Design for wellbeing
One of the offices of the world-famous Printful brand is located in the centre of Riga, in a building filled with bohemian legends on the corner of K. Barona and Raiņa Boulevards, which after reconstruction has acquired a contemporary visual image, combining post-modernist history and new technologies. The inspiring and functional reception area for guests and employees on the ground floor is an attribute of the company’s corporate identity, the interior design of which was created in accordance with the Labs design project. Labs design has worked with Printful or its friends on various projects, so the client was familiar with the style and the level of execution, which does not allow for deviations or compromises. The design has to dominate the space.
PROJECT : PRINTFUL HEAD OFFICE lobby
Author: LABS DIZAINS INTERIOR STUDIO
ADRESS: Riga, Latvia, LV1050. Raiņa bulvāris 25
Facts and figures
Printful’s reception area is an undivided 250 m2, with an information desk, five interview booths, four sofas, a seating area, wardrobes and a WC with a disabled cubicle. Every horizontal and vertical m2 of the space has been thoughtfully used.
The room is 4.3 m high and is illuminated by the windows facing K. Barona Street and Raina Boulevard. There is therefore no need to complain about the amount of daylight in this room, while the wide view from the street helps to create an impression of the company’s everyday values. The impressive red granite staircase, which dates back to the Soviet era and is in perfect working order, is a unique feature. The design of the space has been carried out in a comprehensive manner, with the project being developed and implemented to a high standard. The client’s brief was to create a waaau effect and a radically different interior architectural solution that would stand out for its spark of creativity and coded thinking outside the box. A small visual dose is reserved for a reference to Printful’s history, when it expanded from a motivational poster printer to an internationally renowned complex printing company.
The emotional surprise effect
First impressions are never made twice in a row, and this is the iron truth that all professional and respected business people, architects, designers and other professionals whose daily work with clients counts like a daily tally.
The visitor to the reception area feels a little like being in the future and is certainly surprised and impressed, but once they have a sense of the overall character of the space, they are fascinated by the details, many of which exude a homely or huge effect. The visitor is easily captivated at first glance, then the modern design forms come to the fore, and at the same time it is easy to understand how to use the space – for meetings, waiting or work. The engineering systems that guarantee acoustic and visual comfort are delicately concealed and fully integrated into the design solutions.
Colour, texture and shade transitions
Red ceilings are certainly an unusual choice in Latvia, where many people are afraid of bold accents. In this case, however, it wasn’t a dare for its own sake, but a tool for creating a harmonious space. The red shade has been used elsewhere, but it is unobtrusive and inclusive, a nice companion to the main concept of the interior, for example, the slightly rough and greyish micro-cement flooring with offset seams is divided into triangles (proportionally according to the company logo style), colouring them in a mass of red.
The reception information counter, the central module of the interior, is curved, with Marmorino (marble powder plaster) textured surfaces, doors and walls – tactile, noticeable up close, adding a subtle nuance to the space.
The curved glass of the interview booths is pleasantly shimmering with a soft and translucent gradient of embedded colours from reddish to greenish, visually isolating the glazed spaces. The glass is made in Latvia – the time has come when it is no longer necessary to rely on foreign partners.
A small kitchen is now integrated between the columns, where the passageways were historically located, yet it is multifunctional and convenient.
Every detail of the project was evaluated on the basis of several criteria: design, integration, function, relationship with the space and other details, form, tone, innovation.
Creative design of the negotiation booths
Negotiations are not only about the interest and fluidity of the interlocutors, but also about the mood in which the meeting takes place. In glass-enclosed spaces, everything is subordinated to human well-being, which is received through the senses. The glazing creates a connection with the world, eliminating claustrophobic effects. At the same time, excellent acoustics and sound insulation are ensured. Outside the meeting room, what is being discussed cannot be heard.
The empty meeting rooms have a cozy (lounge) atmosphere, which is achieved by the design, the tones and the warm colour of the lighting. The booths are slightly raised above floor level, the outline of the beachline silhouette is outlined by an LED string on the floor, suggesting intuitively the presence of a small step. As you enter the room, it transforms itself, completely changing the mood towards business and comfort. The LED luminaires in the light box become brighter, colder tones (tunable white, meeting mood) start to predominate, promoting productive work, and the specially designed ceiling takes care of the acoustics.
The visitor sees only the illuminated, stretched French ceiling and the profile – the design element of the room. However, the design element has an engineering content that is invisible to the eye, and behind it, at a height of 70 cm, are individual ventilation units for each negotiating room. The floor carpet also helps to create good acoustics, and the ceiling pie consists of a specialised sound-damping stretch ceiling, acoustic grid and a 5 cm thick layer of wool, which provides a comfortable reverberation time.
The arrangement of plants between the two negotiation rooms is a way of attractively isolating and visually separating what is happening in each negotiation room. The intended visual, acoustic, sound attenuation and fresh air comfort levels are fully achieved – invisible but reliable.
The operation of the light modes and the creation of a cosy or business-like ambience are automatically controlled by the innovative Casambi system, programming different modes depending on the room. There are no switches in the room, only sensors that automatically react to what is happening in the room.
When choosing the landscaping concept, the guidelines were to use real houseplants, despite the fact that they require intensive care to ensure that the appearance of the plants fits the design line of the space. Many plants want direct sunlight, for them the amount of daylight reaching the room is not enough. Therefore, floodlights with a light pink special phyto-light are used for supplementary lighting, switching on in the early morning and evening hours. The pink UV light is also suitable for exotic plants in the room. The Casambi system is also used for automatic operation of the lighting.
Stylish WC rooms
Since the opening of the reception, the WC facilities have been the subject of many exclamations and emotional responses. The impressive futuristic design even makes you linger a little to explore. The oval-shaped subdued LED lighting surrounding the mirror and the very bright 16 mm diameter spots are the only light sources, but they are enough. The plumbing is laconic, with mixed tiles and dark paintwork on the walls, with seamless colour transitions. The Casambi system permeates the entire reception area and the WCs respond to sensor signals.