Sunday, February 27, 2011

Interior shedworking: a critique

Tarek Merlin is Director and co-founder of Feix&Merlin Architects (readers will remember their Shed Gym as well as the Eyes Wide Shut beach hut). His thoughts on interior design on his blog post Is This The End Of Playtime (and on a couple of other architecture sites) make for interesting reading: essentially, he suggests that we should put the days of filling an office with beach huts and sheds behind us, referring in particular to Google's new London offices and (in more positive terms) Fat’s design for KesselsKramer (see photos above and below). Here's a snippet:
"It’s almost as if they’ve just bundled together all the tired ideas from the late nineties, (when the offices of the dotcom boomers were defined by ping pong tables and pizza and everyone was coming to work down fireman’s poles and getting around the office in slides), and just expected it to turn out well.

"Instead, it just looks a bit silly. A discombobulated collection of stuff and bloody nonsense, it looks more like a set for Play School than an office for an internet trendsetter (“and today, children, we’ll be going through the roundwindow”). Ironically, the efforts to provide a creative office design have resulted in an (over)eagerness to appear young and wacky, and it immediately looks dated and out of sync. A bit like watching your dad trying to dance to Lady Gaga."
Or as he puts it, "Simply shoving a beach hut into an office just doesn’t cut it anymore." It's an intelligent post and well worth a read.
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