The design consultants at UXUS have designed a new head office for themselves in a historical building in the center of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Contrasting the ethereal aesthetics of poetry with the rigidity of industrial style, the interior of the UXUS office prompts abstract thinking, yet maximizes productivity.
Inspired by the poetic trait of the “in-between”, the space is a tension of opposing elements. Soft and sharp, old and new, transparency and privacy collide to create an ever-changing environment that stimulates imagination.
“We wanted to create an environment that encourages creativity, but also brings Brand Poetry, our design philosophy, to life. Brand Poetry is inspired by the artistic principle of the “in-between”, or the tension of opposing forces. We decided to recreate this poetic quality in our workspace, because it evokes multiple readings and interpretations, so each time you come to the office, it feels new”.
Large open spaces, rough edges and metal furniture recall the aesthetics of the 19th century industrial buildings. In contrast, the ceiling-to-floor curtains amplify the poetic atmosphere, transforming the place into new forms. The door to the partner’s office is the embodiment of the tension that defines the space.
Embedded into a glass wall, the solid wooden door seems to be floating on its own. The installation provides transparency, yet allows for confidentiality when necessary.
The furniture and interior decorations are intentionally mismatched, ranging from bespoke designer items and found objects to UXUS’ proprietary furniture collection “Not So Fragile” and LIGHT_NESS lamps. The neon orange packing tape, used for both collections, adds a sharp contrast to diaphanous colors of the office and creates an unexpected disruption among “designer” items.
The building’s “national monument” status and the location at the historical center of Amsterdam inspired UXUS to preserve the heritage of the space. The agency kept intact the chapel-like apse with two clocks and repurposed it into a conference room. Adding a kinetic element to the environment, a fully functional vintage elevator is exposed to the communal kitchen through glass walls. Both features evoke a nostalgic feeling and intensify the tension between the poetic translucency and industrial rawness of the office.
As poetry brings together memorable insights into everyday life, UXUS created an environment that stimulates imagination in similar ways, emphasizing the intangibility of creativity.