Designer Forum - October 2011

By Andrea Hartley Bishop

 

When Atlanta based Venadar hired Rabaut Design Associates to design its new workspace, it issued a challenge: create a culture that will cultivate inspiration, encourage creativity and promote collaboration. The client, which works to connect emerging companies, products and services with market opportunities, asked Rabaut to design an innovative new space for its expanding business, while also providing an environment that improves the way the company functions.

Our solution to that challenge: gleaming white interiors that are free of any aesthetic preconceptions or influences. We created a clean architecture with contrasts of brilliant color to show off the firm to its best advantage. The flooring was designed to be a tailored backdrop for the overall crisp design.

The space was designed to communicate an orderly, forward-thinking organization. We sought functionality as well as visual impact. Artistically arranged dimensional cubes showcased on the walls of the more public spaces of the floor plan are a primary design element. They are used as textural art, when left unadorned, and become part of the design story when meeting with and presenting to clients. The white backdrop not only puts the client front and center, but it is also the perfect environment in which to present concepts and designs. 

As a full floor tenant, the space was organized to have the existing elevator lobby feel like a part of the space. It was critical for the space to flow as soon as the elevator doors slid open. Granite pavers existed in the elevator lobby/public space of the office building. Against the white walls, the granite pops with contrast. We wanted to bridge the absolute black of the granite with another flooring material that was something a little different than expected in an office building, but we wanted the flow between the areas to be seamless.

Cork was selected as the design element to create that bridge because of its design and color, and because we were looking for a product with a good sustainable story. We chose Capri Cork’s Mediterra Rigato in a 24”x24” monolithic module. Rigato means “pinstripe”—which is in line with the tailored look we were seeking—and the cork came in a dark color, to work with the adjacent black granite, but with lighter contrasting color strips. The cork floor ages over time and develops a rich patina that is hard to duplicate in manufacturing.  

The cork was used in the public spaces: the reception area, conference room and corridor, as well as the ideation room. With all the hard surfaces within these rooms, noise and reverberation were a concern. Since cork is soft and sound absorptive, it is a great solution for these spaces.

The reception area was intentionally left unadorned. The ideation room, off of the reception area, is modern and rectangular, but the hard angles are softened by the flowing organic shapes in the furniture, from the oval patterned and egg shaped seating to the organic multipurpose tables. The ideation room was developed for think tank sessions, presentations and in-house company collaboration. The palette of the space pairs crisp, solid, saturated colors for a rich result.

Natural lighting and glassed offices create a feel of openness, transparency and luminescence. All offices are outfitted with streamlined white desking systems and a minimal approach to seating. Magnetic dry erase boards are installed in the offices and throughout the whole space for freethinking and spontaneous collaboration.

The workstations are designed efficiently but with flexibility. Again, clean, crisp white is used for the furniture, but we added translucent divider panels and fun graphic patterned desk chairs for the staff. The space is designed with tables clustered within the workstations to provide temporary additional desk layout space or team meeting areas. These can be changed daily according to each individual’s needs.

In the general office and open office spaces, we installed InterfaceFlor carpet tile. Carpet tile was selected for its design qualities and ease of maintenance. The tile pattern that was specified is called Syncopation. This cut and loop product has a great plush, silken, textural finish. The color, called Lagoon, is an intense aqua tone on tone that emphasizes a textural variation rather than contrasting color. The carpet, installed in an ashlar configuration, created a sculpted, patterning effect. The color and texture of the carpet tile was important because the space required a sophisticated look; this was integral to maintaining the restrained design of the space.

We also added InterfaceFlor’s Superflor product, which was installed monolithically in accent areas. Superflor was selected for its rich textural violet color and was used for contrast and as a companion to the Lagoon color. It was important that the product was a solution-dyed yarn system for hassle free maintenance.

The central hub is more than just a place to have lunch. It is located near the rear door and close to restrooms, supplies, printers and copiers. It is the hub of daily activity. From the stand up tables to the company information board, which highlights everything from new employees to the latest by Oprah, the central hub provides a place for firm-wide events and encourages socialization and informal knowledge sharing. This is the one location in the office where the clean white walls are patterned; bright overlapping circles in saturated tones surround the information board, aligning with the intense colors used in the flooring.

We selected sheet vinyl flooring for the central hub area of the office because we needed something that would be easy to clean. The Lonseal flooring we chose, from the Lonmetro UV line, is a pattern called Metro Blue. With so many hard finishes in this portion of the space, acoustics were a concern. Sheet vinyl was selected over VCT for that reason. The sheet vinyl was designed in a 6”x6” module, so we reinforced the grid with contrasting orange welding rods. The graphic grid is repeated in the lighting layout above. The strong color, as well as the shiny textural sheen, was a desired element in the flooring selection. 

The space is the most talked about within the office building, and the staff is pleased to work in such a great space. In fact, Rabaut Design Associates won the Georgia Chapter of ASID, Design Excellence Award for Venadar.

