Tag Archives: Inspired Spaces

Story Telling

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When it comes to LZF approaching everything they do like it’s a work of fine art, their 2016 marketing campaign Telling Tales, reinforces their place as leaders of the pack.

Telling Tales is a collaboration between a novelist, a design studio, and a film industry set and wardrobe designer. Managed by Ester Colomina and directed down to the last detail by LZF founder Mariví Calvo, the campaign is set in the 1950’s and inspired by the realist painter Edward Hopper whose work depicted scenes of modern American life.

Hopper’s paintings of silent, empty spaces which were often uninhabited by people, have a pervading sense of loneliness. When people were present, their encounters were stilted and uneasy. His paintings reach us where we are most vulnerable, stimulating our own private loneliness, forcing us to acknowledge that we’re only human, fallible flesh and bone.

If my description of Telling Tales sounds melancholic than perhaps it is, but it’s also seductive and very beautiful. Realised in a series of images and short films, the scenes take place at night (in line with Hopper’s own consistent use of a dark palette), where the nocturnal happenings of the characters are illuminated by some of LZF’s choicest lamps.

Mariví’s brief to her collaborators was that the focus be on the people who exist within the space, rather than the space itself. This is an unusual approach and one rarely taken by a company whose market is high-end interiors. What ensued is brilliant; a still-life with lamps, a campaign that is a work of art rather than a glossy advertorial.

Masquespacio Studio art-directed Mariví’s concept through a series of images that illustrate the intricate and subtle relationship between narrated characters, light and the spaces they occupy.

With overtures of Hitchcock and film noir, colours and compositions synonymous with the 1950’s were recreated by photographer Maria Mira, and digital imagers Cauliti Studio. Writer Grasso Toro penned the intriguing, but equally elusive tale of the characters, Julie and Nelson. Read Part I here…

Our interest, or our voyeurism, is sufficiently piqued as we observe Julie and Nelson in their home. We watch them when they think they’re alone, we wonder about them, who are they and what will happen to them, about their problems and about their future. For all our cold detachment in a world full of marketing bombardment, we realise that LZF made us care.

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LZF Lamps, Lucifer Lamps

 

 

 

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Law & Order

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Understandably UFL’s repertoire of assignments is not confined to our own back doorstep, that being Auckland. Recently we supplied a combination of Spanish and NZ made furniture to a boutique law firm based in Rotorua.

Lance Lawson Barristers & Solicitors, employed Auckland’s RCG, to create a new office environment for their busy practice. One which would both develop and promote an edgy, contemporary culture, whilst upholding the integrity of their business.

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If RCG is ringing bells, that’s because we recently featured another project by the company’s own Ceili Murphy on our blog. This talented local designer worked on the revamp of our UFL HQ no less.

The hub of Lance Lawson, is a central space which runs through the middle of the building. Coined ‘Marketplace’, it was inspired by such and gives the whole office a great sense of openness that encourages transparency and collaboration amongst the team, creating a relationship-driven gravitational pull if you like.

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The Marketplace incorporates slick, monochromatic finishes mixed with timber for a warm, lived-in feeling. Piergiorgio Cazzaniga’s Reverse tables are teamed with Lievore Altherr Molina’s Lottus chairs, and our own J-Series leaner is teamed with the Lottus barstool.

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Our first foray into designing custom workstations was applied in collaboration with RCG for Lance Lawson. This new commercial avenue burgeoned for UFL during 2015 with the installation of several large-scale desking fit-outs within Auckland.

Lance Lawson’s desk-pods were created to help teams work together within the company. Custom light fittings sit above the stations and this traditional desk structure contrasts effectually with the more relaxed breakout areas. The result is a mixture of classic UFL pieces and custom desking working together to form a fun yet business-like space.

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Photos by Amanda Aitken

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Hellmann Future Proofs

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When a company casts their collective mind back over the year that was, we agree one of our proudest 2015 moments was fitting out Hellmann Worldwide Logistics’ new headquarters. A benchmark in design, functionality and innovation, the new building is 15,000-square-metre ambient and controlled-temperature warehousing complex and head office at Landing Drive, Auckland Airport.

