Walking into the bright, airy offices of XCaliber Technologies Limited within the penthouse at Spinola Park, you’re immediately hit with a good sense of the company, and the team that works here. XCaliber, as Technical Compliance Officer Keith Goodlip tells me, is a fast-growing business-to-business company operating within the gaming market. Since Keith joined four years ago, it has gone from 25 people in two offices to 80 employees across offices in Malta, Poland, and soon, Portugal.
With their office rapidly getting too small, it was decided to relocate to a larger space, and to rope in Miko Design, an interior design company which had already been entrusted with the design of the previous offices. The result is a fantastic space comprising a kitchen and dining area, a lounge area which doubles up as an open meeting room, reception area, various meeting rooms, board room, private offices and a main open-plan office area.
The process started with the brand’s identity, which was crafted by Miko’s sister company, Switch – Digital & Brand. “The first job was establishing the brand. It was then in our hands to take that identity, own it and translate it into an interior design extension,” explains Simon Debono, Partner and Head of Project Management at Miko.
In this sense, the brief was twofold: with XCaliber looking to grow further, the new offices needed to firstly accommodate a growing team, while taking the brand identity and translating it into the new space. “We were looking for the most practical use of the space,” smiles Keith, “with plenty of meeting rooms, as we never seem to have enough!” The team at Miko did this by creating a balance between the offices’ practical use and recreational side, also laying the foundations for more desks beneath several areas of raised flooring.
Michael Azzopardi, Partner and Head of Design at Miko, explains that XCaliber’s initial office in Sliema was used as a base, with a number of elements including timber flooring applied, in keeping with the original design. It was then all about evolution, and the introduction of additional elements to the identity within the larger space. “We branded all the meeting rooms with a related set of names and icons (including Guild, Armoury, and Vault), as well as a colour reference. Other than that, it’s a very clean aesthetic with the introduction of additional colour through customised wall art, which we commissioned,” he says.
Speaking of the process behind the wall art, which comes in the form of two murals, Simon explains, “we went to White Rocks and created a photo documentary of the wall art there, which is very impressive. Mike identified a particular artist which we liked from the Basque region in Spain, and we got in touch with him to collaborate. XCaliber loved the idea, so we flew him down to Malta for a week, where he created the original art based on our brief on a variety of canvases we had prepared in advance.”
“The first one features three knights which represent three different technologies – each of which is represented within an element on the knight. The other massive artwork, which stretches across seven metres, features a three-headed dragon, which represents a virus, or an attack, and the XCaliber king, who is there to defend the fort,” continues Simon.
“We also wanted to add a local touch through the inclusion of the Mdina skyline in the background,” Mike adds. And the decisions to use canvases rather than painting directly on the wall was also a considered one: “for the client not to lose the art should they decide to move offices.”
Apart from the incredible artwork, standout elements and materials within the XCaliber offices include rubberised timber flooring, which makes it durable and quiet, as well as a lot of glazing and open spaces. “We don’t really like closed offices, though these are sometimes needed, and we included these too as necessary. We also added an acoustic treatment to these areas,” Mike affirms.
The process of putting the offices together took three months, from when Miko were handed the keys in November, to delivery in February this year, but apart from this intense period, the process required a great deal of forward planning, in order to make it work within the timeframe. “Three months is not a long time, but it is amazing what you can achieve when you have a good team of people, starting from an amazing client and great subcontractors, who pulled the same rope. We were pleased that everything fell into place without any major hassles,” Simon says proudly.
Asked to describe the final design, Mike considers it a cross between a minimal look and a Scandinavian aesthetic – certainly an incredibly contemporary space. Industrial elements are also brought in through the bare-slab ceiling with steel conduits and suspended panel lights, which the pair explain was a deviation from the original plan. “The ceiling was actually one of the first things we noticed when we first walked in, when the place was in shell form. We loved the finish of the slab – it was very clean and we thought it looked great. Initially, we were thinking of spraying it, but that changed our minds,” he recalls.
The various spaces within the office also have a number of interesting, multi-functional elements – from a designated area for a fold-up table tennis table tucked away between the reception and kitchen, through to the glass framing the atrium, which doubles up as a white board – all elements that Keith and the rest of the team at XCaliber value greatly. “The offices met and exceeded our expectations,” he says, adding, “as a foodie, the kitchen is my own personal favourite area!”
“What we like to promise and deliver to our clients is a completely finished space that is ready to move into, including a fully-stocked fridge, so people can just walk in and start working,” Simon concludes. “The client has already grown to such an extent that the CEO has already approached us to begin working on a further space for the company.” So watch this space, it certainly isn’t the last we’ve seen from this dream team.
This article originally appeared in iGaming Capital