It is not always easy to find peace in an open-plan office. By using Svensson textiles, the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers has created a calm and efficient workplace.
The Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers is housed in a brick building from the late 1960s in the heart of Stockholm. Time has caught up with it though and, when it began to feel crowded, the decision was taken to reconfigure two floors of the office.
Magnus Böschen, Internal Service and Property Manager, says: “The biggest challenge with the open-plan concept is to create a productive working environment. You must be able to shut yourself off from other distractions when work demands it.”
The answer was to create a number of silent rooms, phone cubicles and conference rooms.
Birgitta Karell, an interior designer at TrampolineArchitects, and her colleague Klas Samuelson were commissioned to remodel the new layout – an assignment where textiles were very much in focus. To minimise noise they used screens to partition workspaces and upholstered them in the wool fabric Ink.
“A smart solution that effectively minimises noise,” Karell says. The colour they chose was a calming, light grey. “We have tried to maintain a neutral, timeless colour scheme in the open-plan areas to avoid eye fatigue.”
Other parts of the office are more colourful. To begin with there are the curtains for the long glass partitions, which combine to create a special effect.
“The premises are pretty much oblong-shaped and we exploited this by using the curtain Nova for its fading colours,” Karell says. “We also focused on colour in the break room and kitchenette to distinguish these areas from the rest of the office.”
Among other things, you will find a turquoise blue sofa covered in the fabric Khaki. Even the silent rooms and meeting rooms have a more eye-catching colour scheme, with furniture upholstered in different shades of the soft chenille textile Yra.
"We have got a calm and pleasant workplace, and the textiles are the icing on the cake"
“The textiles really were the icing on the cake,” Böschen says. “I’m glad that we got outside help to create such a quiet and pleasant workplace. It was a top priority for us that all of the materials used should be as environmentally friendly as possible. Plus, we are financially obligated to our members so we have to be cost-effective.”
Svensson was able to meet all of these requirements, Karell says.
“Svensson is an environmentally conscious company. And they always give quick feedback and send out fabric samples straightaway, which is vital when you have a presentation for a client and can’t afford to wait around for weeks. The fact that they deliver on time is crucial in a project like this when everything’s got to go like clockwork right up until the last curtain is hung.”
The two remodelled floors now comprise 67 workspaces in total. “I am so pleased with how everything has gone and with what Svensson has contributed,” Böschen says.
Which textile is your personal favourite?
“I especially like the green and yellow fabric Intro, which we chose for one of the chairs in the dining room. It is so refined and elegant. It just caught my eye immediately.”
Architecture and Design