Nubank’s New São Paulo Headquarters Is Pretty in Purple


Retrofitting a new modern office into a former warehouse doesn’t come without challenges. Spanning 10,000 square meters with triple-height ceilings at 15 meters tall, the industrial site was spacious but old and didn’t feel like a match for Nubank, a large digital banking platform servicing Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. MM18 Architecture saw the warehouse’s potential though, so the firm, led by architects Marcos Caldeira and Mila Strauss, set out to create a new headquarters that would unite the company’s 1,700 employees across different floors and departments.

A bright purple room featuring grid light patterns on the ceiling and walls, decorated with a green plush toy frog, geometric blocks, and hanging clear bubbles

A notable detail about the complex is its horizontality. The main floor and three customized mezzanines run horizontally for long lengths, so carefully dividing these sections up to create all the necessary spaces for employees to work and relax was a priority. In the completed design, employees and visitors have access to 750 formal workstations, various meeting rooms, shared and individual workspaces, kitchens, dining areas, lounge spaces, collaborative spaces, and a health center.

Spacious modern office with exposed ceiling pipes, colorful cubicles, and a lounge area with benches and a large screen display

Modern indoor cafe with vibrant purple accents, people dining at tables, and exposed ceiling pipes

The Brazilian banking company’s bold purple branding shows up throughout the interior, and thanks to the use of wood and white, it’s not overdone.

Spacious industrial-style cafeteria with purple accents, exposed ductwork on ceiling, and various seating arrangements

The ground floor, which spans over 4,400 square meters, is primarily intended as a public space to welcome guests, encourage interactions, and create connections. The Nu Plaza, which features the Nu Café and plenty of flexible seating, fosters a laid back atmosphere for socializing and impromptu meetings with team members and visitors alike. The DayOne auditorium can accommodate up to 400 people for larger, in-person events and meetings.

Modern auditorium with rows of white chairs facing a stage, surrounded by black walls and colorful acoustic panels under a ceiling with linear lights

Interior of a modern open-air office with purple accents, featuring green plants, seating areas, and a high industrial ceiling

The architecture team kept many existing structures and facilities to reduce waste, which retained the warehouse’s industrial feel. To enhance the aesthetics, tropical greenery such as the philodendron xanadu, snake plant, lady palm, and monstera deliciosa were added, cultivating a sense of well-being within the corporate space. And cascading plants hang from the spiral staircase that connects all the mezzanines while serving as a focal point for the main floor.

Modern industrial-style lobby with exposed ceiling beams and ductwork, featuring a variety of seating and large, leafy plants, bathed in natural light from skylights

Interior view of a modern office building with exposed beams and pipes, featuring a large column, staircases, and hanging green plants

Modern office hallway with purple walls, red bench seating, and green plants. Industrial ceiling with exposed ductwork

On the upper floors, different workspaces are configured to accommodate the various modes of working including workstations, phone booths, conference rooms of different sizes, relaxation spaces, and informal meeting areas. Above, the lighting reinforces the variety of the layout – a curved, winding line delineates the rows of workstations while a straight line marks the series of casual alcoves, whereas circular pendants allude to the casual spaces meant for connection.

Modern office space featuring desks with computers, ergonomic chairs, purple walls, and circular hanging lights

Modern office break area with purple walls, circular lighting fixtures, and a snack bar. Plants and seating tables in the foreground, open ceiling design

With the completion of the Nubank-Spark project, MM18 Architecture meets its goal of creating a diverse headquarters that inspires its employees, fosters collaboration and knowledge exchange, and provides opportunities for real connections amongst directors, partners, and team members.

Modern library room with vibrant purple walls, white shelves filled with books, green carpet, and large window, furnished with bean bags and metal chairs

Modern conference room with rows of black chairs, whiteboard, and a projector on a gray ceiling with exposed HVAC system

Modern conference room with rows of black chairs, some with pink accents, a wheelchair accessible space, and circular lighting fixtures on the ceiling

Facade of a modern white building with a distinctive purple entrance and large glass doors, under a clear blue sky

Cross-sectional architectural rendering of a modern multi-story building with transparent sections showing interior details and birds flying above

Architectural rendering of a modern, multi-level building with exposed steel beams and a glass facade

Isometric view of a multi-level architectural building plan, showing detailed layouts and structural design elements

Photography by Manuel Sá.



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