Office Customization And Multinational Branding: Competing Forces

All three of the above flexible meeting/cafe spaces were designed for the same client, for whom IA designs spaces spanning three continents. In this fray, office design can play an important role, acting as a bonding agent that brings together several distinct parts. The company has been a patron of Latin arts and architecture since its founding more than 150 years ago in Cuba, with activities that include building a museum in Santiago de Cuba-where its first distillery was located-to commissioning one of the greatest commercial architects, Mies van der Rohe, to design office buildings, to sponsoring musical performances by salsa queen Celia Cruz. In each office, alongside logos of those spirit brands, the team incorporates references to famous local musicians and artists into their designs. An embodiment of this ideal is in Barcelona where the IA design team “Incorporated Gaudí tiles into the bar area of our new office and selected lighting fixtures by a young local firm that were inspired by Joan Miró to reflect the local history and culture”, says Louise Matthews, Bacardi’s vice president of global real estate. It may take a village to fill an office but it can take several countries to design one. Designing for a multinational brings with it some unique challenges.


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