Tag Archive: design inspiration and trends

  1. Impactful Entry Space: Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

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    In this Impactful Entry Space blog series, we will feature a designer or artist that has created an attention-grabbing design for the main lobby space of a building. Drawing inspiration from completed entry spaces around the world, we travel beyond the image by diving into the design process and concepts behind it.

    Today, we feature our interview with Gary Thornton of Neo Light Design about the lobby design of the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.

    four-seasons-toronto-entry-lobby-design

    GPI Design: What did the lobby space mean to the building as a whole?

    Gary Thornton: The Main Lobby’s impressive double height central space serves as a welcome entrance portal and space to the Flagship property for Four Seasons, as well as providing a physical link to adjacent areas.  The central lobby feeds to the grand reception desk, waiting areas, and break out seating areas for relaxing near the bar.  A central space providing a plethora of options for the guests.

    hotel-lobby-four-seasons-toronto

    GPI: What were your functional and conceptual goals for the lobby?

    Thornton: The lighting was designed to complement both the architecture and the interior design, as well as the overall client vision.  This included the expected standard of a Flagship property for the Four Seasons hotel group as the operator.

    Simply put, it was to set the standards for luxury hotels in the city and the world.

    Careful consideration was taken with the detailing to ensure that our lighting was incorporated into various elements of the architecture and interior design.  Hidden light sources were heavily used so that you see the lit effect, and not the light fixtures themselves.

    In a double volume height space maintenance of a busy hotel was always going to be difficult and inconvenient.  LED and long life efficient light sources were used to ensure that this would be kept to a minimum over the coming years and would reduce any impact on the running of the hotel.

    In particularly awkward spaces fibre optic light sources were utilised to provide the illumination at high level to reduce any potential maintenance issues here.

    neo-light-design-four-seasons-hanging-sculpture

    GPI: How did you use specific design tools (such as color, form, materiality, lighting) to create the space?

    Thornton: Significant sculptural artworks suspended above the reception and within the centre of the space are carefully lit to bring them to life, highlighting their forms to create depth and interest in the large volume.

    A warm white colour temperature was generally used throughout the lobby during the day, with the low voltage AR111 lamp sources warming slightly towards 2700K as they were dimmed on the control system for a more intimate feel during the evening and night.

    Large metal screens that help form part of the hotel’s identity are made up of 50,000 individual pieces and lit with both in-ground uplights and downlights to add sparkle and drama.

    The screens on the raised platforms that flank either side of the lobby space are lit using linear LED lights hidden within the form that shimmer as you walk through, helping to create the feeling of privacy to the seating areas below.

    High efficiency cold cathode is concealed in coves to create an overall softness to the lighting with high output lamps on a timed scene set system being used to then focus on art and various other features within the space.

    entry-lighting-four-seasons-toronto

    GPI: What was the biggest constraint in turning this design into a reality?

    Thornton: One of the biggest hurdles was ensuring that we were compliant with all of the local codes and varying regulations that are present within Canada.  There was a lot of initial concern over which regulations were the exact requirements to be followed, ranging from Canadian (national), through to Ontario (provincial), Toronto (city), or Yorkville (district).  National codes set the minimum values for some aspects, whilst some others are superseded at district level.

    With a limited budget for light fixtures that was further value-engineered, we worked extremely hard to ensure that we complied with all of the necessary documentation without comprising on the design.

    Being able to meet and sign off all of these requirements was a huge milestone for us as the responsible consultant, and for Four Seasons to ensure that the hotel could open on time.

    four-seasons-toronto-entrance-lobby

    GPI: What makes this space impactful?

    Thornton: The fact that it is just the first impression of the wider guest experience.  The lobby serves a stunning welcome point, yet offers multiple functions subtly linked together.  Carefully considered aspects of the interior design are brought to life with specially focussed lighting, and an automated scene set system ensures that the hotel looks as good as possible at all times.  The lighting gradually shifts throughout the day from a bright and airy space to read a newspaper in the morning to a more intimate and ambient space to meet for drinks or dinner.

