Offices

Offices

December 7 2009

Maurice Mentjens Design, based in Holtum, the Netherlands, continues to delight and draw attention with its imaginative work. We have featured a couple of their store projects here and here, but this time, we are fascinated by the studio/office/production facility they designed for PostPanic.


 
PostPanic is a creative design and animation studio, but it is also a production company that animates, produces and directs its creations in-house. PostPanic produces mainly commercial projects for the international advertising, retail, broadcast and music industries. Clients include Nike, MTV and Coca-Cola.

When PostPanic decided to move to a new large facility located in Westerdoksdijk, a new high-density  district in Amsterdam, it commissioned Mentjens to come up with interiors that would accommodate the various production and design teams, and also be flexible enough to suit a staff whose numbers can fluctuate from 14 to 40 depending on the workload.


 
Mentjens used the distance between the massive concrete columns as the defining theme of the space’s other dimensions. The production room, meeting room and staff room are all as wide as the distance between two columns, and the studio on the mezzanine level is two spans wide.


 
The overall feel of the space conjures up thoughts of a retro space-age station, or perhaps a secret-agent facility for a very important mission. There is a sense of industrious, “we mean business” attitude in the entire facility with delightful touches of color and fun treatments — sky-blue ceiling, red-and-gold paisley wall — to lighten up the gravity. We especially love the pod-like boardroom that resembles an interrogation chamber on a space ship headed to somewhere far, far away. - Tuija Seipell

Offices

December 4 2009

This sleek and shiny new building is the Technology Center Medical Science (Das Science Center Medizintechnik), located in central Berlin between Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburg Gate.


 
If you feel that the building, designed by Gnädinger Architects, looks somewhat sterile and synthetic, the architects and owners would not feel offended. The building has two main functions — it is a corporate facility and a science center — but both have to do with human mobility, specifically walking and grasping, and bionics (technology modeled on nature).


 
The clinical feel and sweeping forms are what makes this such a cool complex. The façade is designed to resemble the structure of muscle fibers. If you visit the Science Centre within, you will learn all about it and will never look at this building the same way again.
 
The building owner is Otto Bock Healthcare GmbH, one of the world’s oldest and largest companies designing, manufacturing and selling prostheses and orthopedic products. It was founded in 1919 by Otto Bock to meet the needs of war veterans. The top three floors of the new building are taken up by the company and its training and demonstration facilities.


 
The three lower floors house the Science Center and its three exhibitions: The Fascination of Walking and Grasping, Nature as our Guide, and Technology for People. To design the exhibitions, Otto Bock commissioned Berlin-based ART+COM, that has designed events for the BMW Museum and many retail clients. - Tuija Seipell

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Offices

November 14 2009

The work coming out of the talented team at OFIS Arhitekti of Ljubljana is consistently elegant and graceful, with a refreshing honesty and clarity. Many of their buildings exude a peaceful balance of curves that are never frivolous, sharp angles that are never harsh, and materials that are earnest and timeless.


 
Another recent example is their entry in the international competition to design the Ljubljana City Administration Center. OFIS’s suggestion came third in the competition that posed a considerable challenge of having to juggle the new buildings among existing, protected buildings and existing underground facilities as well. The total area of new buildings for the project is 42.288m2.


 
OFIS’s proposal is a series of rounded, low-rise glass-facade buildings that are modern yet toned-down and beautiful yet soberly sensible. All of the buildings in the entry convey a graceful sense of openness and appear welcoming and unstuffy — in stark contrast to the clunky, traditional “government office” style buildings so prevalent in Eastern European cities.

The proposal also meets lofty goals in terms of minimizing operational costs and maximizing sustainable practices — from optimizing indoor air, light and acoustic qualities, and using healthy and local materials, to minimizing the consumption of energy and water.

Project leaders for the entry were Rok Oman and Spela Videčnik, the two 39-year-old architects who established OFIS in 1998. They are both graduates of the Ljubljana School of Architecture and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. - Tuija Seipell

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Offices

July 3 2009

Patrick Tighe, principal of Santa Monica’s Tighe Architecture, may hate space-age references. But, here we go: Tighe’s work for Moving Picture Company’s (MPC) Los Angeles office IS space-agey. With its pod-like central spaces, curving ledges and white drywall expanses, it evokes memories of retro space movies.

