A Seat at the Table: A Supremely Unique Office design by Clive Wilkinson Architects

This just might be one of the most awesome things, I’ve seen all year. Designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, connoisseurs in the fine art of ingeniously crafted office spaces, this particular office defies convention and trades in normalcy, for imagination.

Here’s a description from the designers,

Our client, The Barbarian Group, creates consumer experiences for the digital world, and has blazed a trail exploring how technology can invigorate and empower people through connectivity. With a highly constrained budget, we adapted an existing 20,000 SF office space for a flexible community of 125 -175 Barbarians, recycling perimeter rooms and services for acoustically controlled spaces, while surgically clearing the central zone. Conventional office tools are now largely redundant. People need to connect to other people: they need flat surfaces to work on with laptops or monitors or other equipment, and easily accessible places to meet and collaborate. We got excited about the idea of massively simplifying this concept to show how radically different an office could be when you alter the ‘job description. With these simple needs in mind, we imagined of a kind of endless table that connects everyone. The surface you work on should be the same as the surface your colleagues work on, and that surface could connect everyone in the company in a single mission. Like an electrical wire, the table surface itself becomes a medium for connecting and centering a community.

The above floor layout, says it all. Its fluid, organic and was, amazingly, initially hand drawn. The rising and falling of the glorious “pearlescent white” table top allows for seamless movement within the office literally “connecting and centering” the space. This ‘rising’ creates what I like to call ‘pathway arches’, which expose the complex plywood structure made up of about 870 laser-cut panels which, when assembled, create a web of coffers. Underneath these pathway arches we find viable, informal, cave-like work spaces offering flexible ‘rooms’ for meetings, secluded working and storage. Even with these ‘caves’ the white, epoxy coated table top continues through the space emphasizing the aforementioned fluidity.

This project is proof of the power of plywood, but more so proof of the power of defiant creativity. As the designer said, conventional offices are now redundant, or, are already on the path to redundancy, thus, this approach to office design is the future of how our workspaces will be crafted, and I eagerly look forward to many more triumphs such as this. (Many thanks to dezeen for the video.)

[via Clive Wilkinson Behance Page]

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