the operators, office, shoreditch, London
|Orlebar Brown shop, Notting Hill, London, photography: James McDonald
Inspired by Julius Shulman’s Los Angeles photography and Ken Adams’ production design as well as Cesar Manrique's breathtaking resorts in Lanzarotte, the aesthetic is masculine, refined and minimal. Materials include lavastone tiles, mimicking the black sands of Manrique's timeless resorts, white cement boards in order to provide a subdued texture, whilst being the perfect backdrop for Orlebar Brown's colourful palette. The display units are made of bronze plated industrial scaffolding poles and keyclamps, reflecting the both the brand's strenght (industrial keyclamp) and its luxury (bronze plating). The surfaces (reception desk and display unit) are clad in vintage Aspendos stone (reminding one of a resort's ocean eroded stone cliffs).
|Dezeen Offices, Stoke Newington, London photography: Edmund Sumner
Working with a compact space and budget, our brief was to turn an old dentist's surgery in Stoke Newington into a light, clean place in which the Dezeen staff could work and relax. The brief led us to develop solutions that were inexpensive and lo-tech, both designing custom items and adapting existing products from Philippe Malouin to suit the needs of the Dezeen office. Within the building, the upstairs-downstairs axis helped clearly delineate a work and relax programme; the ground floor acting as entrance and meeting space, the first floor a separate place of work.
Thematically, the two spaces required different approaches - upstairs was designed as a 'workshop', using untreated raw materials and an almost monochrome, muted colour palett. The walls and ceiling are clad in birch plywood, with all other structural surfaces painted white, including using a cost effective hard-wearing floor paint. The custom designed moveable desks utilise standard shop-bought timber for the frames and grey MDF desktops. Standard shelving uprights are integrated into the plywood wall to allow for an adaptable configuration of shelves, coat hooks and strip lighting.
The ground floor space was designed as a clutter-free, light-filled oasis, combining exuberant touches with the restrained raw material aesthetic established upstairs. The focus of the room is a custom built meeting table, also constructed from standard timber elements with a construction plywood tabletop, designed to hang objects such as magazines and the Philippe Malouin 'Hanger' chairs, which can be hooked onto the central bar or lifted off and unfolded for use. In addition, the clean gallery-like space serves as an ideal backdrop for the Dezeen Watch Store. The reflective gold curtain brings an unexpected touch of luxury and play, whilst enhancing the brightness and warmth of the large skylight overhead.
This project aimed to celebrate economical raw materials and create a space that was flexible, functional and enjoyable.