    The lighting extends out from the lobby throughout the rest of the public areas and guestrooms in a similar manner, linking areas and bringing people on a journey through the hotel.

    Overall the lighting is a subtle yet important element of the hotel and helps to create the feeling of stylish sophistication that the hotel delivers.

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    Many thanks to Gary for sharing the inspiration for this lobby design.. Stay tuned to our next Impactful Entry Space interview coming up in two weeks. For more visual inspiration, follow our Impactful Entry Space board on Pinterest.

    Image credits: Jim Byers Travel, Yahoo, Neo Light Design

  2. Thursday Salute to Originals: Architectural Camouflage

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    Talk about wearing your passion on your sleeve! Given our intense obsessions with materiality, these clothing items have us amused and inspired.

    snarkitecture-architectural-camouflage-fashion

    The Architectural Camouflage collection is a range of clothing adorned with patterns of building materials. The geometries of white tile and marble are printed on the clothing at full scale, making the wearer blend into the architecture when standing in a space designed with those materials. The garments are available in full outfits – from shirts and pants to headwear and backpacks – making a bold statement from head to toe.

    white-tile-garment-pattern-snarkitecture

    The collection was created by Snarkitecture, an experimental art and architecture practice, in collaboration with Print All Over Me (PAOM). As the Snarkitecture team describes, ”architectural camouflage allows the wearer to create moments of architectural confusion through interaction with the built environment, making architecture perform the unexpected”. The wearer becomes a mirror of the space and an activator of dialogue between the body and its surroundings.

    architectural-camouflage-subway-tile-outfit

    subway-tile-fashion-outfit-snarkitecture

    The clothing pieces, available for sale in Snarkitecture’s online shop, have our wheels turning about what our installation experts could wear on the next jobsite. With the amount of variance in our natural onyx panels, we’d need quite an expansive range of colors and textures in order to match multiple projects – and likely a custom built walk-in closet, where our conference room used to be, for storing them all!

    Image credits: Design Boom

  3. Thursday Salute to Originals: When Crinkles Spur Creation

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    In architecture, crumpled pieces of paper have strong connotations that bring divisive opinions on Frank Gehry’s process of designing sculptural buildings. Critics take offense to the hands-off approach that places greater importance on form rather than function. Proponents of this type of process tout it as quintessentially postmodern and reflective of current technology. Whatever your stance on Gehry’s process, it’s probably a strong one. So whenever we see paper-crumpling used as a design inspiration, it piques our interest. And this time it comes in the form of a topic close to our heart… lighting design.

    proplamp-crumpled-paper-lamp-design

    The ethereal Proplamp is shaped like a crumpled piece of paper and is made from biodegradable nonwoven material. Users can change its shape, much like pruning a bouquet of flowers or tailoring an outfit.  The interaction is organic and completely dependent on the user’s intervention; creation is made accessible to the masses rather than the lone mastermind behind the design.

    [proplamp by margje teeuwen & erwin zwiers from Product Margje on Vimeo]

    Proplamp was developed in collaboration between Amsterdam-based designers Margje Teeuwen and Erwin Zwiers. Margje studied architecture but broke out of the mold by shifting her focus to emotional paintings of free flowing shapes. Erwin devoted his studies to furniture and product design, bringing a strong interest in materials. Proplamp was born as their paths crossed, described as a joining of “the feminine emotional research about paper shape and the masculine attitude of experimentation with new materials” (as quoted by LeFilRouge).

    proplamp-crinkled-paper-lighting-design

    lighting-design-lamp-crumpled-paper-material

    Unlike a Gehry building which most experience from photographs alone, the lamp is at a scale accessible for the general public to add to their homes and work environments. Our biggest conundrum is finding a place to hang this lamp in our office that allows us to reach it for frequent editing – which, knowing the vast personalities and design philosophies of this team, will be essential as casual-turned-intense-debates about its shape are sure to ensue!  So for spurring conversation and creative intervention (and for highlighting our newfound need for a custom engineered conference table to hold the weight of our entire team as we debate over the lamp’s shape!), we salute the creators of Proplamp. Happy crumpling everyone!

