DAPstudio’s design for the Milanese headquarters of GFT Italy, an IT services provider for the financial industry, is like a small-scale urban setting, a dynamic space in which rigid hierarchies are washed away to open up informal areas where people can meet, share ideas and expertise, exchange opinions and be inspired. The large open-space has a long, central structure reminiscent of the pitched-roof house archetype. The flexible workstations and meeting or conference spaces are then located around this “house”, while a break zone is inside it, looking out across the workstations. Materials and colors are central to the design, with the environments and furniture custom designed and created by barth Innenausbau. Lacquered surfaces, glass, oak and MDF are the defining materials, setting white against bright orange and the warmth of wood, in a mixture of transparency and opacity that produces a simultaneously unitary and multiform space. Reception lies behind a glazed wall with wooden dividers and door, and is furnished with a counter and an additional piece of storage furniture behind this, both in matt white lacquer. barth also made the glazed walls for the meeting rooms, the telephone booths and the entrance to the break area. It also created all the office and technical furnishings, including the work surfaces, shelves, cupboards and the MDF paneling in the break area. This white-coated paneling is 20 mm thick and adorned with two-sized circular holes that reduce the material impact and play on the sense of transparency to form changing perceptions of the volume as one saunters through the open space. The light and color of the internal walls filter through this pattern, forming a buffer between the work and relaxation spaces. The design hinges on dualities - material and transparency, fluidity and stability - to form a stimulating workplace that is flexible and changing, without ever losing a clear sense of the purpose of each space.
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