Labor of the Month
Cindy Allen -- Interior Design, 5/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
On May 1, Europeans celebrate work. Some do this, ironically, by taking the day off. The more serious-minded hit the street en masse, wearing a Communist-red carnation on their lapels.
Meanwhile, we at Interior Design up the ante by laboring for labor's sake all month long, producing our very constructive May office issue by the sweat of our brows. And we'd like to present this year's portfolio as a harbinger of the workplace of the future, an extremely promising one at that. Everywhere we turn, spatial acrobatics and fabulous materials are joining forces to create remarkable new solutions and quintessentially humanistic environments where our well-being—and therefore our ability to perform at our best—is the flower-wreathed maypole around which everything else circles.
Almost everywhere, nature enters in. At Renzo Piano's EMI campus in Paris, a courtyard garden refreshes music executives as they move between separate pavilions. Berlin's River Spree finds an interior echo in the walnut-veneered walls undulating through the headquarters of a mobile-communications company by Martini, Meyer, while employees at competitor Nokia enjoy a Gensler-designed Vancouver office with a lounge surrounded by Douglas fir trunks. In Los Angeles, Pugh + Scarpa poured $50,000 into a 2,000-square-foot reflecting pool for a postproduction facility's bow-truss warehouse, and George Yu, hired by Sony, built meeting rooms in cedar crates inspired by sake containers—part of the culinary landscape of Japan.
And, yes, we do realize that some labor is done outside offices. The 1,000 dancers who use Alvin Ailey's new center, a glass-fronted New York building by Iu + Bibliowicz Architects, do their work in 12 soaring studios. Sit back and enjoy the performance.