Swiss chemicals company Clariant recently hired architecture and interior design firm The Design Group to design their new office in in Lodz, Poland.
“Original, cast-iron stairs lead to the company’s seat, featuring preserved embossing, which still recalls the beginnings of the Vodka Manufactory. They accentuate the atmosphere of this place and lend it a classy feeling. Similarly, The Design Group architects did not avoid references to post-industrial aesthetics in the office interiors. The brick, which you can see on many walls, is an original part of this over 100-year-old building. Its display was a deliberate design effort. Besides, there are mirrors concealed in various parts of the office (from the height of 2.7 m to the ceiling, i.e. up to about 4 m), which create the effect of never-ending masonry and incredible depth. The ceiling, which resembles a barrel vault, is loaded with illuminating reflectors, along with acoustic systems as acoustic islands and sheets (acoustic beams) tailored to this area.
The industrial atmosphere of the office, with its aesthetics dominated by the said bricks, soft colors, and wooden veneer, is interrupted by a number of distinctive architectural interventions. The first one, which is extremely representative for those interiors, are the photo wallpapers, featuring for instance reproductions of pieces by prominent painters. Altogether, there are nearly 80 of such reproductions. Each of them refers to one of Clariant’s six main values. The print ideas presented by Clariant have been tested by TDG in terms of aesthetics and integration into the building structure. The greenery is another design element making these interiors stand out, introduced there as a so-called living wall. Not only is its function to decorate, but above all to purify the air.
“When discussing the Clariant office in Łódź, you cannot overlook interior design elements that go straight to the roots of the brand. For this reason, the kitchen resembles somewhat an alpine village hut. Plenty of wood and intriguing detail. We set our heart on making the project allude to the Swiss style, even in such settings as lighting and luminaires,” says Emilia Wójcicka, a designer from The Design Group, who is in charge of the interior concept for the Clariant office. “For this reason, for example, there are lamps in the kitchen; we designed them in n such a way as to resemble massive shepherd’s bells. On the other hand, some of the luminaires are made of recycled materials. Those are post-industrial lamps made of thick, artisan glass. Following the definition of recycling, we wanted to give them a new life, “play” with their customization and combine them with the industrial style of the interiors,” explains Ewelina Mężyńska, a designer from The Design Group.
The ambience of the Clariant office in Łódź is literally and figuratively open. Employees predominantly occupy the open space, and individual offices are separated by glass walls. There are also numerous conference rooms, leisure areas, and coffee points. The company has also minded providing silent rooms, i.e. small, glazed “telephone booths.” The good, but most importantly, safe office experience is fostered by advanced health and safety solutions, such as projectors with information about low ceilings, or a safe door handle system that warns with color signals when a bathroom door opens onto the hallway,” says The Design Group.
- Location: Lodz, Poland
- Date completed: 2020
- Size: 46,284 square feet
- Design: The Design Group
- Photos: Fotomohito