It's A New (Work) Day
Cindy Allen -- Interior Design, 5/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
The exhilarating shot on the cover this month features an R&D lab for Nestlé. (Yum!) In Mexico. (Oh no!) But quite refreshingly free of livestock images and stuffy heads. (Phew.) On the contrary, it is immediately clear that architect Michel Rojkind and the rest of the creative team behind this achievement are in exceptionally good health—and will, we hope, continue to astound us with a similarly high caliber of work for years to come. The Nestlé building's most distinctive details, a hybrid of domes and vaults, represent an impressive feat of problem-solving in the face of technical drawbacks and tough UNESCO requirements about buildings in the colonial city of Querétaro having arches. You can bet that these arches aren't the historicist arcades UNESCO thought it was getting.
Designing the types of environments any of us would kill to work in means, more and more often, exploring forms beyond the right angle, as our May stories repeatedly prove. We've come so far that a drywall form developed three years ago by Patrick Tighe for purely experimental purposes, an installation at NeoCon West, has now evolved to become the defining feature of his interior for a postproduction company in L.A. You can sit down on the form; you can make cappuccinos inside it; or you can just walk past and admire it. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., for an education-software company called Blackboard, designers at Hickok Cole used solid-surfacing and MDF to sculpt chalk references into the architecture everywhere from the stairwell to the lunchroom.
Let's call it the Nestlé dynamic, then, when hard-to-achieve technical exploits, textures, colors, and, most of all, wholesale polymorphism are the rule rather than the exception. This issue could well be a harbinger of things to come.
PS: I take my chocolate with almonds.