Of­fice memo

From soft-edged li­brary and lab de­sign to spot-on desk light­ing

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Labs, li­braries, lamps and more workspace de­sign

Maya S So­maiya Li­brary, in­dia by SP+A

An ar­ray of global in­flu­ences came to­gether to cre­ate sculp­tural magic in this new li­brary for the Shri Sharda school in Kopar­gaon, a small town in Ma­ha­rash­tra state, nearly 200km north-east of Mum­bai. SP+A drew on tra­di­tional Cata­lan tile vault­ing, the struc­tural gym­nas­tics of leg­endary Uruguayan en­gi­neer Ela­dio Di­este and soft­ware de­vel­oped by ETH uni­ver­sity in Switzer­land to con­jure up the snaking brick roof. ‘We tried to push the lo­cal or re­gional par­a­digm to evolve be­yond the clichéd image,’ says found­ing prin­ci­pal Sameep Padora. ‘Our process drew on a com­bi­na­tion of tech­niques across both time and ge­og­ra­phy.’ The ar­chi­tects also de­signed the wooden fur­ni­ture, shelv­ing and low Kota lime­stone stools. The re­sult is a new land­scape that ex­pands the chil­dren’s hori­zons, both phys­i­cally and in­tel­lec­tu­ally. sp-arc.net

‘XT-A SIN­GLE’ LIGHT by To­bias Grau

A trusty task light that com­bines el­e­gance with ef­fi­ciency will al­ways find favour at Wall­pa­per* HQ. Ger­man light­ing spe­cial­ist To­bias Grau’s new of­fer­ing, the ‘XT-A Sin­gle’, is a slen­der desk-mounted de­sign, avail­able in black and white ver­sions. Part of a col­lec­tion that also in­cludes floor and ceil­ing lights, the desk lamp has an oth­er­worldly pro­file, hov­er­ing over the work space like an alien vis­i­tor, dis­pens­ing an even, op­ti­mum light from a source that al­ways re­mains par­al­lel to the desk sur­face and pro­vides per­fect glare con­trol. The de­sign re­ceived a 2018 if Award and can be con­nected to other prod­ucts from the To­bias Grau range for syn­chro­nised dim­ming. From €898, by To­bias Grau, to­bi­as­grau.com

‘Rookie’ chair by kon­stantin Gr­cic

Un­sur­pris­ingly, the mighty Swiss fur­ni­ture brand Vi­tra be­lieves strongly in the fu­ture of the of­fice. The com­pany’s ‘Work’ ex­hi­bi­tion at the Or­gatec trade fair in Cologne this Oc­to­ber will ex­plore all facets of to­mor­row’s workspaces, dis­till­ing new ideas on flex­i­bil­ity and free­dom into spa­ces that are some­times seen as im­mutable. Over­seen by ar­chi­tects Jonathan Oli­vares and Pernilla Ohrst­edt, ‘Work’ com­prises three in­stal­la­tions, by Sevil Peach, Ed­ward Bar­ber & Jay Os­gerby, and Kon­stantin Gr­cic, the last in­clud­ing the Ger­man de­signer’s new ‘Rookie’ chair. ‘It’s de­signed for en­vi­ron­ments that en­cour­age the cre­ation and ex­change of ideas,’ he says. Price on re­quest, by Kon­stantin Gr­cic, for Vi­tra, vi­tra.com

Cus­tom Light­ing ser­vice by erco

Light­ing provider Erco has al­ways op­er­ated at the tech­no­log­i­cal cut­ting edge, cre­at­ing prod­ucts to sate even the most de­mand­ing ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers. Not con­tent with of­fer­ing thou­sands of colour­ways and fin­ishes, the com­pany is now launch­ing Erco In­di­vid­ual, a new ser­vice that brings cus­tom light­ing – pre­vi­ously lim­ited to the brand’s ma­jor projects, such as the Lou­vre Abu Dhabi – to a broader au­di­ence of de­sign­ers. The Ger­man com­pany prom­ises to throw the weight of its spe­cial­ist tech­ni­cians be­hind each project. New ap­proaches, such as 3D print­ing, make even small runs prac­ti­cal, while many ex­ist­ing Erco prod­ucts, such as the ‘Parscan’ track light sys­tem (pic­tured), can be in­cor­po­rated. Erco In­di­vid­ual, erco.com

‘CODA’ LAB Fur­ni­ture by rain­light

Flex­i­ble fur­ni­ture for the of­fice gets much at­ten­tion, but there are other fields where a dose of de­sign can im­prove func­tion­al­ity and er­gonomics. ‘Coda’ is a new range of lab­o­ra­tory fur­ni­ture from Amer­i­can com­pany Ke­waunee Sci­en­tific. De­signed by a team led by Yorgo Lyk­ouria, cre­ative di­rec­tor and co-founder at Lon­don and La-based stu­dio Rain­light, ‘Coda’ is a mod­u­lar sys­tem with Kubrick­ian gloss, fea­tur­ing fully ad­justable benches with in­te­grated shelv­ing sys­tems to help foster a cul­ture of greater col­lab­o­ra­tion in the lab. The soft, rounded edges are more akin to a sci-fi set than the stark re­al­ity of the aver­age lab, while the de­sign in­cludes 10ft-long work­sta­tion spans, space for video dis­plays and racks for equip­ment and sinks, as re­quired. Ke­waunee has more than a cen­tury of ex­pe­ri­ence in lab fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories, and em­ploy­ing the in­no­va­tive de­sign tal­ents of Rain­light is a bold move for this very tra­di­tional realm. Price on re­quest, by Rain­light, for Ke­waunee, ke­waunee.com; coda-world.com

‘haiku’ panel by team 7

Aus­trian man­u­fac­turer Team 7 works won­ders with wood, pro­duc­ing ev­ery­thing from solid oak kitchens to beech side ta­bles. The com­pany’s new ‘Haiku’ wall panel is a free­stand­ing solid wood frame that’s in­tended as a po­etic place on which to store your be­long­ings while at work. De­signed by in-house spe­cial­ist Se­bas­tian Desch, ‘Haiku’ is avail­able in a va­ri­ety of it­er­a­tions, ei­ther floor-stand­ing or wall-mounted, with hang­ing rails, stor­age or shelv­ing, and the op­tion of a large mir­ror. The com­pany dates back to the late 1950s and spe­cialises in sus­tain­able wood prod­ucts, dove­tailed with new tech­nol­ogy, such as this unit’s in­te­grated LED light­ing that can be ac­ti­vated by a wave of the foot. From £850, by Team 7, team7.co.uk

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