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Office in Rome II

With the dynamic business reality and success of the Studio Cristallini, a multi-brands clothes distributor, the owner decided to re-think the image of its headquarters in Rome. For logistic reasons the three level office refurbishment (ground floor, basement floor, and first floor) was organized in three different stages. The Silver Hall, at the ground floor, hosts the main entry, the administration and the director office. The Black Canvas, in the basement, accommodates the selling and display areas and a series of amenities. The third stage is currently ongoing.

The Black Canvas (stage two)

 The second intervention located in the basement of the building presented three design challenges: the duality between an open and enclosed layout (selling and displaying different brands requires isolated space, however the sense of an open space was also a requirement of the client); the absence of natural light and, a limited time for the construction. The existing space was punctuated by a double row of concrete columns that divided the space in three naves. Within the central nave, the proposal inserts eight enclosed office spaces. Each of them has a double entry, diagonally arranged, on the two sides that guarantee visual connection with the main space without losing spatial and functional autonomy. The arrangement of these openings ensures that these offices are perceived as a sequence of separated volumes. Two passages interrupt this series of volumes connecting the two lateral naves with the central one. The lateral naves are arranged as open spaces with linear steel clothes hangers. Overall, the open and fluid distribution gives a market kind of feeling to the space. The whole space is black with different surfaces acknowledging the absence of natural light: black tinted timber on the floor; black paint textured with fibres on the new partition walls; black steel plates in the offices; black painting for the existing walls and the ducts left exposed. The repetitive layout of the offices, the lightweight construction and the simplicity of the material palette generate a strong visual outcome: the black canvas celebrates the colourful variety of the clothes and the wanderers of this maze, in the likes of a modern Souq.