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We’ve probably all seen the building by now, designed by Auckland’s RTA Studio, it’s hard to miss. Almost rock-like in its presence, the building presses down on the earth and one end appears to sink right into it. Superbly modern, the architecture is worthy of the world’s most advanced freight-forwarding company. Hellmann Worldwide Logistics operates 443 branches in 157 countries and employs in excess 16,500 people to serve their customers worldwide.

The new Auckland facility has positioned the firm to deliver a new and expanding level of service to its international and domestic customers. It has also united Hellmann’s two previously-separate Auckland operations in one location.

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Hellmann New Zealand’s managing director, Chris McCagney says, “Our owners, Jost and Klaus Hellmann, have committed Hellmann globally to a very high bar in terms of service excellence, quality, innovation and environmental care. This development ticks all the right boxes. The move to this unique facility at Auckland Airport will bring together the ambient and controlled-temperature operations of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics and Hellmann Perishable Logistics in Auckland onto a single prime site, increasing our agility, operating efficiency and capacity for growth.”

“A key driver was to look at the wider environment and trends, both here and particularly overseas, to understand the types of customer needs we expect to be servicing in the future and the infrastructure that requires, we also worked to ensure we didn’t box ourselves into any corners and built in the flexibility and scale to adapt and grow as tomorrow’s requirements reveal”.

“Increasingly we are seeing customers who require multiple types of infrastructure across the supply chain and to be able to obtain that from one company, on a single site is a very compelling proposition.”

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Mr McCagney says sustainability and minimising ozone depletion/ global warming impacts were other key drivers in the build, so as to maximise the potential for customers to trade off “clean and green”.

“Our refrigeration plant utilises ammonia which has a very low carbon footprint and by installing a large air-cooled condenser, this plant requires no water or other chemicals. We’ve also invested in high-end electric forklifts, variable speed drives, EC fans, LED lighting and daylight harvesting to minimise power usage.

“The green aspect of this facility is huge and we have also become a much more efficient business.”

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UFL worked closely with top management personnel, to create a polished, efficient and fun head office. We were asked to deliver a complete design and supply package, which included the boardroom and meeting room, the reception area and counter complete with custom joinery, spatial office design for 60 staff which included a huge amount of desking and mobile storage units, also breakout spaces and a huge, vibrant and friendly café. Eclipse Architecture were also involved in the design of the interior. Colour design was required and saw us pairing neutral greys, blues and blacks with chrome finishes, and bright yellow within the upholstery and polypropylene used in the chairs.

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Mr McCagney says a focus on people and fostering a culture drove the integrated nature of the design, which has turned traditional warehousing form on its head by incorporating an office within the overall build.

“A key aspect of this is the cafeteria which we have designed in an open-plan form within the two-storey administration area. When a customer arrives at the reception foyer they are instantly integrated within the ‘marketplace’ of our staff in the cafeteria as well as having sight-lines further into the warehouse operation.

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“The new facility is an exemplar of how you can create a really exciting form of architecture in a functional industry build, and that speaks volumes to what is the Hellmann brand and the Hellmann Family ethos — we are showing the way forward in quality of facilities and workplace.”

Praising owners Jost and Klaus Hellmann for seeing the value in good design and showing the faith to “let us get on with running the business”, Mr McCagney also emphasises the huge commitment this investment shows in the local market.

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“A unique fourth-generation company that is about to move into the fifth, Hellmann has been operating in New Zealand for close to 30 years now. We’ve been proudly working with a number of our customers for a long period of that time and this facility will ensure we are positioned to continue to replicate our past successes going forward.

“This is a truly world-class, landmark development and in another 20 years’ time I believe it will still stand out as a magnificent, flexible, ecological and efficient facility. Hellmann has made a clear statement to those servicing the New Zealand logistics industry that if you want to be in this business, then you need to invest — because here is the new standard.”

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Hellmann was a project that challenged due to its manifold nature. Logistics aside, one that attested UFL’s ability to do it all, a one-stop-shop.

All furniture was sourced from Italy, Spain and Australia and local manufacturers.

20151022_hellmann_0118Photos by Jeremy Toth

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Designing The Designers

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Following on from the blog last week about Sancal who’ve recently completed a stunning renovation of their office, we thought the timing perfect to share our own refurbishment here at UFL headquarters on Rosebank Rd. Hark back to May 2014 and enter designers John Lenihan and Ceili Murphy from Auckland based architectural firm, RCG.