    Image credits: Sam in Stul via LeFilRouge

  4. Thursday Salute to Originals: Patterns – More Than Just Wallpaper

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    Peter S. Stevens, an author who published “Patterns in Nature,” describes how there are finite ways that patterns can be structured. They can be described as repeating shapes or forms and are often thought of as the organizational skeleton of parts of a composition. Each pattern has an underlying mathematical substructure no matter where it is used, and they can help organize structures in a particular manner so that they are consistent throughout each motif.

    But patterns aren’t just simply limited to repeated aesthetic elements devised from human imagination, like wallpaper, a tile layout, or a tailored landscape. These orderly designs can be seen in other more surprising areas with patterns that rival even the best manmade motifs.

    nautilus-shell-natural-patterns

    Though at first glance, nature may seem to be more randomized – shapes of clouds or the heights of mountains never seemed all that orderly to us –  upon closer inspection, underlying patterns can easily be seen.  Take the inside moldings of a Nautilus shell. This visible patterning has developed over time attempting to explain order in nature, and creates the unique interior structure of this marine mollusk.

    fractal-sunflower-nature-pattern

    Fractals are another one of nature’s patterns. In this type of pattern, a specific form is repeated over and over again in a radiating (or spiraling) organization. The fractal pattern can be seen in very small instances, like the center of a sunflower, but are also visible in much larger natural occurrences, like galaxies.

    computer-programming-zero-one-pattern

    On the other side of the spectrum, there are patterns in computers. Probably doesn’t seem like the most obvious arena for a design motif, but, here, patterns aren’t necessary used for visual purposes. Computer programming uses patterning to structure and govern a device’s operation.  With specific series of 1’s and 0’s, those strings of patterns (or codes) define the interaction between objects, which usually describes an overall pattern followed by an entire system and its relation. These simple patterns of 1’s and 0’s can even be used to determine a general solution to a commonly occurring problem.

    pattern-geometric-processing-images-cappellazzo

    One creative computer coder, Alka Cappellazzo, has even used the inherent patterning of computers to create “patterned” artworks that seem to have no orderly structure at all. (Which actually starts to remind us of the underlying patterns in nature…..a plant or animal may seem random on the surface, but if you dig deeper, organized structure is at the heart of its being. Same goes for Cappellazzo’s creations. Crazy how things come full circle!).

    Patterns are used everywhere, and allow us to make connections, predict what is to come, and allow us to solve problems efficiently (and create some pretty awesome visuals, too!). For transcending category, scale, and imagination, we salute patterns and the mathematics at the heart of this design motif.

    Image credits: IMG Arcade, Telno Tumblr, IPoint Tech, Wanted Pattern Tumblr

  5. Impactful Entry Space: Hotel V Nesplein

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    In this Impactful Entry Space blog series, we will feature a designer or artist that has created an attention-grabbing design for the main lobby space of a building. Drawing inspiration from completed entry spaces around the world, we travel beyond the image by diving into the design process and concepts behind it.

    Today, we feature our interview with Mirjam Espinosa, hotel owner and designer, about the lobby design of Hotel V Nesplein in Amsterdam.

    hotel-nesplein-lobby-entry-design

    GPI Design: What did the lobby space mean to the building as a whole?

    Mirjam Espinosa: The Lobby is the beating heart of the hotel, the centre. It is a unique place where Amsterdammers and internationals can meet and converge. With a bar, a restaurant, an open fireplace, a reading library, a terrace overlooking the Nesplein, and a small stage for events, The Lobby will become a beautiful example of a “Living Lobby”.

    This space is meant for all guests; hotel guests, tourists and locals. All type of guests would be able to spend the entire day in The Lobby if they pleased, not having to even leave once. It is a place where locals and hotel guests come to work, relax, socialize and enjoy a high quality drink, snack or meal.

    hotel-entry-fireplace-nesplein-lobby

    GPI: What were your functional and conceptual goals for the lobby?

