Swedish design consultant agency No Picnic recently introduced their stunning new office built in a 19th Century building in central Stockholm. Designed by Swedish architect duo Elding Oscarson. My favorite part is the trompe l’oeil meeting room area divided in two by a reflective aluminum wall with large windowpanes. An awesome idea!
“For our new studio we wanted a striking customer area distinctly separated from all studio spaces in order to maintain secrecy. The working and creative areas should serve all our needs; large open office spaces, project rooms for key accounts, a prototype workshop and paper workshop for paper and prints.”
No Picnic found a group of 19th Century buildings in central Stockholm, mainly consisting of two volumes, one originally an exercise hall for troops, and the other one a stable for police horses. The buildings currently enjoy the highest level of historical protection. Conversion had to be sensitive, and the architects at Elding Oscarson did evaluate every step with an antiquarian, literally down to each new screw hole.
The meeting rooms inside this metal membrane, has large windowpanes towards the hall. The flat reflection of the glass appearing flush with the distorting metal surface makes the glass seem like a mirror while the metal appears transparent; the wall is there, yet it disappears. It is bold, kaleidoscopic and delusive with its trompe l’oeil effects. At the same time it takes a step back for the main act: the light and space of the exercise hall, and the old building’s straightforward display of material, construction, imperfections, and time that has passed.
They wanted to get rid of all added layers down to the origin. The old stable could be peeled naked. In the exercise hall, economy and function demanded that a mezzanine, constructed there in the 1980’s, was kept. The mezzanine cut the hall lengthwise, and crippled the experience of the space in an unfortunate way. Its edge coincided with the center of the hall, so Elding Oscarson opted for the industrial designer’s own method – the way arbitrary but symmetric shapes can be sculpted as half models onto a mirror, they could restore the impression of the entire exercise hall by constructing a delicate aluminum wall along its central axis.
Project Name: No Picnic
Architect: Elding Oscarson
Client: No Picnic AB
Location: Storgatan 23 C, Stockholm
Gross Area: 1100 sq. m.
Year of Construction: 2010-11
Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman