The best-designed workplaces don’t just answer the logistical needs of a business: they energize and inspire the people who work there. This commercial space, the result of a collaboration between Laminex and respected architects Kennedy Nolan, promises to do just that with its deft mix of solid colours, natural textures and a uniquely sculptural approach to form-making.
The centrepiece of the space is its eye-catching meeting table. Crafted from soft green Laminex ‘Enamel’ and bright red Laminex ‘Pillarbox,’ it was conceived as a celebration of laminate’s inherent design flexibility. The tabletop and drum-shaped legs were cold-formed into their organic shapes, giving the table a softness and roundness that’s anathema to the rectangular formality of a typical corporate boardroom. But at the ends, the table is flat, like an extrusion that’s been cut, its section expressed in brilliant red. A similar effect is achieved with the nearby display shelf, although this time it’s ‘Pillarbox’ on the outside and ‘Enamel’ as the “section.”
Shelving is concealed behind floor-to-ceiling cabinetry doors in the warm-toned woodgrain of Laminex Sublime Teak. It’s a beautifully designed piece of joinery, given contemporary rhythm with handles post-formed in Laminex ‘Enamel’ and presenting more like a wood-panelled wall than built-in storage.
Kennedy Nolan commonly specify natural timbers into their architectural projects. But in this commercial setting, Laminex woodgrain laminate offers distinct advantages. It’s exceptionally hardwearing and resistant to stains and scratches as well as UV light, mitigating the risk of fading or loss of detail. This is achieved without the additional treatments or finishes that natural timber might require. It’s resistant to heat, impervious to moisture, and easy to keep clean, so this woodgrain decor could be carried through to kitchen, bathroom and break-out areas elsewhere in the fitout. These traits combine with the incredibly authentic appearance of timber and, thanks to a range of different finishes, a texture and feel just as realistic.
Describing the space, Kennedy Nolan principal Rachel Nolan says, “There’s this kind of poetry, but then really practical qualities too.” Its colours and forms are dynamic and energizing, its cabinetry and furniture facilitate different ways of working, and its natural textures and softly curving surfaces are comforting and relaxing. In this way, the space speaks to ideas about commercial interior design that are becoming more prevalent – most notably that if built environment professionals design spaces like this one, spaces that people want to be in, people will do great work. laminex.com.au