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Architonic, Best Office and Contract Brands, Vitra

A new way of working in the Studio Office

Good design sustainably improves the quality of living spaces, offices and public facilities. Swiss company Vitra therefore aims to combine its technical and conceptual know-how with the creativity of contemporary designers in order to explore and constantly expand the limits of design. Inside the Vitra Center at its headquarters in Birsfelden, the company is testing a new office concept with its Studio Office, developed together with London-based Sevil Peach. The founder of the architecture and design studio Sevil Peach has been working with Vitra for over 15 years, designing office environments for international companies. In the Studio Office, design and everyday demands are reconciled, creating an open space in which communication and flexibility are both condition and purpose. The Studio Office consists of five studios in which a total of 120 people work. There are no permanent workplaces, with employees choosing a new one each day.

The project aims to create a studio atmosphere that reflects Vitra’s creative spirit. The centrepiece is the Studio Office Club, which acts as a link between the studio wings and a meeting place for visitors and Vitra employees. Its centre-point is a table designed by Sevil Peach for several employees. Noise-absorbing boxes are located around the table, and these serve as ­retreat areas and discussion rooms.

Vitra sees designers not as contractors but as authors. The interaction between these authors from all over the world and a client who shares their ambitions is the essence of Vitra’s product development – the synthesis of creative freedom, manufacturing know-how, and market knowledge. One example of this collaboration is the Pacific Chair, designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby from London. In line with the principle of “full performance, quiet design”, the components follow a uniform design-language and lend the Pacific Chair design clarity and precision. The swivel chair is characterised in particular by its backrest, which extends so far down that no mechanical component can be seen from ­behind apart from the underframe. The height-adjustable backrest and armrests run in the same vertical profile, enabling a side-oriented sitting position. Finally, a mechanism reacts to the individual weight of the user.

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