Several reasons incited our need for a change; the current office was an awkward size and we required a larger, more efficient space for our expanding team which was almost doubling in size. A contemporary environment that functioned well was vital, as was a beautiful space which aptly represented not only our own established brand but also that of the agencies we exclusively represent here in New Zealand, all of whom are Italian and Spanish furniture manufacturers and purveyors of cutting-edge design.

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We wanted to showcase our own J-Series workstation. The system originated as a table, then a barleaner. The design has proved so popular that we decided to rework it as a workstation. The J-Series can be customised in terms of size, finishes and cable management to suit even the most discerning of clients.

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Key designer pieces that feature in the space include the piece-de-resistance, Link Chain lamp, a customised light that our friends at LZF made especially for our project. We get constant admiration for this piece, and it is the first thing that visitors see as they enter the showroom.

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Our meeting table and chairs are both by Andreu World, the table is the Reverse, and the chairs are Smart. We are in love with our sleek Arper Catifa 46 chairs, which sport black shells on black swivel bases, a style which never fades. The two framed artworks are Losanges Rug by Nanimarquina, and an Anna Kidman photograph.

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Photos by Anna Kidman

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New HQ Oozes Style at Sancal

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Our Spanish friends Sancal, manufacturers of quirky and cool commercial furniture, have recently renovated their headquarters in Yecla. Thinking it high-time their own working environment was as beautiful as clients such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon and Visa, they employed interior design firm Taza & Tacillas to work some magic. The designers achieved a fresh, uncluttered and welcoming ‘interior garden’, a metaphysical green space which is lively and inspiring, a place where employees can create and develop without constraint.

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From the upholstery, to the furniture, the paint on the walls and the potted plants which adorn benches and desktops, the whole space embraces colour, function and passion. The company have used the refurbishment to showcase and utilise some of their most endearing product designs, like Tartana domes, Pion tables and stools, REW sofas, lush Tea and Casta chairs, Konoha benches (inspired by leaves), Tonella armchairs, Mandarinas cushions, Tab stools, Nudo tables and Elephant ottomans.

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A green and grey carpet literally leads us down the garden path, as it meanders past pods of workstations which are acoustically ‘enclosed’ by gigantic umbrella-like Tartana canopies. Another mural, this time by Malota, treads the green path with an illustration of over-sized potted plants. A colourful botanical installation by Jesús Galváñ, decorates the kitchen area which also doubles as a meeting room.

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Further incentive for the office makeover was to play catch-up to the 2013 renovation of their factory. Undergoing an utterly gorgeous transformation into a bright, breezy utilitarian space, the revamp commemorated the company’s 40th birthday. Well-known European muralists Agostino Iacurci and Ricardo Cavolo were commissioned to paint ginormous artworks on the walls of the cutting and sewing areas and the mammoth corridor leading to the dining room.

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The recent revamp reveals that Sancal is a company that provides not only a stimulating and carefully planned environment for their employees, but also a beautiful and modern headquarters from which to promote their unique brand and showcase their avant-garde product.

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The Padre Rubinos Institute

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Famous philanthropist Amancio Ortega, founder of Spanish fashion label Zara, established The Amancio Ortega Foundation in 2001. The foundations purpose is to endorse charitable projects within Spain, offering assistance to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens. Particular emphasis is placed on education and social aid, like food, medicine and housing.

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Recently the charity built The Padre Rubinos Institute in A Coruña, a multi-purpose municipal centre which is a haven for those in need. The Institute provides a wide range of community services, including a day centre for the elderly, a playschool, classrooms, multipurpose areas, public parks and even a hostel.

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Folk by Rafa Garcia

Designed by Elsa Urquijo Arquitectos & Tattoo Contract, the designers have achieved with the institute what every community space should be but so often isn’t; serene yet functional, with an overall air of tranquility. The designer’s specified white both internally and externally, with contrast provided in the form of natural wooden accents within the building, and landscaped green spaces with grass and trees outside, all of which harmonize to create a feeling of peace and well-being.

