The design concept for this office is horizontal separation, clearly defining the space with color, materials, and lighting
When designing the 1,100-sq.-ft. headquarters for The Bouklis Group, a real estate brokerage firm in Manhattan’s Financial District, New York City-based architecture, interior & lighting design firm Bluarch took into account the client’s desire for a streamlined, open environment that would take full advantage of the space.
Bluarch principal Antonio Di Oronzo’s vision for the project stems from the basic notion of horizontal separation that characterizes real estate deals and properties. In the same way that plans deliver a spatial sense of real estate, or the floors of a building convey the layering of a property, or stacking symbolizes the aggregation of masses based on zoning regulations, Di Oronzo and his team wanted to clearly define the project with color, materials, and lighting – horizontally.
“The aim was to design an office that would feel fluid and positive, where things get done with efficiency and energy,” Di Oronzo says. From the floor upwards, the first blue layer was created for the desks. A fluid profile defines the work stations, while the matching carpet helps identify the movement. By having the carpet and the desks match exactly, the design presents a space larger than its actual dimensions, plus the continuous hue hides the boundaries of the floor area. Above this blue layer is the system of wood dividers that provide a level of privacy for each salesperson. These elements also include the computer monitors and the laser-cut logo of the company. Where further separation is needed, glass partitions are employed, which preserves the continuity of the various design systems. Above it all is the white layer of the ceiling and the lighting.
The Bluarch team chose CB2’s Oversized Equator pendants featuring handmade off-white cotton/poly micro-pleated fabric shades with a matching fabric diffusers. The lighting designers opted to lamp the pendants with 2700K CFLs (150-watt incandescent can also be used).
“We [selected] the lighting based on the performance [efficacy] of the luminaire and not the expected form,” Di Oronzo states. “Given the structure of the fixture, we specified a glossy acoustical ceiling tile. This enhanced the indirect illumination and produced a more even color.” With the luminaires hung at 30 inches above the finished floor, there was no need to supplement with desktop task lighting.
Bluarch is also designing another New York office for The Bouklis Group in the Astoria section of Queens.