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The Architect Is In: The Secrets of Workspace Design with Cary Bernstein


The Architect Is In: The Secrets of Workspace Design with Cary Bernstein

Christine Chang Hanway September 08, 2012

If you’re fortunate enough to love what you do, and if you secretly (or not so secretly) love to spend time at the office, your surrounding work environment is all the more important. This week, architect Cary Bernstein talks about her approach to workspace design; for the next 48 hours, she’s available to answer your queries. Ask away!

One & Co., a young and rapidly expanding industrial design studio in San Francisco, fall into the “Love what we do” category. When they needed to double their office space by 3,000 square feet, they asked Cary Bernstein (a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory) to help them apply their own design principles to the architecture of their new office. As the designers responsible for HTC’s innovative smartphones, it’s no surprise that the company wanted their space to be fresh, unexpected, tactile, textured, and to display strong, clean geometries. Eschewing conventional office references while working with scale and texture to create warmth, Bernstein introduced the feeling of home in unexpected ways.

Photography by César Rubio.

Above: The Aura Credenza is a One & Co. design for Council. While its scale and materials are not standard for an office, it is not out of place in this work studio.

Above: The original windows of the 19th century warehouse add character to a small conference room. Bernstein plays to this with a table and chair combination that could be comfortable in a residential dining room. The Geo Table is designed by Arik Levy and produced by Council and the stackable Myoto chair by Plank Collezioni is distinct in design yet practical.

Above: A breakout area in the studio has all the comforts of home (complete with dog). The Artemide Mega Tolomeo Floor Lamp in the corner works equally well in the home or the workplace.

Above: The choice of furniture in the minimalist library continues the dialog between work and home. The Super-Elliptical table by Piet Hein and Bruno Mathsson and Eames chairs were designed originally for contract use, and have over the years been subsumed into desirable furniture for the home.

Above: Bernstein uses walnut throughout to bring warmth and texture to the office. At the same time, the walnut walls create a unifying datum across the studio.

Above: Half-height partitions help to break down the scale of the open plan.

Above: The war rooms are where the designers brainstorm, hence, whiteboards hang on three sides of the room. A curtain that can be used to divide the space brings a softer edge.

Above: The pink is an unexpected pop of color in an otherwise minimal and neutral palette. The suspended lights reduce the scale of the tall ceilings and add a new texture against the existing ceiling.

Above: The white brick walls bring a subtle texture to the kitchen, located off the reception space.

Above: Behind the reception desk, Bernstein has incorporated the texture of the Crease tile, a One & Co collaboration with Heath Ceramics; another textured layer to add to painted white brick in the reception room beyond.

Above: The architect Cary Bernstein stands at the reception desk.

Above: The entrance to One & Co.’s warehouse space in the Mission District of San Francisco.

N.B. Looking for more pink inspiration? Se 233 images of Pink in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.

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