A growing graphic design firm leased a full floor space in a small, Flatiron District commercial building and commissioned Biber Architects to create its offices.
Like the floors in most small New York buildings, it was a tunnel with windows at either end – but this space had a bonus window, with a view of the Flatiron Building, in the center. The designer’s approach to the space was to treat it as an open loft, carefully placing objects to subtly divide it, and respecting the windows and views.
Each object adopted a characteristic shape and a color from the palette of a Stuart Davis painting that both the client and architect admired. Under the original undulating ceiling, the large scale objects break down the space in distorted geometries while emphasizing the unity of the whole floor.
Rolling doors to a conference room can be opened to the offices beyond. The door’s solid and translucent panels allow light to fill the rooms and graphic work to be magnetically hung on the sliding walls. The doors are suspended from exposed steel beams that define the conference room even when the doors are retracted.
In order to avoid complete regimentation in the studio, the desks were set at angles to the side wall, providing a sense of variety and accident in the space. A diagonal axis connects the front and rear windows and is marked with a line of simple custom-designed lighting.
The office and studio define an attitude toward design that comfortably fits the client and allows their own work to take prominence in the space.