    Espinosa: We wanted it to be the most important space of the hotel, located on the ground floor, close to the reception and in the same space as the restaurant and bar. In fact, the whole ground floor area is one big open space. This creates a buzzing atmosphere of people checking in and out, people having drinks or dinner, people working on their laptop etc. Hence the term: ‘Living Lobby’: a place where something is happening. We wanted this buzzing vibe to be picked up as soon as you entered the building. Whether you were coming in as a hotel guest or local.

    lobby-design-hotel-nesplein-amsterdam

    GPI: How did you use specific design tools (such as color, form, materiality, lighting) to create the space?

    Espinosa: With a style mixed between chic and raw, the interior of The Lobby breathes a warm and intimate atmosphere. We wanted to create a mix between industrial elements in luxury vintage, with an almost 30’s feel to it, setting. The repurposed theater chandelier in the entryway, the vintage rugs and couches, the old school bar and the library around the open fireplace contrast with the hard industrial pillars, the exposed pipelines and concrete floor and smoked oak flooring the reception area.

    bar-design-theatrical-hotel-nesplein

    GPI: What was the biggest constraint in turning this design into a reality?

    Espinosa: We didn’t have big constraints actually, but we did have some challenges.  The two biggest challenges were the budget and the time pressure.  We had a very tight schedule before the opening and our budget wasn’t that big. But despite of these two aspects we managed to put down a valuable and good product on the market and that was our goal.

    Another challenge was to create a subtle reference to the theatre, since The Lobby is situated in a very famous theatre district in Amsterdam.  In our opinion we succeeded to do this without being excessive.

    hotel-nesplein-entry-design-hospitality

    GPI: What makes this space impactful?

    Espinosa: What makes this space impactful is that we have actually succeeded in what we had in mind. The lobby area has become a very buzzing and pleasant space for our guests to pretty much do whatever in. It is very popular with the locals, which creates an amazing energy combined with the internationals. You pick up on this vibe as soon as you walk in the door, which is a great and welcoming feeling.

    We wanted the lobby to become the heart and soul of the hotel, and it has become just that. There is always life. From the moment you walk in you are feeling at home. We think that’s something everybody wants.

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    Many thanks to Mirjam for sharing the design inspiration for this space. Stay tuned to our next Impactful Entry Space interview coming up in two weeks. For more visual inspiration, follow our Impactful Entry Space board on Pinterest.

    Image credits: Hotel V Nesplein

  6. Impactful Entry Space: Stamps.com Office

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    In this Impactful Entry Space blog series, we will feature a designer or artist that has created an attention-grabbing design for the main lobby space of a building. Drawing inspiration from completed entry spaces around the world, we travel beyond the image by diving into the design process and concepts behind it.

    Today, we feature our interview with Sarah Walker of Ware Malcomb about the lobby design of Stamps.com offices in Segundo, California.

    Stamps.com-office-lobby-design-ware-malcomb

    GPI Design: What did the lobby space mean to the building as a whole?

    Sarah Walker: Our client, Stamps.com, was faced with a challenge while transforming their existing lobby into a new space to reflect their modern, creative brand while still maintaining a professional atmosphere to cater to guests and potential consumers that would walk through their doors. They needed to be sure the lobby design would attract, nurture, and retain the talent that serves as their company’s innovative foundation.  Simultaneously, the building lobby needed to cater to guests and prospective consumers, and would serve as the first impressive of Stamps.com.

    As a visitor, the lobby acts as a portal. It immediately announces your arrival into Stamps.com’s culture and brand. With the lobby connecting the two buildings, it also serves as an intersection for employees to connect and collaborate. In order to meet the shifting demands of the workplace, improved building amenities were a must. The lobby was home to the conference center and a large canteen that provided a snack service, pool table and a large, two-story water feature.

    GPI: What were your functional and conceptual goals for the lobby?