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In such a multipurpose building, the furniture needs to be adaptable. Sancal collaborated with the Institute to include some of their most functional yet elegant pieces. Designer furniture is not something that jumps to mind when one thinks of a public space founded by a charitable foundation, but that’s part of the reason this Institute is such a success, and proves that designer furniture and architecture is not the sole right of the wealthy and privileged.

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Furniture includes the fun Party sofa by Luis Eslava, quirky cool Tab Tables by Nadadora, the popular Folk sofa by Rafa Garcia and the comforting Soul armchair also by Garcia.

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Soul by Rafa Garcia

Although solemn social issues oversee the reason for this building, the overall design refuses to walk in these shoes. The Padre Rubinos is one altruistic space that is fresh, modern and beautiful to behold.

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Tab by Nadadora

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Philharmonic Szczecin

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It’s not surprizing the ethereal Philharmonic Szczecin in Poland, stole the show at the Eurobuild Awards 2014, where it was named Architectural Design of the Year. Rising like a feather-light iceberg from the utilitarian port town it occupies, the Philharmonic appears to almost float, whilst surrounded by the heavy nature of the neo-gothic buildings which make-up Szczecin. By day the edifice is ghostly pale, almost austere, in its multi-gabled beauty.

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Designed by Estudio Barozzi Veiga from Barcelona, the building is a remarkably unique piece of architecture. The iconic façade is constructed of profiled white anodised aluminium which can be lit with an array of coloured lights and in a myriad of compositions.

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The interior spans four storeys, which includes a huge spiral staircase, a symphonic hall, a chamber hall, rehearsal halls, music shop, cafe, spacious foyer, artists’ dressing rooms, storage rooms for instruments and offices. The hall boasts superb acoustics, as you’d expect, due to the special geometry of the walls and ceiling, and the grand opening of the new hall took place at the inauguration of the 2014/2015 artistic season.

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Italian furniture manufacturer Arper, have placed furniture into the project, mainly seating upholstered in rich plum tones which work beautifully against the white interior. Lighting is subtle and pretty, in rose hues, illuminating and pulling forth what could otherwise be dark recesses in the space like the stairwell and the bar area.
For lovers of architecture and acoustics, the Philharmonic is an absolute must-do for anyone who happens to finds themselves in Szczecin.

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Hard Rock Hotel, Ibiza

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Interior designer Jose Manuel Ferrero, was the obvious choice when Ibiza’s Hard Rock Hotel opened tapas restaurant Estado Puro in 2014. The resulting environment is both bold design statement, yet warm and comfortable, and is perfect for long evening meals or quick bites.

Much of the furniture was sourced from Spanish manufacturer Sancal, and attention to detail abounds in the Tea barstool, which has the Estado Puro logo embroidered onto the back pad. Also by Sancal are the Casta chairs, based on the castanet, and the Pion tables which are modelled on chess pieces. Arper supplied the Saya chairs designed by Lievore Altherr Molina. Here traditional elements have been given a modern twist in this quirky yet down-to-earth establishment, where Ferrero’s characteristic play on elegance, drama and history contrasts perfectly with his tongue-in-cheek take on design.

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Inspired Sustainable Spaces

Working in the field of sustainable energy Eneco believes that our choices as individuals can impact our greater quality of life. Eneco’s office is a manifestation of their values, giving employees the freedom to work independently and the opportunity to come together. A central atrium floods the space with bright, natural sunlight, while living walls oxygenate the air and richly hued meeting areas punctuate the large, white, open floor plan.
Arper’s Catifa, Masai and Pix ottomans, have assisted in the creation of distinctive spaces which accommodate the diversity of working styles. The different environments flow effortlessly between the public and the reserved, the individual and the collective. Long tables and chairs are gathered for group meetings while enclosed spaces are suited for concentrated work. Clusters of plush chairs and coffee tables create zones for impromptu meetings and a fluid arrangement of the public and private allows for employees to select the environment that best suits their needs and working style.
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Inspired Spaces

The New School is an innovative campus in the heart of Manhattan. The interior is based around three central staircases that serve as informal breakout spaces. Andreu World have helped to shape the space within the 19,000 square feet of academic space with the Carola armchair, designed by Lievore Altherr Molina, is installed in a warm wood finish. In parallel, white Sit chairs and stools complement social spaces such as the campus cafeteria.

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