Slide by slide

An oasis of modernity in a mostly innocuous industrial neighbourhood, this structure's layers of motif underpin a reputation for ingenuity and detail

The high horizontal window in reception pulls light architecture, ceiling, daylighting, floor, flooring, furniture, interior design, office, product design, table, gray, white
The high horizontal window in reception pulls light through to an office beyond. Server rooms can pose design conundrums.

Factories and warehouses: functional spaces, without which the gears of industry would grind to halt. A shame then that they are generally so dreary it's a wonder anyone turns up to work at all. Perhaps, that's why work at such facilities begins in the wee hours when almost everything's depressing.

It's a fact that well-designed, contemporary buildings improve working conditions and morale, and therefore, profitability. However, when it comes to industrial, warehouse and manufacturing premises, the bottom line is perhaps more important than normal. As such, it's often the extraneous features, interesting materials and design features that are first to get the chop.

Rare it is then, says architect Matthew Godward, to encounter a client with an open mind and a flexible brief, looking for a design to cater for its advanced joinery and hardware manufacturing industry, while also providing a working showcase for its products.

Large sliding doors allow the boardroom to be ceiling, conference hall, floor, flooring, interior design, office, real estate, gray, black
Large sliding doors allow the boardroom to be seperated.

"A client prepared to look forward, and also see the design and construction process as an opportunity to invest in and test new solutions," he says.

Located prominently on a corner site in an industrial neighbourhood, CS For Doors' modernist 5000m² structure is clean-lined, with a lightness that belies and disguises its mass. Attention to detail is nowadays almost a cliche, but it's the interwoven themes and functional design elements throughout the interior and exterior of this structure that provide its appeal.

"A number of elements reference the concept of sliding and floating, which is intrinsic to the company's signature products," says Godward. "The cantilevered section, which contains the boardroom and offices, hovers atop slender columns; the bright red canopy slides past the perimeter of the building, before turning in above the entrance; the zinc panels feature an overlapping alignment, and also slide past the top of the floor-to-ceiling glass and the long, horizontal window of the second floor."

With a floor area of 5000m² these CS architecture, building, commercial building, corporate headquarters, elevation, facade, house, real estate, sky, teal
With a floor area of 5000m² these CS For Doors facilties are undoubtedly large, yet the structure possesses a lightness derived from its cantilevered upper section, and the floor-to-ceiling glazing that runs the lenght of the boundry.

On further inspection, there are other features that rarely grace such structures: oversized stainless steel rainwater collectors that break up the monolithic nature of the pre-cast panels of the manufacturing facility, carpark bollards detailed with overlapping cutout lines, and a water feature defining the main entrance a 4m x 4m sliding glass door with a visual reference point. Inside, corporate colours and sliding motifs are repeated in the glass-encased reception area that will eventually display working miniatures of the company's products. Beyond, on the lower level, sales offices are split either side of a central corridor, with interior windows overlooking the manufacturing and warehouse space to ensure that those on the factory floor are still connected to the rest of the staff.

The manufacturing facility is clean, ordered and, thanks to a roof interspersed with clear plastic strips, mostly naturally lit. On the second floor are further offices, a hardware and R&D workshop, and staff areas that open onto an exterior deck. The boardroom is also on this level. Neatly showcasing further CS For Doors products, it features two full-width sliding doors and three parallelogram-shaped tables, designed by the architect to tie into the company's logo.

Story by: Trendsideas

18 Dec, 2007