April 26, 2018

All our living spaces, offices and housing are affected by a profound functional shift

By Valérie Britay, Executive Director of Office Division and Franck Lirzin, Executive Director of Residential Division.

Digital offers greater flexibility between the different parts of our lives. Gecina takes into account this profound functional shift by designing its range of living and work spaces in a comprehensive, integrated manner. 

The digital revolution has blurred the borders between our professional, family and private lives. Today, we are living a continuum between where and when we work and live. Consequently, when our customers move from one space to another – from their homes to their workplace, gym, canteen, coworking space or parking lot – they expect to find the same high-quality service, the same tools and the same level of well-being and connectivity. Gecina is specialized in living spaces. We build housing for individuals and students, offices and coworking spaces. We are therefore completely in step with these changes and satisfy this demand by building a highly coherent offer so that everyone is able to live a seamless experience with genuinely diverse functions in the heart of the city.

Creating ever more value

For example, on top of traditional office space, businesses today need places that increase well-being and encourage employees to show initiative. For our business customers, we have created Secondesk, a coworking solution already operational in Neuilly-sur-Seine and la Défense. There, in a space run by the Welcome Managers, we have brought together closed offices, connected, fully equipped creative rooms, leisure areas and coworking spaces.

Another example is that of connectivity, which our customers expect and identify almost as an essential requirement when choosing a place to move into. In 2017, one of our buildings, the 55 Amsterdam, was awarded the WiredScore label. Also, through a partnership with WiredScore, last year we began assessing the connectivity of 20 buildings in our portfolio (15 under development and 5 in operation). In the long term, we would like to extend this assessment program to all our office buildings, so as to enable us to give users precise, reliable information about the current and potential level of connectivity of our buildings. 

Housing as a service

Providing efficient places to work is great, but it isn't enough. Living close by, surrounded by urban life rather than in a far-off commuter town, is also a genuine desire of people from the younger generations who are today reinventing city centers. This is why Gecina has decided to substantially revitalize its housing business by creating a specific business unit for the segment, built around the idea that rented housing can today move toward a value added service industry. Similar to the way people are less and less inclined to take on the upkeep of their cars, opting instead for leasing contracts, the rental customers of tomorrow are looking for “turnkey” housing solutions, where they don’t have to worry about looking after everyday issues. We start designing housing by imagining new functions to ensure that our customers feel at home right from the moment they step through the door.

We have already implemented this approach in our Campuséa student residences, where we have put in place a genuine reception process, in particular for foreign students, that offers everything they require to move in and make friends. We have also developed communal areas where they can relax, meet people, play sports, and even cowork, like in our latest residence, Rose de Cherbourg in la Défense built by Jean Nouvel. 

Everyone is able to live and work in the way they choose, in a city that promotes diversity and flexibility!

Source: Linkedin

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