Office for Living, Workplace Building Concept, Conceptual Architecture, Design, Images

Office for Living Project : Design Concept

Workplace Tailoring Project – design by Jean Nouvel

11 Apr 2013

Project: Office for Living

Design: Jean Nouvel

“Project: office for living”: Jean Nouvel at the Saloni 2013

The 52nd edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile – at the Rho Milan Fairgrounds from 9th to 14th April – will feature a major project conceived by one of the most distinguished names in architecture today, Jean Nouvel, Pritzker Prize 2008.

Jean Novel’s response to Cosmit’s commission for a huge project, tailored specifically to the Saloni and documenting the tremendous changes that have changed the face of living and work spaces alike over the past few years is “a project that frees up the office space, a counter to urban segregation and the zoning of other specially dedicated workplaces.”

Project: Office for Living Project: Office for Living Project: Office for Living
images from architect

Jean Nouvel will explore contemporary building concepts within a dedicated area in SaloneUfficio’s pavilion 24, informed by a rejection of cloned spaces, enclosed spaces and serial repetitiveness, suggesting new cohesive formulas for tackling the domestic and international markets to greater effect.

Jean Nouvel built his first office building, the CLMBBDO advertising agency on the outskirts of Paris, in the late Eighties, giving full rein to the key strands of his vision of the workspace : mobility, conviviality, pleasure, fun, with offices opening onto both the inside and the outside of the building.

“In 30 or 40 years time we will be stunned to see just how unliveable most of today’s offices really were,” says Jean Nouvel. “Grotesque clones, standardisation, totalitarianism, never the merest hint of being pleasurable to inhabit.”
This concept of pleasure in office living is precisely what is driving “Project: office for living.” It is a quest for new materials and new technologies for creating comfortable, effective, user-friendly and ecologically-aware environments. We need to inhabit our offices the way we inhabit our homes and our cities, because we spend just as much time in the workplace as we do in our own homes, and everyone has a right to small pleasures – light regulation, emplacements, views, the right of expression through furniture and objects.
“We can work, and will increasingly work, in apartments, in our own apartments, in converted warehouses” says Nouvel. “If we were to work in office skyscrapers, we would have to invent spaces impregnated with generosity, receptive to each and everybody’s universes and personalisations.”

Project: Office for Living Project: Office for Living Project: Office for Living
images from architect

“Project: office for living” will showcase several different work environments light years away from urban segregation and functional cloning. As Jean Nouvel says, the architect’s job is to interpret the technical, cultural and social changes of the age in which we live and to express them poetically in a quest for freedom.

A monolith will rise up in the middle of SaloneUfficio, as intriguing as it is inviting, showing four video-portraits: a film director, a philosopher, an artist and a writer raising concerns and giving their views on the concept of office space.

This then paves the way for five completely original scenarios illustrating just how out-dated the traditional office already is.

A classic apartment, completely transformed into a working environment and done up in ultramodern style is the first “mise en scene:” the space is on a human scale, making for more userfriendly and enjoyable spaces than any repetitive, standardised offices. This is an instance of “cocooning,” the concept of recreating one’s own nest at work, fostering a sense of reassurance.

Project: Office for Living Project: Office for Living Project: Office for Living
images from architect

The second mise en scene will consist of a series of adjoining offices set out logically and in a structured fashion, but generously free-form in spirit. Sliding walls, folding doors, careful lighting and diversity of ambience achieved by means of moveable blinds, accessories that can be hung onto or removed from the walls at will: the workspace can be closed off from or opened onto the neighbouring offices as required and as desired.

Next off is a warehouse, converted into an office, optimising its spatial potential, representative of the essential interactions between domestic and work spaces, and reflecting the increasingly common trend for working from home.

Heterogeneity is the key to the final mise en scene: mobile, modular and stackable flat surfaces and shelving, that can be piled up and perched upon, making for an entirely different working environment and presenting like an outline cityscape. Even the materials – aluminium, wood, leather and plexiglass – take on their own heterogeneity, enveloping other components to innovative effects.

Spaces unfettered by traditional rules, therefore, driven by the concept of a pleasurable working environment, allowing people to compose their own spaces to suit their own particular needs, with plays of light and reflections.
To this end, a laboratory, or theoretical demonstration space, is devoted to light, demonstrating how its capabilities can be harnessed and exploited, an antithesis to the standardised office lighting systems of today.

The event will also include a small compendium of furnishings and structures created by great architects, a homage to Jean Novel’s heroes, and a VIP lounge, to which four eminent designer friends of Nouvel’s have been invited: Ron Arad, Michele De Lucchi, Marc Newson and Philippe Starck.

Project: Office for Living images / information received from Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel


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Project: Office for Living