Project: Showroom and offices
Author: José Carlos Nunes de Oliveira, arch.
Collaborators: Hugo Araújo, arch; Juliana Sampaio, arch.
Site Management: Juliana Costa, arch.
Constructor: O Bibelot, B.LOFT
Structures: ESPAÇOS RECTOS – Engenharia e Arquitectura, Lda.
Marble Works: MARNORTE
Lighting and Decoration: B.LOFT
Localization: V. N. Famalicão
The company had just moved premises but the production area was properly organised and was working at full tilt. The office area was 125 sqm of open space, vague, anonymous, where the removal boxes were unpacked and there were two workplaces. (The lack of a corporate image was not due to the move, it was something else).
We should have organised an entrance and a reception, an office with 4 workplaces, a meeting room and two showrooms, with meeting spaces – one for a collection of flip-flops, another for insoles. There was no budget, except the minimum (and the minimum is always the closest amount to zero).
Hundreds of models, forms, raw materials, technologies, finishes, textures, colours and sizes. We agreed, however, despite the intrinsic diversity that all the products can have, that there was a pattern – just two products: insoles and flip-flops.
To the diversity of the pattern we corresponded with the homogeneity of the pattern – thinking (ab)out the box… and why not? Parsimony requires ingenuity.
The boxes package the insoles (and the flip-flops), they are taken out of the boxes and displayed.
We divided the space with boxes, some open to show the products and some closed for stocks of the models. We got to the limit of having to use cardboard boxes, but common sense came to the fore.
We used white laminated chipboard. We structured with slats of unfinished, dehydrated pine with simple crossed connections.
White floating floor in the rooms and white epoxy in the stairs.
The plaster ceilings hide led tubes and illuminate the space. The frugality spread to the doors, the same doors that close the spaces, when they are open they close an open module of partition cupboards.