TETRIS: rearranging workspaces, finding balance between function and visual identity
Tetris is the European leader for fit-outs of business premises: offices, hotels, shops or logistics properties. I had the pleasure to create and install space dividers for their own open-space offices located in La Defense business district in Paris, on the 39th floor of Cœur Défense building.
A few years ago, there was no way I could get an office project using textiles. Most people couldn't even imagine introducing "softness" and well being into office spaces supposed to be "serious". The only materials allowed were hard ones such as metal, glass or wood and the only colors allowed where grey and dark blue, supposedly masculine colors! Fortunately things have changed since, bright colors are more often accepted and there is increasing interest towards the functionality of the products used.
In this project, my client wished to visually separate blocks of six desks from the passage way and the central technical zone. In order to do that, I needed to create a virtual corridor between the people working at their desks and their passing by colleagues. I was also to use the six colors of the brand logo, each color identifying a different department within the company. Finally, the space dividers where to be easily removable in order for the spaces to evolve through time if the need came.
I found the solution to all these needs in two of the materials present in my collections: colored felt in 100% wool and white sun screens.
I suggested to organize the panels in pairs, one panel in felt (for acoustic comfort) and one in semi transparent sun screen (to adjust light and vision). Together they create a virtual corridor and bring comfort to users in terms of acoustics, vision and ambient light.
These are just a few of the many benefits textiles can offer in order to respect people in their work spaces.
Last but not least, how do you make a virtual corridor dynamic and lively and not boring? By breaking the line into an open V shape with a certain angle decided by the client.
The blue, green, yellow, red and violet felt reminds of the colors also used in the client's logo TETRIS. I also used my cut out designs "little windows" and "city lights" as a subtle reference to client's logo which is a cubical form.
This project is a perfect example of how to find the right balance between the functional proprieties of textiles and client's visual identity.
Rearranging these work spaces brought an immediate sense of well being to the users. What's more, ever since we accomplished this project, quite a few Tetris clients have also asked for similar solutions but adapted to their own company identity.
Photo Credits: Bernard Taboureau
For this project I have used the following designs and materials:
- Space dividing panels in white sun screen mesh with "little windows" digital cut design. These panels provide diffuse light as well as one way vision so that the users still benefit from the open-space spirit of their offices and don't feel closed away.
- Space dividers in colorful felt with "city lights" digital cut design. These panels provide efficient acoustic comfort and block out the view in order to bring some privacy to the desks.
I'm grateful to my client at Tetris for her trust and for the great opportunity she created for both our companies.
*Lorraine Bôle du Chaumont, « Réinventer les espaces de travail, entre utilité et identité » Visible N°15 – Janvier 2015
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