Image and storage drove D'Aquino Monaco's revamp of a Manhattan photo agency.
Abby Bussel -- Interior Design, 11/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
Hesitant to bring clients to an office that lacked the sophistication the agency likes to project, Matrix, which catalogues and represents press photographers, hired D'Aquino Monaco to provide a "fresh, powerful new image," explains Carl D'Aquino. The company also required versatile work areas and economical storage for extensive, rapidly expanding archives.
Matrix already had a striking graphic identity that, while not directly translated in the redesign, provided an "underlying clarity," says D'Aquino's partner, Francine Monaco. The narrow, loftlike 2,250-sq.-ft. space, oriented north-south, immediately suggested a diagram to her: a row of three offices to the north and a full-width reception/conference area to the south. In between, D'Aquino and Monaco (working with Nathaniel Worden and Jeff Doucette) placed archives with light tables for viewing images, a scanning station, the lunchroom, and shipping areas—the nuts and bolts of the operation. To organize the semi-open plan, the firm used wall-like industrial shelving with custom-designed inserts of stainless steel animated by bright yellow acrylic custom panels. Horizontal and vertical bands of bold color act as demarcation, for example the extrawide stripes of cobalt and medium blue carpet running east-west, perpendicular to the general circulation route. Large pendant light fixtures mark the three archive stations.
D'Aquino Monaco designed the stations' light tables, using the uncommon combination of zinc and Corian. One table's surface is completely given over to a light box, while the other two tables have smaller light boxes inserted in the top. To accommodate personal lighting preferences when viewing transparencies, 35-millimeter slides, negatives, or prints, the light fixtures are individually controlled. White roller-clutch shades, flush with the window wall, provide glare control.
The conference room and lunchroom can be used as individual or meeting areas, and the light-box tables in the archive areas double as desks, so the staff of six to ten can work anywhere, moving from station to station to archive, scan, and confer with clients. And the accessible shelving system ensures that people can find what they need when they need it. D'Aquino Monaco provided a place for everything, right down to the slides housed in custom-designed storage boxes.