Balancing work and rest: an unusual makeover in an office
A special task for IKEA Interior Designer – a project like no other, this is the office/common room at the Crisis and Counselling Centre. The Centre moved into new apartments not very long ago. When moving, the old furniture was taken with, as due to the finances there was no possibility to buy new things. However, this office is the place of main activities of the Centre.
Finding the right posture
One cannot help but notice quite a lot of chairs. As co-workers of the Centre say, some of these are only there because nobody wants to throw out something that can still be used... at least in a way. The old office chairs have served good but due to a very intensive use are now rendered almost worthless and used mainly as footstools for finding a more comfortable position while on the phone or as an additional storage for personal items.
The Why and the How of the layout
The interior of the room is purely utilitarian. The desks have been put where the electrical outlets are, not giving much thought to comfort. The same goes for placement of the storage which is not only just placed "somewhere" but also too small for all the paperwork needed for ensuring smooth everyday work.
Temporary solutions that last
Is there one person not ot have heard someone saying – everything temporary lasts forever? That is very true in this office where some things are still as they were right after the moving. At the back of the mind, there was always the idea of creating a space for the personal belongings of the co-workers, especially the ones working night shifts, but somehow, such space still has not been found. Keeping clothes and other things on the sofa or the chairs has become rather irritating over time.
Togetherness with a hint of privacy
The spacious desks have been arranged in a way that creates both a feeling of being in one's own space and of closeness with the other co-workers in case support is needed. Between the desks, small partitions have been built, using customisable sound absorbing panels that can be combined as wished. Comfortable office chairs on wheels complete the workspace to make working there truly enjoyable.
A place for everything
In every office, storage is essential. Here, a spacious combination of open shelves and cabinets has been used. Thus, the things needed daily can be kept at the eye level and visible and others put in the closed part of the storage. To break the monotony of a storage wall, two different colours have been chosen.
No work without rest
In an office where people work also nights and are often under a lot of psychological pressure, the creation of a lounge area should not be underestimated. Corner sofas are a great solution both for sitting and relaxing with a cup of coffee or for taking a power nap. Some thought has to be given to lighting as well, as the area has to be welcoming and soothing.
When the functional needs have been covered, it is time to think about the small things that make one feel at home. One easy way to achieve this is to use textiles – pillows, throws etc. Artwork on the wall also gives a nice touch especially when the whole setting is somewhat unusual like the combination with the wall clock here.