Television makeover

as featured in
A broadcasting network carries out its own departmental facelift to create a more exciting and vibrant work environment
A view of the reception area, tiled floor, ceiling, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, interior design, laminate flooring, light fixture, lighting, product design, room, table, wall, wood, wood flooring, orange
A view of the reception area, tiled floor, white walls, cream seats, wooden desk.

It's always a challenge for designers to enliven an office space lacking in natural light. It's even more of a challenge when there are budget considerations, and when a business must keep operating during the refurbishment.

These factors influenced the new fit-out of the production department at MTV Networks, New York. Architect Jane Sachs of Hut Sachs Studio says the premises had not been renovated in many years, and the company was looking for a fresh, vibrant office interior that would inject some visual excitement into the work environment.

"MTV Networks places a strong emphasis on design and has its own in-house design team led by Yetta Banks," says Sachs. "Each floor has a different look, which reflects the varied roles of the channels and the end-users. As this is the production floor, the fit-out did not need to reflect the corporate identity, but it did need to bring some excitement into the lobby and reception area."

Sachs says because only part of the production office could be refurbished at this time, the designers concentrated on key areas, such as the lobby, reception area, conference rooms and staff cafe.

"We chose to give these spaces a facelift by strategically placing design elements," she says.

The colour red envelopes clients in the lobby, establishing a lively sense of anticipation. Red Amtico floor tiles, and painted walls and ceilings provide cost-effective surface treatments.


A close up view of the stools. straw, brown
A close up view of the stools.

To focus attention on the reception desk, a soffit, which appears to float beneath the ceiling, extends along the corridor and wraps behind the reception desk. The soffit is covered with a wood wallpaper, which helps accentuate its square-edged form.

Behind the reception desk, a translucent Plexiglass wall is both a light source and a backdrop for television monitors. The desk itself features a live-edge walnut top and cream-painted surfaces, the millwork intersecting to create a sophisticated two-tone, sculptural effect a theme repeated elsewhere in the fit-out. A suspended box accommodating television monitors is another strong design element.

The lack of natural light was overcome by diffuse lighting, designed to resemble high, narrow windows. These appear in several places in the office, including a side wall in the reception seating area. Red, back-painted glass walls help reflect the light and enhance a sense of translucency.

"The glass is not totally opaque, which gives the sense of something happening beyond the walls," says Sachs.

The strong, graphic elements introduced in the lobby and reception areas continue in the file room. Existing banks of file cabinets are now separated by colourful flooring and a row of hay stools.

"We chose to have a little fun with the flooring and the shapes in this area," says Sachs. "As it is such a long room, the changes in colour create a sense of procession a feeling of moving through a tunnel to the other end."

A view of the reception area, tiled floor, ceiling, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, interior design, laminate flooring, light fixture, lighting, product design, room, table, wall, wood, wood flooring, orange
A view of the reception area, tiled floor, white walls, cream seats, wooden desk.

Red also makes a dramatic entrance in the main conference room, which features a back-painted glass wall, similar to those in the reception area. The designers lowered the ceiling in places to define the meeting table.

"We have hidden many of the lights, including those at the back of the banquette seating, so the walls appear to glow," says Sachs.

A textured, velvet-and-canvas fabric was chosen for the banquette seating the colours echoing the two tones of the millwork in reception.

Sachs says although it was mostly just the public areas that were refurbished, introducing new carpeting throughout the department provides visual continuity for the whole floor.

Apr 21, 2006

Credit list

Location
MTV Networks,
Main contractor
Lehr Construction Corp
Carpet
Interface Notes
Reception furniture
Custom desk by BDDW; chair and sofa by Brayton International
Conference bench seating
White oak benches by Hird/Blaker with cushions by Rialto in Kravet Couture
Café tables
Go Table from Bernhardt Design
Paints
Benjamin Moore
MTV Networks design director
Yetta Banks
Lobby flooring
Maple, tangerine rib and cherry rib from Amtico Flooring
Lobby wallcovering
Wood wallpaper from Maya Romanoff; colour-backed glass in Chromafusion Red
Custom conference table
Oak with walnut pedestals and organic wood sculptures from BDDW
Café chairs
Catifa Series from Gordon International
Café wallcovering
Samoa Fiji from Wolf Gordon
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