    Walker: The goal was to move away from the traditional lobby into more of a foyer or interactive type setting.  The end goal was to create a space that was an extension of the office, but still maintaining the primary function of receiving guests. The solution was a spacious, large volume, high energy, active environment with a splash of branding color to mirror Stamps.com’s culture and brand.

    The functional goals were based upon sustaining and complementing the everyday operation of the organization.  The lobby was divided into two separate zones – employee vs. secured public. The primary entrance to the building was open to the public, which was secured from the rest of the office. The employees would enter the lobby through the full service canteen, only accessible by a card reader.

    ware-malcomb-stamps.com-conference-room-design

    GPI: How did you use specific design tools (such as color, form, materiality, lighting) to create the space?

    Walker: Layering of planes and cantilevered masses were used to accentuate the 2-story volume. These cantilevered elements were a home to the new Stamps.com conference rooms. Each conference room was branded a different color and labeled an adjective that related back to the color. For example, the “Tree House” conference room was emerald green.

    A deep dive was taken into the material selection. It was understood that the selection would play a vast role in increased productivity and effectiveness of their employees, yet still tying back to their values – raw, but polished, creative office. Glass with stainless steel accents, polished concrete, and reclaimed wood relate to the Stamps.com brand while enhancing the human experience.

    All lighting was intentionally integrated within the architecture to enhance the experience. Some fixtures were programmed to be blue or red to connect the lobby to the office space.

    architectural-staircase-stamps.com-lobby

    GPI: What was the biggest constraint in turning this design into a reality?

    Walker: With the lobby being a new building that connected the two existing buildings, working with existing structure and square footage limitations was a huge constraint. It took close collaboration with the structural engineers and the design team to meet the client’s expectations, yet also be constructible. Working with a challenging existing site to create a clean rational building lobby footprint was very difficult.

    Security was also a primary design constraint. The main entrance needed to be secure from the public but allow for fluidity and easy access to the employees. To solve this circulation issue but allow for transparency, a large glass box stair was added which also provided a creative architectural statement to the exterior of the building.

    lobby-entry-design-stamps.com-malcomb

    GPI: What makes this space impactful?

    Walker: The 2-story volume allows the visitor to feel the grandness of the lobby space as soon as they walk in.  The meaning behind the cantilevered conference room overlooking the lobby was to induce a spiritual connection between work and colleagues. This conference room mirrors openness by being a glass structure but also serves as a platform for increased collaboration and effectiveness.

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    Many thanks to Sarah for sharing the design inspiration for this space. Stay tuned to our next Impactful Entry Space interview coming up in two weeks. For more visual inspiration, follow our Impactful Entry Space board on Pinterest.

    Image credits: Ware Malcomb

  7. Impactful Entry Space: 125 Park Ave

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    In this Impactful Entry Space blog series, we will feature a designer or artist that has created an attention-grabbing design for the main lobby space of a building. Drawing inspiration from completed entry spaces around the world, we travel beyond the image by diving into the design process and concepts behind it.

    This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff Gertler of Gertler & Wente Architects in New York City.  Gertler’s project at 125 Park Avenue in NYC, formerly known as the Pershing Square Building, offered a modern update to a lobby space originally designed in 1923 by York & Sawyer.  With Grand Central Station as a neighbor, the redesign of 125 Park Avenue had to hold its own.

    125-Park-Avenue-Exterior-Canopy

    GPI Design: What did the lobby space mean to the building as a whole?

    Jeff Gertler: It is a large lobby to a very old, very impressive, traditionally designed building opposite Grand Central Station.  Shorenstein Realty, the owners wanted their new acquisition to have a presence in spite of its famous and architecturally noteworthy neighbor.  So it was important that the building was able to stand on its own and draw attention from passersby.  Creating a powerful street level face was incredibly important in opening up this space; the mullion-free glass and creative canopy draws people’s eyes to the front of the building.  The canopy reflects the geometry of the nearby vehicular viaduct bridge over 42nd street.

    Lobby-Hallway-Backlit-Wall-NYC

    GPI: What were your functional and conceptual goals for the lobby?

