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Contemporary architects offices have industrial aesthetic and operable spaces

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Black surfaces, exposed services, and polished concrete floors create a raw, edgy feel for Hillam Architects' own premises

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If your stock in trade is architecture and design you would want your own new premises to reflect your skillset. And the offices of Hillam Architects do just that – elegantly merging a strong, affordable visual presence with smart functionality.

The buildings' existing concrete slab, structure and services were left exposed and all painted out black, then paired with a strong, directional lighting concept featuring continuous LED extrusions. The result is an interior that speaks of a dynamic, yet modern industrialist vibe, says Hillam Architects associate Hollie Raymond-Baker.

Standing out from intentionally low-light interiors, the concrete and wood veneer reception desk offers a strong, rugged feature to match the pared back surroundings. A batten screen that backdrops the desk provides a semi-transparent sense of the studio behind and also extends up and over as a ceiling element partly screening the multitude of exposed services. The same batten screen creates a visual corridor in the main open-plan work studio and acts as a wayfinding element.

"Housing 40 people, the flexible and informal workplace includes a series of operable rooms running along one wall," says Raymond-Baker. "The two meeting rooms, and end break out space can all be separated via operable wall partitions or opened to each other and to the wider volume."

A unifying feature of these spaces is a veneer acoustic ceiling which has custom perforations to match the Kvadrat fabric operable walls. And a polished plaster dado finish is also seen in all three rooms. Bolon, a woven vinyl floor product, is used in the front of house area. This also extends back to the circulation corridor and runs into the meeting rooms themselves, providing a third connecting element when the bifold doors are stacked away.

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In addition, there's added functionality literally hidden behind the walls. While the fabric walls have stick-pin functionality, the dado walls have metal linings behind a plasterboard backing, enabling magnetic elements to fix to them for presentations.

Alongside, the contemporary sit-to-stand workstations promote an activity-based workplace.

First published date: 10 May 2016

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Credit List

Architect David Hillam, Hillam Architects; design team, Hollie Raymond-Baker, Felipe Soto and Jon Ng
Interior designer Hollie Raymond-Baker, associate, Hillam Architects
Construction Northerly Group
Window/door joinery Opera 100 Series Operable Wall by Lotus Doors
Hardware Duna by Frost
Blinds Vertilux Eurovision and Eubloc by Neylor
Flooring Bolon and polished concrete
Wallcoverings/treatments Highfield2 by Kvadrat
Ceiling Acoustic ceiling by Décor Designs with Eveneer Essential Rimini
Veneers Even Ravenna by Elton Group
Paints Dulux Flat Black Lighting Modular Lighting Instruments by JSB Lighting
Workstations Rumba by Zenith
Office chairs Life by Zenith
Reception desk Custom concrete bench with Eveneer Essential Rimini by Chris Maple Design
Additional furniture Walter Knoll Cuolo Armchair 1201, Hay About a Stool, Walter Knoll Joco Table, Hay Loop table, Gubi Grasshoppa F, Midori Sancal lounge chair – variously by Living Edge, Design Farm, Zenith
Kitchen equipment Miele appliances, ZIP tap