The second of three projects from a collaboration between Laminex and Kennedy Nolan, this contemporary workplace explores the inherent design flexibility of Laminex® laminate with an energising mix of colours, sculptural form-making and natural woodgrain texture.
October 5th, 2020
Great workplaces do much more than simply meet a business’ logistical needs; they energise and inspire the people who work there. That’s exactly what this workplace by Kennedy Nolan x Laminex aims to achieve, with its confident palette of solid colours and natural textures, and curved surfaces that are both visually beautiful and highly tactile.
The space is oriented around a custom-designed meeting table, brought to life with high-pressure laminate in soft green Laminex Enamel and bright red Laminex Pillarbox cold-formed onto its rounded tabletop and drum-shaped legs. The table’s sculptural curves create a feeling of approachability quite opposed to the rectilinear formality of a typical corporate boardroom, and the contrast inherent to its design, in both form and colour, is bold and exciting, fuelling an atmosphere of creativity and openness to new ideas. This is reinforced by the nearby display shelf, which follows a similar design approach, although here, the laminated finish is an inverse of the table, with Pillarbox on the outside and Enamel on the flat end.
A third Laminex decor, warm-toned woodgrain Sublime Teak, was used for floor-to-ceiling cabinetry doors that conceal an expansive bank of storage. With handles post-formed in Laminex Enamel, it makes for a beautiful piece of joinery, and provides a natural-feeling backdrop to the entire space.
While Kennedy Nolan might commonly specify natural timbers into their architectural projects, Laminex woodgrain laminate offers distinct advantages in this commercial setting. It’s exceptionally hardwearing, and resistant to stains and scratches, as well as UV light, mitigating the risk of fading or loss of detail. It’s also resistant to heat and impervious to moisture, which means that the same woodgrain laminate could be applied in kitchen, bathroom and break-out areas to achieve a sense of consistency throughout the fit-out. And it’s easy to keep clean. All of this along with the incredibly authentic appearance of timber and, thanks to a range of different finishes, a texture and feel just as realistic.
Kennedy Nolan Principal Rachel Nolan describes the space as having “this kind of poetry, but then really practical qualities too.” Its colours and forms are dynamic and energising, its furniture and fittings enable different modes of working, and its natural textures and softly curving surfaces are welcoming and relaxing. In this way, it speaks to ideas about commercial interior design that have become increasingly prevalent, most notably that if we design spaces like this one, that people want to be in, they’ll do great work.
Laminex Sublime Teak and Laminex Enamel joinery
Laminex Enamel and Laminex Pillarbox table and shelf:
Portugal Cork Co. cork wall
Floor Space Heavy Rustic River Rock Sisal
Le Corbusier Thonet no. B9 chairs
Studio Ciao B2 Planter
Architects: Kennedy Nolan
Creative Direction: Ortolan
Photographer: Derek Swalwell
Stylist: Natalie James
Table fabrication: Evolve Interiors
Tower handle fabrication: Newgrove Benchtops
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