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Small Car in Big Office

Small Car in Big Office

Izabela Wasilewska-Purczyńska Izabela Wasilewska-Purczyńska

There are pro­jects that you do not for­get for many years. There are those that you prefer to put out of your mind. Yet there are also those to which we recall with a big smile. One of them was the nearly 3‑year pro­ject for Codelab’s new HQ office. Before we made this move, when the build­ing still did not have all its win­dows, an unusu­al object appeared above the Szcze­cin sky.

But before we tell the story of our small car, it’s worth men­tion­ing what the big office is all about. In keep­ing with the Codelab spir­it, we arranged our own “home” with a demo­crat­ic com­prom­ise, hav­ing many dis­cus­sions between archi­tects and sev­er­al employ­ee rep­res­ent­at­ives. How­ever, one top­ic fired our ima­gin­a­tion, and we quickly agreed — we must have it. Yes, abso­lutely! But let’s start from the beginning.

One of first visu­al­iz­a­tions have already activ­ated our imagination

The story begins with a photo of a small, white, retro Fiat 500 Ber­lina from 1970. The long jour­ney from the middle of Poland (Pio­trkow Try­bunal­ski) to our recep­tion took a lot of time, count­less sleep­less nights, and mul­tiple nego­ti­ations. To finally make me proud.

Fiat 500 from 1970 is even smal­ler than Fiat 500 from 2020. Des­pite the age, the car was fully func­tion­al. Still, the risk of driv­ing it to Szcze­cin (around 600km) in the middle of winter was just too sig­ni­fic­ant. So we have decided to send a tow truck to bring us our Fiat.

After the car has arrived, it appeared to us that hav­ing a car as a part of the office interi­or might not be as easy as we thought. Pol­ish law does not define how to treat the vehicle inside the build­ing. Can it be treated as fur­niture? Or should it have val­id motor insur­ance and reg­u­lar tech­nic­al reviews (as the cars on the street are required)? The secur­ity aspect does not allow a vehicle con­tain­ing vehicle liquids (e.g., oil, brake flu­id, pet­rol, etc.) inside the build­ing. For­tu­nately, some­how, we man­aged to jump these hoops.

When we were ready with all the “paper­work” (from a law and build­ing secur­ity per­spect­ive), a new prob­lem showed up. How does one put a car on the 4th floor of the office build­ing? Cut­ting our Fiat 500 into pieces was not an option, and even though it is a small car, it is still too big for a mod­ern elev­at­or. Good, that my motto is: “if the doors are closed, use the window ;).”

The solu­tion to our prob­lem was a “fly­ing car,” of course (you could observe the “flight” on the nation­wide TVN24 news chan­nel). You prob­ably won­der how we could make the car land softly on the earth, as it had to be lif­ted 38 meters high. Well, we used a 60-meter crane and a lot of pil­lows (no, really). And the crane lif­ted our Fiat 500 and put it through the office window.

Even the best thrill­er would not be ashamed of such emotions 🙂

Suc­cess, right? Yes, but it’s not the end of the story. After safely put­ting our small car on the 4th floor, we still had nearly a year before mov­ing to this new office. And that meant the office was just con­crete; there were no win­dows, no doors, no tech­nic­al floors — just a dirty con­struc­tion site and a lot of work ahead of us. That’s why we had to cov­er our car with many quilts and blankets (for safety and warmth). And we also had to con­sider our car dur­ing con­struc­tion work (e.g., when the con­struc­tion team laid the tech­nic­al floor­ing, car­pets, etc.).

At the end of the story, I can­not for­get about an essen­tial aspect of one’s occu­pa­tion – fun at work :). And as I found out, also con­tract­ors from Pose­j­don have a great sense of humor. When our Fiat finally stood on the new car­pet, they put a fake oil stain under the car. A few people almost had a heart attack after pho­tos with oil stain had been seen by the Pose­j­don and Codelab man­age­ment teams. 

Speak­ing Hal­loween-ish, “trick or treat” ;).

Ps. I am sure that you are curi­ous what the whole of this amaz­ing office looks like? Before we can invite you for a cof­fee, check out these few pho­tos — we miss our office a lot 🙁 🙁 🙁 Maybe you would like to work there with us someday?