A former logistic depot within an industrial hub, this double-height lofted space was the ideal location for our client to combine under the same roof their operational offices with a workshop where to test and assemble their products, hence having a proper headquarter where to meet clients and suppliers, optimizing their operations and logistics.
A customized container with glass partitions is inserted on the ground floor, not only it is used as a meeting room, but it becomes the heart of the space, enabling the subtle separation of all different functions and areas that pivot around the iconic blue container element.
After the container has been successfully delivered into the space, the pre-existing concrete ramp has been demolished, and the sunken ground floor allowed the realization of a stepping entrance instead of it that creates a pleasant buffer area between outdoor and indoor, with a casual lounge bench, a sculptural pantry, and a delivery area integrating tropical plants and lemon trees that visually fill up the view of this double-height entry. This space is conceived to be flexible enough, thanks to some foldable custom-made tables, allowing large meetings, casual events, or gathering of the staff in the pantry area during lunch time.
Beyond the blue container the workshop area unfolds, with a central open space that can be organized to replicate a typical factory assembly line when necessary, and with an operational area geared up with tool boxes and french cleat walls on the left, and an electrical engineering department on the right realized within sealed glass partitions and with a continuous working table surface that integrates seamless cable conducts and a vertical surface with metal railings for custom set-ups of shelves, machinery and other tools.
Deep at the end of the workshop there is a testing area, an independent space behind sliding glass doors, cladded in white ceramic tiles for easier maintenance and cleaning, where different sizes and styles of “intelligent IoT barbecues”, one of the main products developed by the client, can run their cooking, heating and smoking testing for hours, controllable and manageable from distance. A custom sucking-vent and a deep sink realized in aluminum are giving to this backdrop zone a clean industrial feel to an area that otherwise you would rather keep hidden and would most likely be messy and dirty.
The existing steel beam structure has been purposely cleaned and painted in blue matching the container, and the whole ceiling has been turned into a diffused light box, that enables to provide a very strong homogeneous daylight without casting shadows: a dream environment for the engineers operating here. The well organized tools and equipments provide a neat surrounding giving a sense of design quality to the operations and products taken care of in here.
The upper floor is accessible through a staircase fully-clad in diamond plated aluminum panels. The roof of the container generates an extra lofted space used as a creative lounge with synthetic grass and a blue phone booth for private calls. The workstations are organized in two wings, each having a set of custom-designed cabinets that integrates storage, display and a large whiteboard surface. Two single offices are obtained at the very end of the second floor overlooking all the workstations, sharing a glass partition that can be electrically switched into a white glass and used as a whiteboard.
“We aimed at creating an harmonious dichotomy between the workshop area and the operational workstations, where the colder and more industrial materials are used in one area, while warmer wooden features characterize the other one, balancing each others. Various articulation of the interiors creating niches and secluded corners allow a spontaneous appropriation of the space and a more fluid workflow” say the duo of Italian architects.
A blue container at the heart of the loft space is defining the major separations and interconnections between the different areas of the lot.
Creativity meets efficiency, combining offices and workshop for the testing and assembling of different in-house engineered products.
Lapis Bureau: Freddy Curiél, Viki Ferrari, Claire Zhu, Aaron Huang, Deborah Campana
Photos: Freeman Yeung
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