When first approached by Mr. Francis Vassallo in view of his plan to re-locate his offices, his direct statement was that he did not require the services of an Architect but those of an Interior Designer.
Apart from some minor structural alterations, which did need the attention of an architect, the task ahead was to carefully interpret the client’s request, and fulfil these requests on plan.
Moreover, the plans had to incorporate the re-locating of the staff, from a labyrinth of offices spaces spread out within three separate buildings in Valletta, to an already existing unused commercial building in Qormi. This, no doubt, presented a Design challenge.
At planning stages, it was already established that the new premises allowed for an open-plan approach, which not only appealed to the Client, but also set the stage for this project. Having familiarised myself with these new premises, a major factor that ‘influenced’ the layout, was the vast amount of natural daylight that the building enjoyed, even on a cloudy day. The number of window apertures, both on the front, and at the rear of the building, was definitely a ‘breath of fresh air’, compared to the previous office location.
Our Interiors ( and not just our homes ), should be designed and constructed with an appreciation of the importance of providing high quality interior environments for ALL users.
Planning an office is not merely about putting the desks in the right position, but obtaining the optimum use of space, and keeping in mind that it is humans, and not just machines, that will be operating from these spaces, and hence staff and employees are more often than not, satisfied and become even more productive if they are presented with, and work within a healthy and comfortable, and well lit environment.
Enhance Business Performance
The staff seems to perform better, and are more in unison with each other. The effect of transparency, due to the openness of the floor plan, yet offering a ‘private’ work space, created by the use of fixed clear glass panels, in strategic areas, allows for this.
Individual offices were ‘personalised’ by the introduction of a colour preference. And why not ? As one may choose the colour of one’s vehicle, then why not select a colour that appeals to you, for you working environment, where ultimately, one spends most of the day there. The board room was no exception. It presents an aura of distinction, from the selection of the furniture, to the choice of the wall hangings, and portrays the elegance of the Client’s personality.
An Interior Designer may create an image and an attractive working environment, however, emphasis has to be made on achieving results, and not just aesthetic ones. The role played here has to be in harmony, together with the client, and carried on right through the project, also amongst the individual tradesmen who, without them, the works could not be carried out and completed to the satisfaction of all users.