    Gertler: We wanted to make sure people saw the entrance to the building, it was not apparent due to heavy metal framing that masked the actual entrance.  We recessed the entrance, leading visitors first up a few stairs and then through the frameless glass doors into the interior, and then several more stairs to the main level.  The entry sequence was important. To avoid an abrupt transition from 42nd street directly into the building, we created an “exterior lobby” using the sequencing of sidewalk, platforms, glass wall, and interior stairs.  This made the entry movement more of an experience.

    The lobby is nearly 175 deep and we created events along the way so it didn’t appear to be that long.  At the end is a feature wall of 2”thick clear glass, by Bendheim,  with “wrinkled” aluminum foil texture at the back of the glass, which is side lit, and causes the aluminum to glow in numerous and assorted directions. As you look through the lobby, you are pulled towards the back wall.  This orients users towards the elevators which are situated about halfway between the front door and back wall.

    Backlit-Onyx-Reception-Desk-125-Park-Ave

    GPI Design: How did you use specific design tools (such as color, form, materiality, lighting) to create the space?

    Gertler: The reception desk area is marked with a backlit onyx with hanging white glass light fixtures and anigre wood wall paneling behind it.  This reception area is a special space marking arrival to the building, discovered at the top of the second platform.  We used volcanic stone, Basaltina, for the flooring; which is largely a cool grey but having enough movement through the stone that ties the entire lobby together.  We salvaged the marble on the walls while cutting it back near the floor and ceiling and adding sheet rock.

    The space at the elevator lobby is quite different than the other spaces.  We salvaged all of the original cab door faces and frames while refacing the other wall surfaces.  This provided a modern update while still reflecting the age of the building. How do you bridge between a modern interior that still relates to the original 1920s design? We didn’t want it to be totally abrupt, but didn’t want to do a full restoration of what was there.  Salvaging the brass doors and updating the surrounding wall surfaces was our device for bridging the old and new architecture.

    GPI Design: What was the biggest constraint in turning this design into a reality?

    Gertler: Construction was difficult because it had to be sequenced.  Having to maintain the lobby to be open and safe all the time, on a 24/7 basis, construction was done in stages.  Therefore materials, geometries, and alignments couldn’t happen at one time, they had to fall in a sequential manner.  Throughout the course of the job, this made it difficult to obtain perfect alignment over the length of a long lobby.  Our team spent a significant amount of time on site managing the construction.

    Elevator-Lobby-125-Park-Ave

    GPI Design: What makes this space impactful?

    Gertler: A combination of three things makes this space impactful – the reworked geometry both in plan and section, the blend of materials, and the lighting beginning from the canopy and stretching to the back feature wall.

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    Many thanks to Jeff for sharing the design inspiration for this space. Stay tuned to our next Impactful Entry Space interview coming up in two weeks. For more visual inspiration, follow our Impactful Entry Space board on Pinterest.

    Image credits: Gertler & Wente

  8. Thursday Salute to Originals: An Explosive Wall Surface

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    In a perfect architectural world, walls are usually flat, white, and seamlessly intersect with the wall and floor planes. Free from tolerances or cracks, generally the wall plane is designed to fade into the background, acting as a blank backdrop in space. When the wall surface is exploded, an entirely new meaning takes shape and a mere architectural plane becomes a vehicle for artistic expression.

    turbo-exploded-wall-art-installation

    Originally erected in 2009 for the Parcours Saint-Germain art show, then later recreated in a Paris boutique store, “Turbo” by Baptiste Debombourg is an art installation of a wall surface treatment. Inspired by the turbo automobile trend in the 1980s, the walls speak of forceful power, much different from the passive vertical dividers we encounter every day.  According to Debombourg, “having a ‘turbo’ in your own car was giving you this feeling of superiority among other common cars. It was meaning you were more powerful than them”.  Applying this ideology to architecture, the wall suddenly comes alive with that palpable, almost violent, energy, contrasting the adjacent “standard” walls in the space.

    turbo-wall-surface-art-baptiste-debombourg

    exploded-wall-surface-debombourg

    Exploding ordinary materials out of a customarily plain and flat surface asserts the concept of power and destruction. Form is elevated over function by using shape and material to convey an abstract idea. The solidity of the wall protrudes into the space on an offensive attack, leaving imaginary sound waves echoing through the space it invades.

    baptiste-debombourg-turbo-explosive-wall-art

    For shattering the standard notion of the wall plane, we salute Baptiste Debombourg. A purposeful, exacting modification to an ordinary surface erases boundaries and challenges meaning. What do you take away from this installation?

