A very nice interaction with the old space; I like the combination of the furniture in each of the rooms. I love the natural light entering the space. – Mauricio Lara
Perfect symbiosis of modern furniture with an old space; it clearly represents the philosophy of the firm that develops their work there. – Sebastián Lara
UXUS redesigned its headquarters, located in the historical Art Nouveau office tower in the center of Amsterdam. Inspired by the poetic trait of “the in-between”, the space contrasts the ethereal aesthetics of fairytales with the rigidity of industrial style. Soft and sharp, old and new, transparency and privacy collide to create an ever-changing environment that stimulates imagination.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
As UXUS added two new floors to their offices, they decided to use the space to bring their design philosophy, Brand Poetry, to life. Brand Poetry is inspired by the artistic principle of the “in-between”, or the tension of opposing forces. UXUS wanted to recreate this poetic quality in the workplace, because it evokes multiple readings and interpretations, so each time designers come to the office, it feels new.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
UXUS’ office is the embodiment of the agency’s design philosophy Brand Poetry – fusion of rational design solutions with artistic sensibilities.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
It was very important to consider designers’ interests and create an environment that would prompt abstract thinking and encourage creativity. The idea was to use poetic ambiguity and contrast to stimulate imagination of the designers, while they are working.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
The space is designed to strike a balance between different working needs and methods. The solid door to the partners’ wall, for example, is embedded into a glass wall, seemingly floating on its own. The installation provides transparency, yet allows for confidentiality when necessary. The aspiration is to provide designers with a poetic and inspirational atmosphere that stimulates their imagination when necessary, but also provides a comfortable environment to maximize productivity. Additionally, UXUS strived to preserve the heritage of the building and kept building’s original apse intact, repurposing the space into a conference room. The vintage elevator engine was also kept in place and exposed to the communal area through glass walls. Both features evoke a nostalgic feeling and intensify the tension between the poetic translucency and industrial rawness of the office.