5 Star Office Interior rated by European Property Awards 2014-2015.
The project has been awarded Silver A' Design award in Interior & Exhibition Design 2013 in Office Small Scale.
Conceptual Minimalism is an interior design project undertaken by the multidisciplinary design practice of BllendDesignOffice, Athens Greece. The Athens based practice approached the 100 sq.m. space with the intention of creating an interior which reflected the ethos of the studio in terms of environmental sensitivity and design aesthetics. The irregularity of the trapezoid floorplan layout and the complete absence of right angles posed a great difficulty from the first steps of the design. The deliverables were to design a space that would accommodate a welcoming reception desk, that would allow for small meetings of the team working on a project basis, 3 working stations, a separate meeting room, WC and a kitchenette. Informed by conceptual minimalism the new interior design scheme was approached in terms of the design studio’s eco-minimalist design and research methodology. The architectural dialog started from the scape, yet the building is not regarded as a mere accumulation on X,Y,Z axis. It is more considered as a living organism, that is developed from a constructive process that allows the essences of space, materials, light and human condition to blend in naturally in order to achieve simplicity. Simplicity is not only an aesthetic value of the design outcome, but has moral perceptions which look into the organic nature of buildings and reveal the inner qualities of materials and objects for the essence. For example, in the design scheme the dualism of white-smooth and grey-rough play an important role in emitting the essence of clarity and essentiality of raw earth. The interior design is striped to an aesthetic, yet not functional minimalism. The term Minimalism as influenced by Zen philosophy and 19th trends in spatial design and architecture where all the elements and parts of the design are reduced to a stage that without lacking ornamentation offers a maximization in ergonomics, aesthetics and versatility. The Japanese aesthetic principle of Ma refers to empty or open space. That removes all the unnecessary internal walls and opens up the space between interior and the exterior. In an attempt to bring the exterior to the interior big glazed low Emission window glass panels that allow plenty of natural daylight indoors emphasize the open plan. The bright open space has the advantage of ample daylight but is limited in its irregularity of shape. Clean lines and dynamism were essential design elements employed to emphasize the minimalist outcome and conceal the negative features of the initial plan. In order to maintain the minimum, uncluttered ambience of the space, the storage units, essential for any functioning commercial space, were designed as wrapping design element around the elevator shaft, allowing it to blend unobtrusively into the fringes of the space. Moreover, in order to conceal the irregular shape it was decided to distract the user and visitor from vertical planes emphasizing horizontality and a more dynamic view of the space. This dynamism is reflected upon entering the space on the Me-RE reception desk, its name derived from Meeting-reception. The custom designed and produced desk follows the shape of the floorplan, while the same shape is accentuated at night by horizontal linear LED lighting channels in the false ceiling. Vertical linear recessed lights emphasize only storage units, while the same lighting design scheme emphasized horizontality, dynamism and movement in linear arrangement. Another purpose for the bespoke design of the main pieces of furniture was to to maintain the sense of openness in each area while allowing for interaction, multiple groupings and team-working of the office creative members, and on the same time selectively enable functional isolation. The lighting elements, complement the streamlined space which as a whole makes a bold statement of individuality in line with the motto of the practice: ‘We are more than the sum of our parts....so is our environment”. For the lighting design scheme, the guidelines of IESNA, Illuminating engineering society of North America, were implemented both for the natural daylight ambience as a vital element for healthy office interiors, as well as for the majority of the LED lighting sources. The choice of a light color palette combined with material and textural variety allows for space and function unity. The notion of architecture as concept is emphasized by the selective use of art pieces, which play again with color and texture-finish. The furniture was custom designed and produced not only for the sake of design and function, but also to allow for the symbolic nature of materials and structures to emerge.