The client, a law firm specialized in energy and environmental law, approached the architect with the question to rethink their conference rooms. Over the years the space had been used in an a very pragmatic and ad hoc way. Electrical outlets and light sockets had sprung up everywhere and extension cords and cables had become more rule than exception. Thus an update to stage 2.0, a state that better reflected the nature of the firm’s activities, was more than welcome. A more rational use of energy and authenticity in form and function had to be the two key points of the architect’s solution for this renovation.
The chosen course of action did not lead to a gigantic intervention. On the contrary: with well-chosen actions, the architect has succeeded in attaining maximum effect with minimum costs and structural changes. The big room at the front of the house functions as the conference room for meetings and to receive clients, while the smaller second room at the back holds all the amenities and serves as an informal coffee corner.
The color scheme is dictated by the pre-existing elements in both rooms. In the conference room the wall paneling is painted in the same hue as the Carrara white marble fireplace while the wall paneling in the annex follows the color dictated by the brown marble fireplace. Then this color scheme is mirrored when it comes to the areas above the paneling. The use of only two colors gives the offices an unobtrusive warm and natural feel. The ceiling, floor, window and door frames are identical to the bottom part so as not to attract unnecessary attention. The colors of all the electrical components are chosen accordingly, white matching the paneling in the first room and brown in the coffee corner.
To bring maximum light and brightness to these rooms the architect came up with an original light fixture. With led lines he created an eye-catching installation that not only sheds light in an even way throughout the room, but also functions as a visually interesting metaphor for the rational use of energy, one of the firm’s core businesses.
Accommodating the lawyers’ need for storage and as a bridge connecting the two rooms, the architect has lined up bookcases from various depths (less deep at the chimney where the wall is protruding) along the length of the wall. Not only are these cases aligned when it comes to depth, they are also vertically in line with certain lines in the wall paneling. In doing so, the architect has created a volume that has voluminosity without being overly present. In the annex against the wall following the height of the brown paneling, a cupboard in a similar brown unassertively hides fridge and wash basin.