First impressions have always been a key consideration for designers planning office fit-outs hence the emphasis given to reception design. This is traditionally where a company can show its colours, its professionalism and its culture.
But changes are afoot. With the huge advances in communication technology, for some companies the need for a conventional reception area is reduced. This evolution in design is highlighted by the approach taken by peckvonhartel for the new Accenture Australia office interior. While the fit-out reinforces the professional and progressive nature of the company's management consulting and advisory business, it does away with two traditional features the receptionist and the reception desk.
peckvonhartel designer Rachel Luchetti says the interior was designed for a company that communicates with clients electronically, or meets with them on their own premises.
"A lot of the staff work remotely, and this is reflected in the design," she says. "The nominal reception area, for example, is actually the lift lobby. This is the meet-and-greet space, with a touch-screen computer that will automatically dial a staff extension as required."
The lift lobby reflects the company's corporate colours, which are mainly silver and white. The touch screen sits on a silver wall, midway between two glazed sections that feature a semi-translucent film coating.
"These floor-to-ceiling strips have an ethereal quality yet there is a shadowy glimpse of the working office beyond," says Luchetti. "The film also incorporates radiating lines that represent the flow and exchange of knowledge, while the fluidity of the panels are reminiscent of the body of information contained within."