It was clean, crisp and collaborative effort! 

Copyright 2011 Floor Focus 



Other Archived Articles

Shaw Introduces New Carpet Backing, Protection System   Full Article
Dalton, GA, Jan. 19, 2015 -- Shaw Floors said it is introducing LifeGuard, a new carpet protection system that covers the entire product, from face fiber to backing.

Valinge, System SpA Form Printer Partnership   Full Article
Viken, Sweden, Jan. 19, 2015 -- Välinge Innovation and System SpA have entered into a strategic partnership to supply the flooring and building panel industry with industrial single-pass printers .

Surfaces Show Featuring Booth Crawl Challenge   Full Article
Dallas, TX, Jan. 19, 2015 -- This week's Surfaces show will feature a Booth Crawl Challenge, a new show promotion.

Ceramics of Italy Contest Deadline Extended   Full Article
Bologna, Italy, Jan. 19, 2015 -- The submission deadline for the 2015 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition has been extended to Jan. 23.

Polley To Be Inducted into WFCA Hall of Fame   Full Article
Anaheim, CA, Jan. 19, 2015 -- David Polley is the newest inductee to the World Floor Covering Association Hall of Fame.

HPS Schönox To Name Contest Winners on Thursday   Full Article
Las Vegas, NV, Jan. 16, 2015 -- HPS Schönox will present the winner of its Schönox Worst Subfloor in North America Contest at Surfaces next Thursday at 11 a.m..

Shnier To Distribute Metroflor's Aspecta in Canada   Full Article
Norwalk, CT, Jan. 16, 2015 -- Metroflor Corp. said it has formed a partnership with Shnier, a leading Canadian floor covering company, to distribute its commercial Aspecta LVT.

Dealer Discovers Rug Owned by FDR   Full Article
New York, NY, Jan. 16, 2015 -- John Ahdoot of Ahdoot Oriental Rugs recently discovered a rug in a New Jersey couple’s home that once belonged to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Consumer Sentiment at 11-Year High   Full Article
Ann Arbor, MI, Jan. 16-2015 -- Consumer sentiment in January surged to the highest level in 11 years, according to the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment index.

Consumer Prices Fall Most in Six Years   Full Article
Washington, DC, Jan. 16, 2015 -- U.S. consumer prices fell 0.4% in December, the largest drop since the end of 2008, according to the Labor Department.

Pharr Yarns Invests in New Space Dye Technology   Full Article
McAdenville, NC, Janu. 15, 2015 -- Pharr Yarns said it has invested in space dye technology for its McAdenville facility to handle the growing demand for sophisticated design.

Engineered Floors Using Dye, Stain Technologies in Soft Nylon   Full Article
Dalton, Ga., Jan. 16, 2015 – Dream Weaver Carpet and Engineered Floors say they are using technology they developed for coloring polyester fiber and applying it to soft nylon.

IVC Deal a Good Sales Opportunity for Mohawk   Full Article
New York, NY, Jan. 15, 2015 -- Stifel Nicolaus still has a "buy" rating on shares of Mohawk Industries following Mohawk's announced acquisition of vinyl firm IVC for $1.2 billion.

Producer Prices Decline in December   Full Article
Washington, DC, Jan. 15, 2015 –- Producer prices fell by 0.3% in December, according to the Commerce Department.

New York Manufacturing Rebounds in January   Full Article
Washington, DC, Jan. 15, 2015 –- Manufacturing activity in New York state surged in January following a decline in December, according to the Federal Reserve.

Initial Jobless Claims Highest Since September   Full Article
Washington, DC, Jan. 15, 2015 – Initial claims for unemployment benefits last week increased to the highest level since early September, according to the Labor Department.

Builder Lennar Sees Profits Surge in Fourth Quarter   Full Article
Miami, FL, Jan. 15, 2015 -- Homebuilder Lennar Corp. reported fourth-quarter profit rose by 52% to $245.3 million, or $1.07 per share.

H.B. Fuller Reports Higher Revenue, Lower Profit   Full Article
St. Paul, MN, Jan. 15, 2015 -- Adhesives maker H.B. Fuller Company reported fourth quarter net income of $10.8 million, or $0.21 per share, compared to net income of $21.9 million, or $0.43 per share, a year ago.

NWFA To Hold Wood Manufacturers Assembly   Full Article
St. Louis, MO, Jan. 15, 2015 -- The National Wood Flooring Association has announced it will hold its Wood Flooring Manufacturers Assembly, March 24-25, at the OMNI Hotel in Nashville.

Couple Sues Wood Manufacturer Over Rare Infestation   Full Article
Newfoundland, Canada, Jan. 15, 2015 -- Homeowners here are seeking compensation in small claims court following a rare powderpost beetle infestation in their hardwood flooring, according to CBC News.