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Adam Khan for AHEC

Adam Khan’s work gave attendees at the Wallpaper* Handmade Exhibition last week in Milan the opportunity to muse on where we might spend our working lives in future

Adam Khan for AHEC


April 19th, 2013

Milan Indesign

Khan, a UK-based architect, was invited to rethink the modern workplace and present a radical new vision of how and where we spend our working lives. As the lines between home and work increasingly blur, this design looks to domesticate the workplace.

The result is a striking timber composition, ‘Octopus’, which defines, divides and connects various work zones. “In this exhibition we have showed how personalised and cleverly domesticated workspaces can encourage creativity, motivation, loyalty and honest graft whilst simultaneously making a subtle but powerful statement about one’s identity as a business,” explains Tony Chambers, Wallpaper* Editor-in-Chief.

american hardwood octopus jamie smith adam khan

In ‘Octopus’, Khan, and fabricator Adam Kershaw, combine natural and heat treated American tulipwood with American maple flooring to create a warm and rich work environment.

Designed for a generic open-floor plan, the piece hovers between furniture and construction with spaces defined by veil-like layers of light and dark fine tulipwood. The natural colour variations in the tulipwood create a dramatic marbled effect which contrasts with the darker heat-treated timber – a material designed largely for exterior use, but used internally in this instance to provide a contrasting finish.

american h ardwood wallpaper jamie smith octopus

The visual simplicity of the structure is a credit to Kershaw for whom this was complex to make. “The walls appear to be standing unsupported but are held up by the central sub floor and ceiling which help to create a solid structure” he said.  AHEC’s participation at Salone del Mobile follows an extremely successful showing of ‘Octopus’ at Howick Place in London in March 2013.

american hardwood wallpaper jamie smith adam khan

“Wallpaper* has once again assembled a cast of star designers, craftsmen and makers to create perhaps the blockbuster show of the week. Through Adam’s design we hope to showcase thermally-modified American hardwoods, in which interest is growing in Australia. Richness in colour, dimensional stability, resistance to decay and strong environmental credentials all point to it being one of the most exciting new products the wood industry has been able to offer in recent years” said Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Oceania.

Adam Khan Architects


Adam Kershaw




Images © Jamie Smith and Wallpaper*

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