection when furnishing their new corporate office space in the Astrid Offices administrative building in Prague Holešovice.


From a perfect combination to perfectionism

The design concept of this project comprised a combination of natural materials and metal elements. The designers wanted to showcase the pioneering spirit of the company, and we helped them achieve this. The overall visual signature therefore combines metal production with the natural environment. We are rarely lucky enough to deal with as many metal elements as in this project. We had to work with consistent precision. We had to match together bespoke wood items with metal elements. If the fit was just a hair-width out, it would be visible. We also used metal materials in various surface finishes and in various forms.

Immediately on entry into the office space visitors will be drawn to the L-shaped, snow-white reception desk. Three materials were used in its production – wood, artificial stone, and perforated sheet metal. This is used as cladding on exposed walls. It gives a relaxed and innovative feel to the space. The company’s blue logo stands out very well from this background. The white wall behind reception is not plasterboard, even if has that appearance. Here again, the perforated metal plays a role, as it does on the semi-translucent partition that separates the welcome area from the relaxation zone and café point.

An inconspicuous giant

The entrance hall includes fitted cupboards that are used by all employees. Storage space for more than two dozen people, it's no small thing, yet you hardly notice it. This is because we used the same wood material on the doors, which effectively renders them invisible. An integral part of this cloakroom is an upholstered bench that visitors can rest on. The upholstered back extends all the way to the ceiling and includes sound-absorbing material. In addition to damping undesired noise, it also looks good. The décor comprises textured bricks laid in an alternating pattern. The constructed sector is enclosed by a modular system of Lockers, in which employees can safely store their belongings under lock and key. It is made of plywood, which gives it a luxury appearance.

Blue goddess

Pacific blue is all the rage this year. It is almost identical to the colour of the company logo. It is reminiscent of the sky and ocean, and it embodies SKF's commitment to a low-carbon world. The blue planet Earth is also personified by the two kitchenettes located in the building. For the lower doors we used blue-painted semi-hard fibre boards. They look great, and are made largely from fibres from coniferous trees. No glue is used during production and they cost less than solid wood. The upper cupboards are made from plywood. This is matched by an upholstered acoustic wall in the same colour. The perforated sheet is not only practical, but also performs a decorative function. The overall design style is thus further enhanced by three circular wall decorations.

Maximum utility

When strengthening the brand, the designers did not allow even a centimetre of space go to waste. As you exit the lift, you can see at first sight that you’re in the right place. On one of the walls a large three-dimensional installation of a bearing is affixed to perforated metal. The vestibule then seamlessly merges with the surrounding company office space.

The bespoke interior was superbly designed by architects from CBRE.

Marek Hodrment
Sales manager Ahrend


I would like to thank our entire team for a well delivered project. Martina Nováková as project manager oversaw the entire project, and Šimon Těžký coordinated and administered everything required. We hope that the entire SKF team will enjoy their new work environment and thank them for their cooperation.

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