Contextual Study Point 1: Movement

I have researched and found 5 examples of interior design that appear to capture movement in their designs.

Boies Schiller Flexner Lawyers Office in Hudson Yards designed by Aaron Schiller.

The architects and designers found that the floor plan, a conventionally laid-out legacy design, had little to do with the ways the lawyers actually worked. The lawyers gathered informally, often spontaneously, in small groups for on-the-spot pick-up meetings. Sometimes they needed private sound-isolated rooms, like telephone booths, for calls; or a break-out space to be alone with a brief in a chair; or the use of a small conference lounge. What the office needed were diverse, equally distributed spaces in an open, flexible, and dynamic plan that encouraged communication and collaboration. There are now 22 pop-in/pop-out work pods, 24 private phone rooms, and 12 conference rooms configured in a porous spatial matrix. As Schiller puts it, “We designed the program as a sponge intended to absorb the totality of the actions of the whole office.” To break the vertical separation of the 81,000-square-foot headquarters and mix its occupants into a fluid community, Schiller Projects connected the three levels with a stack of generously proportioned curving stairs set in an open well. The reception area—a double-height volume on the middle level—works like a piazza, centering the offices. The free-floating stairs spiral past conference rooms with glass walls (outfitted with shades) whose transparency enhances the lawyer-to-lawyer and lawyer-to-client interface. There is also a freestanding sculptural espresso bar on the other side of the stairs. The glazing allows natural light from the perimeter to penetrate to the center. Within all the rationality, Schiller Projects adds a measure of unpredictability with The Ribbons, a custom ceiling sculpture made of thousands of beaded strands falling in catenary curves. The installation, which hangs like an inverted mountain range, peaks down, starts above the reception desk and moves through the open areas and corridors, connecting spaces that are already visually porous. (Giovannini, 2019)

“The ribbons hang like an inverted mountain range” (Giovannini, 2019) this design flows through the public spaces and corridors creating a mountain range design which connects the spaces with the glazing. The way the beads hang, the free floating staircase that connects three floor levels and the concrete ceiling all have form in the curved shape and texture that flow with the natural light flooding through the glazed windows.

Fig. 1 – The reception area juxtaposes rectilinear architecture with the sculptural forms of the front desk, floating stairs, and the installation (2019)
Fig.2 – A small glass-fronted conference room, one of many in various sizes throughout the office, adjoins a pantry, bar, and break-out area.
Fig.3 – Comprising thousands of strings of blackened gunmetal beads, The Ribbons installation threads its way through many of the public spaces and corridors on the top floor.

Light Cloud Project by a media artist Riccardo Torresi.

Located in a mirrored atrium linking two buildings, the light and sound sculpture is composed of 576 organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels, and sensors which create an intelligent system interacting constantly with people moving through the space. Data, emotions and memories coalesce in the sculpture, into an audio-visual artwork. Eighty-five linear, generative and interactive scenes create a synaesthetic cosmos in which ideas of connectedness, innovation and collaboration can be experienced. The multimedia choreography evokes the impression of a living organism. (Torresi, s.d)

How fascinating that this light sculpture captures the movement of people within the space and translates it into light and sound atmospheres. Riccardo aims to research the interconnections between Science, Art and the urban space, using new technologies and light as a tool and inspiration.

Fig.4 – The multimedia choreography evokes the impression of a living organism.
Fig. 5 – Light Cloud interacts directly with visitors.

Tsao & McKown design Sunbrella’s North Carolina Headquarters

Tsao & McKown started by knocking down an unsightly 60-year-old addition to the 118-year-old mill, leaving its original 100,000 square feet over two levels and exposing an original brick facade that was in need of a little love. Luckily, the Gants had a friend with a 1905 mill built by the same brick mason that had recently been torn down, so the architects were able to seamlessly integrate the renovations amongst the original structural columns and ceiling beams. Installing a new glass curtain wall and windows and removing a floor slab resulted in adding copious natural light, most notably in the lobby, where massive stadium seating greets employees as does an adjacent café for their morning coffee fix. A requested auditorium was niftily inserted beneath the lobby seating, with corridors running past to an atrium at the core. There, a new stairway allows access to the employee lounge as well as various office areas and meeting rooms that run to the sunny perimeter. (Tamarin, 2019)

In this design lines have formed shapes to create space and harmony for the staff that work here. I particularly love how texture is shared between the original brickwork and wooden beams and softened with curtains and plants to create a working space with enough areas for casual meetings.

Fig.6 – Tsao & McKown created the lobby for the Sunbrella headquarters
Fig.7 – Removing a floor slab resulted in a central atrium that maintained the original structural pine columns and beams.
Fig.8 – Beyond the new glass-and-steel curtain wall, a 46-foot-wide swath of pine stadium seating fills the lobby. 
Fig. 9 – A new staircase in wood-clad steel.


(Giovannini, 2019) Boies Schiller Flexner Lawyers Office (accessed 29.9.19)

(Torresi, s.d) Light Cloud Project (accessed 29.9.19)

(Tamarin, 2019) Sunbrella’s North Carolina Headquarters (accessed 30.9.19)


Fig.1 The reception area

Fig.2 A small glass-fronted conference room

Fig.3 The Ribbons installation

Fig.4 The multimedia choreography

Fig.5 Light Cloud moving image

Fig.6 Lobby

Fig.7 A central atrium

Fig.8 Pine stadium seating

Fig.9 A new staircase in wood-clad steel

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