But it all fits. The U.K-based MPC is in the business of computer animation, color-grading and digital effects, so you wouldn’t want color, hard edges or natural light to mess with that. MPC is known for its work on the past six James Bond films, Slumdog Millionaire and commercials.



In turn, Tighe’s residential and commercial work is characterized by roofs shooting out at angles, curves sweeping, horizontal planes slanting. Your eye follows these lines easily and accepts the direction. A goal that MPC is most likely familiar as well. - Tuija Seipell

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Offices

June 2 2009

While most of us must accept sitting just AT our regular desks, the creatives at Hamburg’s Syzygy agency  get to sit IN their swanky, new desks. Thinking up ads and interactive campaigns for clients such as Chanel, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda and Fujitsu, will most likely go a whole lot smoother when your workplace is custom-designed for you.
 
The office of Syzygy Hamburg (they also have offices in London and Frankfurt) was created by Christoph Roselius and Julian Hillenkamp, the two founders of eins:eins architecten in Hamburg.


 
The sleek, white bullpens are not as inflexible as they may seem. On the contrary — the various configurations are endless, but the desks always join together and form a whole. This allows for close cooperation and reinforces the feeling of everyone being in the same boat. The flexible desks also make it possible to turn tight and tough-to-utilize spaces into productive working environments.


 
Syzygy’s staff is lucky in other ways, too. Their cool office is located in the central part of Hamburg, near the city hall, the Binnenalster artificial lake, and the upscale shopping promenades of Jungfernstieg and Neuer Wall. Seems unfair, doesn’t it? -Tuija Seipell

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Offices

April 2 2009



Sometimes you come across an environment that really lets the merchandise or content (such as people, merchandise or furnishings) stand out. This 2,000 square-meter jewelry-case – the head office of the venerable fashion house Escada in Munich, Germany – is a luxurious example of this.

Completed in late 2008, the location hosts the international fashion media and buyers who gather here to view the latest Escada collection each season. The three dominant areas – entry court, lobby and interior courtyard – are separated by transparent facades. This creates a visually stunning, 75 meter-long runway that flows right through the center of the entire building.



Escada commissioned the Parisian architecture studio Carbondale of Michigan-born Eric Carlson to design the architectural public face of its head office, including the entry façade, entry court, interior courtyard, lobby and furniture.


 
Carlson graduated from Kansas State University School of Architecture in 1986. Before co-founding the Louis Vuitton Architecture Department in 1997, he worked in the offices of Mark Mack, Oscar Tusquets and Rem Koolhaas, He established Carbondale in Paris in 2004. Carlson is known for his work with luxury brands including the Louis Vuitton buildings in Roppongi, Tokyo, the LV Maison in Paris, the 360° Watch Museum and the corporate headquarters of Tag Heuer in Switzerland. - Tuija Seipell



Photographs by Jimmy Cohrssen


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Offices

March 30 2009



Giorgio Borruso Design of Marina Del Rey, California, designed the new airy and fluid headquarters for Milano’s Fornari SpA (Fornari Group).
 
Located in the Navigli section of Milan, the 35,000 square-foot building was converted from the historic porcelain workshop of the centuries-old Richard Ginori brand.


 
The Fornari family’s road to fashion fame started in the mid 1940s from footwear manufacturing. It entered the fashion apparel business in 1998 and has since flourished in other fashion, design and lifestyle brands, including the Fornarina fashion concept stores across Europe and the U.S.
 
The main entrance of the headquarters on Via Morimondo opens to a space lit by color-changing LED lights that seems to suck the visitor gently into the reception area. The open space is flexible, airy and fluid with rounded corners, curved edges, transparent partitions and unexpected waves of color. The hard and exposed concrete floors and steel structure contrast beautifully with the wavy feel of the new walls, partitions and staircase.


 
There is also a slight, vertigo-inducing sense of controlled imbalance, of not being completely sure what is floor, what is ceiling and what is wall. This was the intention of Giorgio Borruso designers describing the result as “Giving the illusion that there is no gravitational force; that you can walk on any surface; you can rotate the system ninety degrees, and it still works.”
 
