PROJECT: Bucharest – Corvin Cristian Studio, KLAB Arhitectura; architects: Claudiu Bica, Gabriela Roșca, Alina Stoica, Alia Al Jabbari, Vlad Hani; Timișoara – Corvin Cristian Studio, Plusminus Arhitectura; architects: Adrian Oancea, Gabriela Roșca, Alina Stoica, Claudiu Bica, Ana Mălăianu, Vlad Hani
The interior design of the Microsoft offices in Bucharest and Timișoara provided the architect teams with a good opportunity to question the interior design paradigm of workspaces. In a context where technology is often misunderstood as moving away from the human factor, or where the accent often falls, unfortunately, on imitation, it has become extremely simple for design to give in to the trends.
The architects are adepts of Kengo Kuma’s doctrine regarding the importance of wood in 21st century design, given the fact that the past century was dominated by materials such as metal or concrete. Thus, wood becomes one of the natural materials whose presence is relied on in the design of the Microsoft offices. Promoting a simple and honest design, and creating a neutral background, which will be animated by people, with their distinct personalities and interactions, the project chooses its materials and textures in a careful, friendly way: cork, plywood, felt.
Wood is interlaid with glass strips in order to “break” the classic image of large glazed surfaces. It could be said that the presence of light inside the space is the main character of the interior design project for the two offices, united by the concept and by the wish to create an environment where light, be it natural or artificial, makes up a constant presence. All the more so as Timișoara has a special connection to light, being the first European city that benefited from electric public lighting.
The connection with history and tradition goes even further, through the use of light fixtures from ELBA. In the case of the Bucharest offices, the color scheme was even tamer, in order to emphasize the multitude of materials. Through their shape and color, the sound absorbing panels become points of intersection between functionality and aesthetics. In both projects, the furniture breathes freely and the environment is a relaxed one, relying on the honesty and naturalness of the surrounding things.
Project featured in Offices from Romania. Interior Design 3