I think we can all agree – Cluj is the best place to be in Romania right now. The city has undergone a noticeable evolution in the past years, and as proof, it became the host of several large festivals in Europe – TIFF, Electric Castle, Untold.
Evolution is the main motif of Cluj nowadays – no matter what part of the city you are looking towards, there are cranes caressing the sky, building sites appearing overnight, massive office buildings that “sprouted” out of nowhere, large companies that come and establish a franchise here. Growth is everywhere. Cluj is expanding at the speed of sound.
However, the center has become overcrowded. Main arteries are clogged at rush hours, parking spaces lacking, office spaces lacking. Since it is a city that’s on fast forward when it comes to development, its evolution cannot be tempered, and solutions have to be found. And fortunately, they are.
In the eastern part of the city, there lies the industrial area, with its remnants of the 20th-century epicenter. Here, bulky buildings, large factories, closed for more than a decade, awaited dormant. Yet, builders and office space owners have seized their potential and unlocked it. They revived them, reinvented and digitalized them, thus giving them a brand new life and purpose, by making them office spaces.
Since Pentalog Cluj kept up with the trends, we also grew. And, we started looking for a new home – not any, but one with history, tradition – one that encapsulated our values.
The quest for a new home
For 8 years, Pentalog Cluj made its nest at Silver Business Center, situated close to the heart of the city, having as backgrounds cranes and glass buildings caressing the sky – a sign of prosperity, indeed. That’s where we stood with our laptops, sipping on coffee, tapping our code, acquiring new clients, starting new projects, hosting PentaBars. Growing.
Yet, after we reached the beautiful number of 120 PentaGuys, who work on several projects based in MedTech, FinTech, tourism and several other industries for clients from countries such as US, UK, France and Germany, and with 2 customers joining us permanently in the upcoming future, we realized that the 770 square meters were not enough to accommodate us anymore.
Our need to expand, to go forward became deeply etched in our subconscious.
Thus we started scrutinizing the horizon for a new home that will accommodate us for years to come.
Walking in our parent’s footsteps: choosing The Paintbrush Factory (Fabrica de Pensule) as Pentalog Cluj’s new home
We transformed ourselves into flâneurs and we strolled the streets of Cluj. We visited several business centers, office spaces. We examined each one of them in-depth – from positioning, square meters, facilities, amenities to the overall feeling. We weren’t very excited.
…we stumbled upon news that said the Paintbrush factory, a symbol of the old Cluj was undergoing renovations. A part of the old building was in process of being reformed into office spaces.
We had to take this chance. We couldn’t miss it. Therefore, we dropped everything and went to visit it.
I don’t know how to explain it to you, the feeling you have when you’re entering in a place where history was made. You see, the Paintbrush Factory (Fabrica de Pensule) from Cluj was the largest one from Romania. Here, from the ‘60s until the mid-90s, were produced some of the finest paintbrushes from Europe, made out of authentic hair, designed for tormented artists who needed the right weapons to produce mass creation. However, after its closing, from 2009, the Paintbrush Factory had a radical change of scenery – it became the place to be for artists.
For years, the Paintbrush Factory (Fabrica de Pensule) has become a major art center, that hosted several exhibitions, organizations, artists and even concerts and theaters. Renowned artists such as Adrian Ghenie created and exhibited there. Unfortunately, in 2017, there was a rupture between the founders – half remained here, while the others made their own art space in another abandoned factory. After this event and the gloomy failure of Cluj in becoming European Cultural Capital, the owners decided it is time for the factory to go through a complete overhaul.
Although the Factory was redesigned to accommodate businesses, they never left the artists without a home. They are still here, on the Paintbrush Factory’s (Fabrica de Pensule) premises, although their exhibition spaces are a bit smaller. Yet, they still host workshops, still exhibit rising artists and still add Cluj on the global map of modern art.
Reinventing and digitalizing our “origins”
Knowing the weight it carries, as a symbol of old and prosperous Cluj and new, modern and artistic Cluj, when we first entered in the renovating factory, we stared in awe. The large windows, metallic doors and visible pipes took our breath. Although everything was changed, from pipes to floors, the owners wanted to keep the central pieces as a tribute to its history.
After close examinations, we decided this is the place where Pentalog Cluj should make a home for the upcoming years. Having natural light, 1200 square meters, and a large terrace, we knew this will be the best place for our growing team. Here, we will have enough space to welcome new colleagues, clients, projects, tackle new challenges, and to organize the upcoming PentaBARs. Moreover, to work on adding Pentalog on the Global map of innovation.
What we can say is this: the Paintbrush Factory (Fabrica de Pensule) encapsulates all of our values – freedom, intuition, imagination, expansiveness, inspiration, stability and wisdom.
However, what’s even more interesting is the idea of returning to work in a factory – although this time our labor will be more intellectual, I find it comical the way history has a tendency to repeat itself. Although, in a more modern and stylish manner.
New place? Checked! Celebration? Double-checked!
Now, now, since we had moved into a new home, it would have been a pity not to celebrate – therefore, we organized a housewarming party.
We invited all IT aficionados, whether juniors or seniors to join us! In the first part of the day, we showed them around, bragged about our new home and achievements and organized something challenging for their agile minds.
Then, in the evening, Cornel Fătulescu, Head of CTOs at Pentalog, joined us and he hosted the latest PentaBAR, where the main theme was “Dress for the Code You Want, but First Undress Them All – Tech Trends of the Future”.
Do you like our new Pentalog Cluj office? Join our team and you will have a chance to enjoy it every day!