The task was to work out the design for completely renovated offices for Swecox, a family-owned company that had as its major line of business the importing of coal and coke, offices that would have a strong and representative character. Our only limitations were the the building’s structure and the functional needs of Swecox.
The spatial structure of the offices is that of two intersecting axes, one extending from the entrance to the reception and the other from the staff room to the front office. Both axes end at a filtered source of light from outside.
By working with concepts such as street, plaza and facade, we have incorporated the town as a structure and emotion in the space of Swecox. We used three different types of zones; public, semi private and private. These zones are seen as rooms, not necessarily divided by walls, but can also be created by material, structure, objects, etc. The rooms’ borders are in many cases weak, sometimes completely dissolved. A room flows unnoticed into the next room, which overlaps a third, which leads to a fourth, and so on.
Entering the space, you are met by a sequence of framing, that create a renaissance perspective, with the receptionist in the focal point of the perspective. The illusion is enhanced by the backlight that creates the backdrop for the reception desk.
Where the two axes intersect is a central space, a kind of marketplace, the hub around which the office's various functions are grouped. Coming through the entrance door of stainless steel and glass, you pass by and through a sequence of doorways. To the right, you see the board room, dominated by the enormous glass table with solid stainless steel legs, and on the wall a folding-down steel-plated cocktail cabinet for preparing drinks.
The square, the heart of the office, functions as a waiting area and here you find the chair Knut, designed by Abelardo Gonzalez. The meeting room’s door is flanked by two large roman bronze soldiers, who from their pedestals watch over meetings and reunions. The meeting room is dominated by a large table in glass and solid, cast stainless steel, also designed by Abelardo Gonzalez.
The whole space is organised as sequences of spatial events, ie a place is the result of the previous one and simultaneously evokes anticipation of the next space. In this way we want to motivate the visitor’s movement through the spaces and through hints of what is around the corner, and evoke curiosity.