    Image credits: Baptiste Debombourg

  9. Impactful Entry Space: Vienna Microsoft Headquarters

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    In this Impactful Entry Space blog series, we will feature a designer or artist that has created an attention-grabbing design for the main lobby space of a building. Drawing inspiration from completed entry spaces around the world, we travel beyond the image by diving into the design process and concepts behind it.

    Today, we feature our interview with Martin Lesjak of Innocad about the lobby design of the Microsoft Headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Martin was recently named Designer of the Year by Contract Magazine.

    Lobby-Entry-Innocad-Microsoft-Vienna

    GPI Design: What did the lobby space mean to the building as a whole?

    Martin Lesjak: The Lobby, as the first impression of a building, obviously is very important. In this project the goal was to create the working environment of the future, so this should be appreciable while entering the building.

    GPI: What were your functional and conceptual goals for the lobby?

    Lesjak: The functional concept was to give an inviting open impression, by avoiding a classic front desk. Therefore the welcome desk is turned 90 degrees, so it is no barrier. The conceptual idea was to create a concept between the high-tech backlit and the natural vertical garden in the back. The striped flooring transforms you to the new world of work.

    Vienna-Microsoft-Headquarters-Lobby-Design

    GPI: How did you use specific design tools (such as color, form, materiality, lighting) to create the space?

    Lesjak: As mentioned the main design tools are the characteristic flooring, the green wall and the graphics. We made an x-ray shoot of a Microsoft laptop that creates this unique aesthetic.

    Lobby-Design-with-Slide-Microsoft-Vienna

    GPI: What was the biggest constraint in turning this design into a reality?

    Lesjak: The biggest challenge was to convince the client and its employees of the totally open welcome desk layout, because there is nothing to hide behind.

    Entryway-Design-Innocad-Vienna-Microsoft

    GPI: What makes this space impactful?

    Lesjak: I think most impactful is the interaction and the contrast of the three main elements: green wall, flooring and graphics.

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    Many thanks to Martin for sharing his inspiration for this lobby design. Stay tuned to our next Impactful Entry Space interview coming up in two weeks. For more visual inspiration, follow our Impactful Entry Space board on Pinterest.

    Image 1, 2, 4: Paul Ott ©

    Image 3: Christian Dusek ©

  10. Thursday Salute to Originals: Moonlight Within Reach

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    The moon holds a mysterious pull (no gravity pun intended) that has inspired innovative minds for centuries. From Galileo’s antiquated moon phase drawings of the 1600s, to more modern abstract photographers incorporating the glowing orb as a prop, the celestial body is a creative muse. When considered for both its alluring form AND ever-shifting expression of time, the moon becomes even more connected to the human experience.

    New Moon, an interactive installation piece, puts moonlight within reach and within control. At the Incandescent Cloud studio, Artists Caitlin R.C. Brown and Wayne Garrett used 5,500 incandescent bulbs, the likes of which are being discarded in worldwide phase outs, to build an interactive moon machine. Users spin a mechanical wheel to directly affect the waxing and waning phases of the suspended moon as individual bulbs brighten and dim. Take a look at the video below:

    NEW MOON: an interactive moon sculpture by Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett from Caitlind r.c. Brown on Vimeo.

    We salute Incandescent Cloud for bringing the moon to life, and putting the interdependence of darkness and light within our grasp, both literally and figuratively. Such an innovative installation, we’re pretty sure fellow inventor, astronomer, and engineer, Galileo, would have given it his salute as well!