Base parts

The age of the big cor­po­rate hub may be wan­ing, out­side the For­tune 500 elite, but three new com­pact HQS show how small spa­ces may be made to work hard, while in­cor­po­rat­ing eclec­tic de­tails and a sense of iden­tity

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Com­pact HQS from NYC to NZ

Rafael de Cár­de­nas’ stu­dio Ar­chi­tec­ture at Large has cre­ated a new HQ for Glossier in New York. Emily Weiss’ beauty brand has been a swift suc­cess story, aban­don­ing the lus­trous com­plex­ity of In­sta-era make-up in favour of sleek mil­len­nial min­i­mal­ism. De Cár­de­nas has taken a sim­i­lar ap­proach to the space at 6th and Spring, go­ing be­yond the ex­pected to make the most of the com­pany’s so­cial cul­ture. ‘We coun­ter­pointed the den­sity of hot de­sk­ing with open spa­ces for play,’ he ex­plains. This ‘loungey, so­cial’ feel is en­hanced by the over­sized, ar­chi­tec­tural aes­thetic of the so­fas and break ar­eas, which the teams are en­cour­aged to use to work as well as pause. Man­hat­tan sky­line views are framed by a land­scape of curved cus­tom pieces, walls and mir­rors, while the com­pany pow­der room has bright red Co­rian coun­ter­tops. Kvadrat fab­rics are paired with a range of vin­tage fit­tings, and the mood is dis­tinctly art deco, with spar­tan mod­ern ac­ces­sories from com­pa­nies such as Hay added into the mix to cre­ate a space that glows with prom­ise.

Tim Kelle­her and Matthew Arnold’s six-per­son agency spe­cialises in web de­sign, and has a strong col­lec­tive feel. The agency’s new stu­dio space by Knight As­so­ci­ates ful­fils the pair’s philo­soph­i­cal ap­proach to de­sign – ‘rig­or­ous and un­com­pro­mis­ing, with the oc­ca­sional el­e­ment of pure whim’. Housed in a for­mer ware­house above an ex­ist­ing chan­dlery in Lyt­tle­ton, on New Zealand’s South Is­land, the space is gen­er­ous, with de­lib­er­ate nods to mid­cen­tury de­sign in the form of dark wood screens and fluted pan­elling, and a scat­ter­ing of clas­sic mod­ernist fur­ni­ture. Be­yond this, the orig­i­nal fab­ric of the build­ing has been al­lowed to shine through, with me­tal trusses and pol­ished con­crete floors. full-height cur­tains and size­able slid­ing doors help di­vide the space and pre­serve a do­mes­tic feel.

Ar­chi­tect ru­fus Knight set up his Auck­land stu­dio in 2016, fol­low­ing stints at fearon Hay, also in the New Zealand cap­i­tal, and vin­cent van duy­sen Ar­chi­tects in An­twerp. This in­te­rior might quote from the clas­sics, but the care­ful han­dling of scale and ma­te­ri­als cre­ates an in­ti­mate cre­ative space.

THIS PIC­TURE AND BELOW, THE GLOSSIER HQ, WHERE BREAK AR­EAS ARE FUR­NISHED WITH CURVED CUS­TOM-BUILT SO­FAS IN THE BRAND’S SIG­NA­TURE pink

Above, THE roof’s ORIG­I­NAL ME­TAL TRUSSES cre­ate A ro­bust IN­DUS­TRIAL CAN­VAS IN THE New of­ficeLeft, THE fluted PAN­ELLING AND CABINETRY ref­er­ence THE BASE of ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI’S ‘TACCIA’ LAMP

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