Offices & Stores
Imagine sliding into work? Literally. Well that’s what Microsoft employees at the company’s new Vienna headquarters are encouraged to do. Designed by Innocad, an Austrian architect firm who won the bid for this ambitious project encompassing over 48,000 square feet, the offices boast three sensational stories of fresh, ultra-modern office, conference and client spaces. And, of course, the multi-level, indoor slide.
Striped vinyl floors create a rush of linear movement which playfully penetrates hallways leading to all work/meeting/social areas. The brushed stainless slide connects two floors, generating a virtual dynamic which an ordinary staircase may not have accomplished. The landing area pops with dimensional seating cubes in neon yellow and grey. During a tough work day who wouldn’t want to take a whimsical whirl down a slide to regroup?
The lobby greets with a minimalist and somewhat “techie” approach. An elongated white reception desk sits in front of an entire back-lit wall depicting a an x-ray of a computer’s internal board. The remainder of the spaces, however, are seemingly centered around an organic theme of water and earth. Lighting throughout is both direct and indirect with a bevy of pendant, recessed, floor and table designs creating a comfortable ambiance. Furnishings are concepts of minimalism which fit well in this futuristic environment.
One particular conference room feels as if you’ve splashed into the ocean blue with waves and an abstract white coral motif on walls, white contemporary furnishings to match and an actual built-in aquarium. Another meeting room is clad in rustic, knotty timber walls, floors and ceiling, with a leather club chair and animal-skin rug contributing the hunting lodge vibe. One particular item of note, in my opinion, is how these spaces are uniquely imaginative without being tacky or kitschy as various competitors’ offices can be.
Live green walls featuring lush verdant greens span from the lobby down hallways adjacent to various seating ensembles, encouraging work in a refreshing atmosphere.
A kitchen is bathed in bright lime green walls offset by high-gloss white floors and mod white dining tables and chairs which rest upon a carpet of artificial grass. I particularly admire how the varied themes enable employees to select where they choose to work most productively, according to mood.
The Microsoft – Vienna workplace possesses a stimulating, ultra-modern design which makes for happy employees, thus a successful company. (via)
Posted by Suzanne at 22 May, 2013
Talk about a full circle–architectural and commercial design firm Studio BA created the modern offices of Autodesk R&D in Tel Aviv, a software development company specializing in 3D design, engineering and entertainment.
Following the trend of ultra-hip office spaces, Autodesk’s innovative floorplan (converted from a former warehouse) is a multi-level environ presenting 3D-style offices, meeting rooms, dining area, as well as relaxation and fun lounges. (What inventive company of today wouldn’t have a video game room?)
Colored glass, steel, woods, as well as soft textiles manage to wow alongside unexpected presentations of angular walls and volumes. Original ceilings and support beams were restored and left exposed, creating a cool juxtaposition to the otherwise contemporary interiors of black, yellow, blue and grey. One particularly bold design aspect is how the light–both natural and fluorescent–penetrates the various glass walls of the offices and meeting rooms, casting colorful, glowing splashes across the spaces. How invigorating!
Literally the central hub of this vast space (approximately 5,380 square feet) is the raised platform of wooden bleacher seating and steps which offers sweeping views of the entire office. Underneath, a glazed yellow meeting space exists, while the “terrace” is selectively strewn with seating pods and mini stools, making it ideal for relaxation and socialization.
Individual workspaces are divided by low-bearing partition walls allowing for both privacy and interaction among the developers. Along the finished concrete floors, clever measurement coordinates simulate architectural and engineering software, adding yet another stand-out design detail to this modern office space.
Playing off of Autodesk’s 3D expertise, the designers implemented other genius elements to create interest. For example, the kitchen’s orange table is structural in bent steel creating a flexible, two-level dining space at either the mid-century modern chairs or raised metal stools. Another portrayal is the telephone nook in one of the offices which features a dimensional wall decal depicting an oversize armchair, flanked by actual bright lime-yellow cushions and pillows. Love this optical illusion!
With imaginative design, the Autodesk R&D offices are undoubtedly an inspirational, vibrant workplace nurturing progressive ideas–by designers for designers. (via)
Photography by Elan Nachum and Yuval Hai.
Posted by Suzanne at 21 May, 2013
An avant-garde branding studio in São Paulo, Brazil, School/SS99 is a concept initially inspired by the late and great Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 1999 collection, which according to this firm was “a fashion brand mixed with technology, brand experience and art direction.”
The creative offices employ five people and are drenched in black, gold and white designer accents. Characteristic touches such as black skulls and lighted candelabras add decidedly gothic touches which are unexpected and most-inspiring.
Posted by Suzanne at 17 May, 2013
An elegant and fresh approach to fragrance retailing, Liquides, a modern perfume bar in the artistic and hip area of the Marais, Paris was envisioned by David Frossard, founder of the Différentes Latitudes perfume label and designer Philippe de Méo. Set in a city historically known for its refined passion for perfume, this concept-store offers both rare and customized fragrance experiences.
Liquides is dressed in a striking black facade with glazed front door and paneless street-facing window. Refined gold lettering portraying the store’s name rests above the doorway. Once inside this intimate shop, smooth finished concrete floors give way to the minimalist perfume bar, clad in sophisticated black paneling with brushed gold metal frames and countertop. Behind the bar, the apothecary-like display of illuminated glass and mirrored shelving features beautiful bottles of various sizes and shapes. Labels from the most-distinguished perfume houses include Bryredo, Miller Harris, Odin, Frapin, Jardin de France, Arquiste and Olfactive Studio. Above this chic testing and mixing unit, the ceiling features a mirrored and golden metal grid which creates a pour of glimmery light into the space.