The Italian architect and designer Giorgio Borruso is known for experimenting with and testing the boundaries of form, shape and structure throughout his career. He has won awards for product design, retail design, architecture and interior design. His famous retail work includes the tortellini-shaped shoe fixtures for Fornarina and the cocoon-like fitting rooms for Miss Sixty. - Tuija Seipell



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Offices

March 13 2009



Ogilvy & Mather’s Guangzhou office has been selected as one of the recipients of the third annual China's Most Successful Design Award 2008, sponsored by FORTUNE China magazine and China Bridge International.
 
Designed by M Moser and Associates, Ogilvy & Mather’s office is the first interior design project to receive this award. Aiming to offer its current and future staff an environment that inspires creativity Ogilvy & Mather allowed M Moser to go all out with the theme “Carnival of Ideas.”


 
The height of the space and the central staircase create a background for a theme park of environments that flow freely and openly from one to another.
 
This is Ogilvy & Mather’s expanded office, relocated from the business hub of Guangzhou to the edgier arts and culture region in the city-fringe, with views across the Pearl River toward the historical Sha Mian district.
 
Michael Lee, Ogilvy’s Shanghai & Southern China COO, was quoted as saying that although the commute time has doubled for many staffers, they still love coming to work because the new environment is so much fun.


 
In a media release, M Moser Associates’ director Wendy Leung is quoted as saying that although seeing the workplace as a strategic tool to support business goals is a new concept in China, it is gaining recognition as a serious trend.
 
In operation since 1981, M Moser has offices in 11 countries, specializing in workplace environments including design, strategic planning, engineering and construction.


 
The 25 winners of China's Most Successful Design Award 2008 include cars, other products, and retail and office spaces. - Tuija Seipell

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Offices

February 11 2009



Atelier Exquise is a showroom, design studio, kitchen and a small apartment for Exquise Design in Paris. Exquise is a team of three female designers focusing on designing contemporary lovetoys.

The new space is a meeting place for creatives where they can cook both ideas and food. Designed by Stockholm-based Electric Dreams, the space starts with white walls, ceiling and floor. To this simple backdrop, spurts of electric and luminous pinks, blues, purples, greens and yellow, add a feel of lightness and delight.



Electric Dreams is an architecture and design studio established in 2006 by product designer Joel Degermark and architect Catharina Franklander. Their design work ranges from cool and sleek retail interiors to lush and crazy installations. Degermark’s Cluster lamp for Moooi and the team’s fantastic, multiple concepts for the Swedish brand Monki — purchased in 2006 by H&M — are examples of the duo’s many talents. - Tuija Seipell



Offices

November 19 2008




When the investment group All Capital wanted a power space for their high-powered meetings in Amsterdam, they engaged two local creative firms that had the right vision. Architectural office Eckhardt en Leeuwenstein created the meeting and lounge areas that are prestigious and opulent without being pretentious or stuffy.

Themed around the playful concept of being under a spotlight, the spaces feature gigantic, round, black lamp shades spray-painted gold inside. These power lights appear to cast spot lights and create shadows everywhere in the space. The fake ovals of light and shadow on the floor, walls and furnishings are created by altering the colors and textures of the finish.



The golden ovals also define specific areas and soften the angles of the black-stained ash wood desks and cabinets. In addition, the gold and silver ovals scattered about can be interpreted as coins - highlighting the business of the client. All existing ornamentation and detail of the building was painted white.
 
The All Capital boardrooms and lounge opened last month in the historic, 17th-century building, De Gouden Bocht located by one of the most famous canals of Amsterdam, the Herengracht (=Gentlemen`s Canal).



i29 was established in 2001 by Jaspar Jensen and Jeroen Dellensen. Their style is characterized by a dramatic absence of extras or gimmicks, and by frequent use of clear blocks of color and lots of white. Their projects, mainly in Amsterdam, include schools, retail shops, restaurants, hotels and private residences.
 
Architect duo Rob Eckhardt and Goos Leeuwenstein has a long history of distinctive projects from public spaces to restaurants, entertainment venues and residences. They've created offices for Publicis, DDB and Eigen Fabrikaat, film studios for Jurriaan Eindhoven, and interiors for Restaurant Bordewijk. Eckhardt became known early in his career as a furniture designer with the disco stool Dolores as his first success in the early 1980s. He even operated a retail store that sold his furniture, including the 1983 Groeten uit Holland chair and the 1982 Karel Doorman chaise lounge. - Tuija Seipell