Open Haus

July 22, 2010

Scott Weston Architecture Design’s fitout for PR firm Open Haus features spectacular colour and shimmering metallic finishes.

Like a confectioner’s cabinet, PR firm Open Haus’ interior by Scott Weston Architecture Design (SWAD) is eye candy par excellence. Pinks and greens, oranges and blues: the composition of colour is an absolute delight, as are the shimmering metallic finishes gently reflecting the ebullience of Cuisenaire. Gorgeous.

The boardroom is a knockout and a far cry from the corporate beige-on-beige of pre-Wandersian design that remains so dominant. The whole is encased in a glimmering, shimmering, somewhat reflective and slightly textured cube of gold laminate. Within the cube a medley of turquoise blues playfully activates the space. Predominant is an architect designed, translucent resin table of deep Egyptian blue on a powder-coated gold frame surrounded by eight metallic gold Louis style chairs. Continuing the touch of gold are the doorframe verticals in the same highly-reflective finish as that of the table frame. From above, a bounteous chandelier glimmers amid a nest of ceiling roses laid out in a square-set pattern. Enormous windows and a diaphanous turquoise curtain complete two walls, while soundproofed padded silk walls in deep ultramarine complete the room. The wall of utility joinery has a startling peacock interior continuing the humour and whimsy, while the two-tone turquoise carpet presents an abstraction of the corporate logo and colour scheme, also by SWAD.

Leading to the boardroom and comprising the reception area is an elegant passageway of silver and blue. A long wall of shimmering silver filigree laminate reflects the surrounds as soft focus pools of colour, exponentially expanding the spatial dimensions of the area. The reception counter, also in silver, is similarly long and elegant with an extended cantilevered arm forming a casual meeting area that has become a social zone for the agency. Flanking the extension are six examples of the stool/chair hybrid based on the Navy chair, but in a brilliant orange, gloss powder-coat finish. The blue of the carpet against the orange is delicious, as is the blue-on-blue wool felt of the twin occasional chairs further along the passageway.

To the right of the reception is an enclosed but casual conference room. Again, it is a delight. The remote corner is formed by two padded walls of an oriental bird and flower motif on a background of celadon green. These are split and framed at the top by slim windows that fill the room with light. The vertical corner windows are of particular interest, as they elongate the room’s vertical thrust, while providing an overall lightness that seems to make the room hover in space. The proximal walls are painted in the same celadon shade with the rather lovely addition of old-fashioned decorative air vents featuring a three-dimensional ‘bird on branch’ motif.

Lighting is by way of a three-pendant arrangement of oversized globes crowned with stylised foil leaves. Central to the room is a low, round, milky-white-blue resin topped table with a finely radiating metal base, not wholly unlike a bird cage. The chairs are of the same white metal mesh and float beautifully on the deep blue carpeting.

With the end of the hall glazed and admitting a super abundance of light, the mid-reception area could have been comparatively shadowed. This has been countered by placing, directly opposite, a breakout room that functions as a light box. Visually extending the space, sliding doors also convey the ambient light through glowing white Macrolon polycarbonate sheeting. In effect, the light of the breakout room bathes the reception area in ambient light and creates a feeling of focus and space. Within the room, super-sized beanbags in swashbuckling shades of fuchsia and chartreuse are teamed with couches upholstered in suiting. And while ‘breakout room’ is usually code for ‘not big enough for a client meeting’, this room actually functions. Granted it is smallish, but it is also clearly comfortable, light and relaxed. The suspended acrylic ceiling panels, punctuated with crisp lime-green leaves, balance the digitally printed carpet in greens of the Dartmouth persuasion.

Beyond the silver wall in the office space, the Cuisenaire palette continues as large swathes of coloured desks accommodating 12 workstations. The size and lack of clutter allow the desks to function as plains of emerald and deep sky blue, which are in turn complemented by hardwearing laminate joinery and partitions of American rose, Dodger blue and candy apple red. Gleaming from below these desks are individual gold powdercoated mobile cabinets. The overall effect is magnificent – so simple, yet with the added zing of Ottmar Hörl’s cheeky Gnomes lending touches of colour to the higher reaches.

The exterior courtyard draws on the complementary red of industry and green of nature with a small forest of trees providing both boundary and backdrop to a simple courtyard that houses a spectacularly scarlet outdoor setting. Again it is the simplicity of form and lack of clutter that allows SWAD such an extravagance of hue. There is also sufficient demarcation of space for the colour to breathe and stand alone, unencumbered by the shades used in the adjacent offices.

Colour is a dangerous commodity; it is often abused and just as often overlooked. SWAD has mastered the medium and firmly deserves the accolades its design is receiving. The design fitout exemplifies its client’s image as “unique, innovative and reflecting a great sense of fun and humour” without being overblown or jumbled. The material quality is also superb and SWAD has excelled in spending where needs dictate and being creative where the visual is superficial: the vents are positively enchanting!

  • Maxi August 4th, 2011 7:55 am

    Oh Dear!!!! Designs like this demean a perfectly functioning industry.

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