Modular black bench window-seating pops with contemporary yellow cushions, which portray a bold contrast to the original rustic wood beams of the interior. Adjacent shelving exhibits the highly-regarded original scent collection by Philippe de Méo, Les Liquides Imaginaires. The glass bottle designs are sultry and exquisite, and entice with names of “Sancti”, “Fortis” and “Tumultu” inspired by ritualistic incense burning and symbolic of Christianity, Islam, Kabbalah and Paganism.
The Liquides perfume bar is unique with a simplistic beauty and modern retail design that is certain to cater to the visual sense as much as olfactory. (via)
photos © Liquides, Paris.
Posted by Suzanne at 15 May, 2013
Fashion-forward footwear retailer Marcha Ballerina hired Israeli design firm Bilgoray + Pozner to create a kiosk-type storefront for their specialty shoe brand. Located within malls, these modern “stores” were inspired by the outdoor markets of Paris, evoking a unique and somewhat whimsical shopping experience for the customer.
Known for their iconic ballerina flat, Marcha’s shoes are displayed in painted wooden crates as one may see in vegetable and fruit stands. One main shelf showcases the slippers in a colored spectrum. The footwear inventory of 24 different hues is neatly arranged and labeled among two-tiers of white crates, allowing for ease when selecting style and size. A lighted lamppost reminiscent of those seen along Parisian streets marks the retailer’s spot within the mall and also features the brand’s signage.
Within the stall, customers can sit on a built-in, cushioned bench while trying on shoes. The booth design features its own flooring in grey and white, which mimics a street aesthetic and meshes well with both the modern lines of the store and the rustic simplicity of the logo-adorned wooden crates. Mirrors framed in street posts reside on both sides of the display unit, as well as along the crate bases upon the floor.
Despite being situated in large shopping malls, the March Ballerina kiosks by Bilgory + Pozner possess an urban vibe and fresh approach to modern retail design.
Photography by Amit Gosher
Posted by Suzanne at 14 May, 2013
Situated in the bottom of the newly renovated Nybrogatan 57 residential building in Stockholm (which we’ve also admired and written about here at Chic Tip), Master Training is an unconventional fitness club designed by architect Andreas Martin-Löf.
The 1,000 square meter space occupies two floors–the entry and basement–including an atrium viewing the extended courtyard of the building. The gym itself possesses a decidedly modern vibe and unique homelike setting versus a typical commercial fitness center feel. The lofty, exposed white ceiling and linear wood flooring throughout contribute to the clean-lined aesthetic.
Members are greeted at the street-level reception area which features a black shelving unit stacked with bright white towels for members. An elongated, dark wood desk is flanked by three hanging lampshade pendants, creating a cozy glow. The floorplan flows from the entrance to a group fitness room, stocked kitchen and dining lounge which could easily be considered a casual restaurant space with freestanding tables and chairs, as well as a snack bar. This area extends to another contemporary lounge with sofa, chairs and book shelf with open compartments of books, small sculptures, a globe, vintage typewriter and other knick-knacks that would be found in a home library. This relaxing space is situated on a balcony overlooking the lower-level gym floor. The staff’s office and meeting room also reside here.
Just down a sleek cantilevered staircase with in-laid accent lighting is the main training floor which feels more like a private home-gym than a public center. Equipment is state-of-the-art, with smooth beige leather trim and seems more like furnishings than weight-training machines. The changing rooms are striking with minimalist white vanities accented with live orchid plants and geometric wall sconces. A treatment room, relaxation area, steam room and sauna add to the spa-like environment.
With pioneering modern commercial design, Master Training by Martin-Löf Architecture is an elite fitness club with extraordinary motivational spaces.
Posted by Suzanne at 3 May, 2013
Madrid-based architects, Stone Designs, created the modern interiors of Skate Collective in Barcelona which possess a decidedly urban vibe indicative of the iconic world of skate.
The fully glazed entrance is framed in shiny stainless, allowing the full profile of the vivid store interior to pop from the street. By design, plywood boards and concrete were primarily used to replicate the look and feel of an actual community skate park. Lighted shelving and containers constructed of this pale wood were set on casters adding a flexible element to fast-changing inventory and merchandising displays. Wall and ceiling patterns boast classic Japanese graphics adding an energetic visual to the small space, while a compact, modular sofa provides seating. Elongated, white rectangular strips of fluorescent lighting further enhance the cool vibrations of the contemporary space.
Tones of grey and beige are splashed with vibrant, sometimes neon colored displays of boards, accessories, clothing and shoes requisite to this activity. Boards or “decks” in fierce designs are racked both horizontally and vertically, and organized according to size and brand. Customers can either purchase a fully-equipped skateboard or customize their own. High-profile “skater” brands include Zero, Mystery, Slave, Shaun White, Venture and Gullwing to name a few.
A nod to the dynamic culture of skateboarding, Stone Designs has managed to take a freestyle sport which has migrated into a lifestyle, and cleverly build a hip, modern store design around it.
Posted by Suzanne at 29 April, 2013