Mercado Libre: Humanizing the Workplace

Photo by  © Gustavo Sosa Pinilla

Mercado Libre’s headquarters breaks new ground in Argentina as it embodies the spirit of today’s workforce – ambitious, innovative, and diverse. In this generation, GenZ and millenials are seeking out work environments that do not solely prioritize productivity and the bottomline, but equally cultivates professional growth and creativity, while supporting collaboration and personal wellbeing.

In 2019, Mercado Libre, the largest e-commerce company in Latin America, completed its new LEED Platinum office building in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Jointly designed by architectural firms BMA arquitectos, Estudio Elia Irastorza, and Methanoia, their primary goal behind the project was to design a flexible workplace that represents youth and innovation within the company, while inspiring ingenuity.

Photos by © Ioana Menendez

This youthful energy is exhibited in the project’s use of contemporary art, indoor vegetation, state-of-the-art technology, and most notably, its dynamic system of staircases. Expressed either as carved-out wooden tunnels or sculptural pieces, these staircases were conceived as feature elements in the project, assuming the concept of “stairs as a social space.” These “social stairs” were designed to encourage freedom of movement throughout the structure’s different levels, while offering spaces for users to meet spontaneously and to socialize, at times even being used as an auditorium.

Photos by  © Ioana Menendez

Formerly owned by the Phillips Company, the building retains an industrial loft vibe given its exposed concrete structure, punctuated by the introduction of warm wooden elements and the strategic use of biophilia, such as green-walled conference areas and terraced planters. With a combination of informal meeting spaces, relaxed lounge seating and a few isolated work areas, the project is nuanced with opportunities for both collaborative and autonomous work modes. In turn, the design reflects and reinforces Mercado Libre’s creative office culture.

Overall, employees attest to the success of Mercado Libre’s humanized and ultramodern office design, creating a strong precedent for even better workplaces in the future. How would you describe your ideal work environment?

Image from Ideas Mercado Libre


Cover Photo by  © Ioana Menendez

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