Beautiful Workplace Design

GoCstudio re-imagines a century-old Seattle building to house digital product company

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US architecture firm GoCstudio has created an open office for a growing tech company that features original brick and timber elements, along with new enclosures made of ebony-stained plywood.

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The office is located within the upper floor of a 100-year-old building in Seattle‘s Capitol Hill district. Encompassing 14,000 square feet, the space serves as a second office for Substantial, a digital product studio.

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The company had occupied a portion of the floor since 2013, and decided to take over the full story when its neighboring tenant moved out. Local firm GoCstudio was charged with overhauling the entire floor, to read as one unified space.

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The challenge was to create a cohesive open-plan workspace which retained the feel of the original Substantial space and would maximize the existing character of the building – exposed brick walls, old-growth Douglas Fir beams and roof decking, and the beautiful warehouse-style window walls.

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The architects worked closely with the client to understand day-to-day operations, as well as the company’s love of hosting parties. Their research led to the conception of the office’s signature element: The Forum, an assembly area for social and business activities.

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A large aspect of Substantial’s working practice is the hosting of public and private events thus creating a large social space that could be multifunctional was an important factor in the design of the expansion.

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The social space was situated near the entry staircase and looks toward a large reception desk faced with a steel door from the old office. The room is illuminated by a large skylight.

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In the kitchen, the team installed two bars made of cross-laminated timber planks, along with several black dining tables with colorful chairs. Employees can be found working here throughout the day.

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Surrounding The Forum are conference rooms, with walls made of black-stained plywood and large panes of glass. Additional enclosures were inserted on the north side of the floor. A large portion of the office is given over to open areas with versatile workstations.

The space is filled with natural light, thanks to large floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides of the building. For the first time in many years, views are opened up through the building, from east to west.

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Other projects by GoCstudio include a low-lying winery that blends with Washington’s natural terrain, and a floating wooden sauna that can accommodate up to six people.
Project credits:
Architect: GoCstudio (Jon Gentry, Aimée O’Carroll)
Builder: Montlake Associates
Lighting Designer: KMJ Design, Kathy Justin
Owner: Substantial
Photography: by Kevin Scott
Read more 

 

Beautiful Hotel Interiors

Located in a brutalist former bank headquarters in Stockholm, Universal Design Studio’s latest project, the At Six hotel, is home to one of Europe’s most significant hotel art collections. The London-based studio carried out a complete interior renovation to create the 343-room luxury hotel in the Swedish capital’s Brunkebergstorg Square, and also designed a new entrance. The scheme includes 10 floors of guest rooms, a penthouse suite, a 100-cover restaurant, a wine bar, cocktail bar, a 2,000-square-metre events and flexible work space, and Scandinavia’s first slow listening lounge.

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The art collection is curated by Sune Nordgren, formerly of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

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The gorgeous monochrome interior contrasts shades of warm grey and highly textured natural materials with soft furnishings and classic furniture. The aim was to reinterpret the brutalist aesthetic of the building and the immediate architectural landscape of Brunkebergstorg Square. “A palette of sawn stone, blackened steel, fine timber and polished granite lends a sense of permanence and authenticity to the new interior,” explained Universal Design Studio.

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“Moving away from the uncompromising and unforgiving aesthetic characteristics often associated with the brutalism – the brief was to create a desirable, fashionable destination,” said the team. “Design is focused on humanising the architecture, bringing a sense of desirability and luxury to a brutalist building not often associated with these traits, turning the hotel into a contemporary version of a metropolitan grand hotel.”

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Pieces of contemporary and classic furniture are complemented by specially commissioned pieces created by local makers and established Scandinavian designers. Custom lighting by Rubn is installed in each guest room, and local glassmaker Carina Seth Anderson has created a series of sculptural, hand-blown glass vessels for the lobby as well as tabletop pieces for each dining table in the restaurant.

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The handrail of the grand white granite staircase in the hotel’s lobby was wrapped in leather by a local saddle maker, while a communal table in the wine bar was carved by local artist Lies-Marie Hoffman from a single Swedish elm trunk. Bedrooms feature timber wall panelling and marble credenzas that run the full length of the room. The hotel is one of four 1970s buildings that occupy Stockholm’s Brunkebergstorg Square. The buildings were built during a government initiative that aimed to replace much of the city centre’s belle époque grandeur with brutal modernity.

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Although the high-rise building was originally designed by Swedish architects Boijsen & Efervgren as a hotel, it ended up functioning as the headquarters of Swedbank, never fulfilling its intended purpose. Now owned and operated by Petter Stordalen of Nordic Hotels & Resorts, the hotel is at the centre of a wider regeneration programme that aims to transform Brunkebergstorg Square into a social hub within the city.

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Beautiful Interior Architecture

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Indigo Slam, designed by Smart Studio, was completed earlier this year and observing this extraordinary sculptural concrete building from the outside is evidence enough that something very special lies within. There are simply no words to describe the impact of this extraordinary house. There is a distinct calming sense that happens here as if entering a luxury spa, whereby you are instantly transported into a different world. The space compresses as a low and narrow corridor, before suddenly opening into a spectacular stair hall. Let’s just say it’s epicness of the central void – the soaring ceiling, the majestic staircase, the sheer scale of… well, everything really, balanced so beautifully with a highly restrained approach to materials and detailing with a monastic quality.

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Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-06 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-07 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-08 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-09 Indigo-Slam-Smart-Design-Studio-Yellowtrace-10 Taking it’s name from a crime novel, Indigo Slam transforms a former Simona warehouse site in Chippendale into an inspiring residence for Australia’s most prominent art collector and philanthropist, Judith Neilson. The Client’s brief called for something extraordinary – a piece of sculpture to be lived in. The team established a unique language of cutting, folding and stitching together for designing the building skin – something once flat becomes three dimensional and something once blank creates and enfolds space. This language is carried throughout each aspect of the design – from the concrete facades, to how the marble in the kitchen is sculpted and shaped, light switch or tap installed, to the planes and curves of the vaulted ceilings. The sculpted concrete facades of Indigo Slam are alive to the changes brought by light, shade, sun and cloud, providing the new urban park across the road with a lively backdrop to public life. The serene living spaces and monumental halls within create a dynamic spatial interplay of spare interiors in which the main decorative element is light.

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The brief was for Indigo Slam to last 100 years. Materials are selected to wear and endure, with each fitting designed or selected to continue the language of overall design concept, occasionally adding a small element of surprise to the finely grained interior.

P.S. If you are so inclined, you can read a fantastic article titled ‘Designed From The Inside Out’: a conversation between William Smart and Heidi Dokulil, giving further insight into this fascinating project.

Images and drawings courtesy of Smart Design Studio and INSIDE World Festival of Interiors 2016. Photography by Sharrin Rees

Source: http://www.yellowtrace.com.au/indigo-slam-smart-design-studio/