by Pooja Suresh HollannavarNov 16, 2023
Local architects Juan Alberto Andrade and María José Váscones have designed the flexible open plan interiors for Oriented Fibres' office for Mendotel, a technology services company in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The architects have created a floor to ceiling, pine and glass shelf with angular windows that sits inside the classic blue, compact office as a fresh interior façade, providing privacy as well as connecting the space visually.
Mendotel needed a workspace and meeting area near its main office of conventional operation that consists of a reception desk, waiting area, hallways and sealed interior spaces. Oriented Fibres has been designed as a minimal workspace for their staff without the space and function of customer service. The office design includes minimal workstations and a place to attend customers sporadically, along with a small private cafeteria and bathroom. The number of permanent office users has been fixed to four people, with 20 sqm useful area for each.
“The main purpose of the project was to design a completely flexible space for the new requirements the client presented, which led to the study of its possible spatial occupation as a starting point. The work dynamics were analysed, getting as a result, an office and sales location with different levels of privacy,” inform the architects.
With an 80 sqm built area, Andrade and Váscones have inserted a “reticulated shelf” within Fibras Orientadas that separates the interiors into two regions with varied privacy levels – the production area which comprises workstations and meeting spaces, and service spaces that include showroom, bathroom and cafeteria bar. The two walled shelf is made from 19 x 9cm of planked pine wood, with a simple system of dowels and white glue, along with OSB partition boards that sit at right angles to the walls. Accessed by sliding doors, the space inside has white chairs and wooden workspace desks, along with storage cabinets, while the shelf's grid design hosts spaces to keep office supplies and tiny potted plants.
The interior design is swathed in pine wood and coloured lacquered wood, with repeated, geometric episodes of Pantone Colour of the Year 2020, a vibrant blue that creates a pop contrast to the plain white, grey and light pine wood backgrounds within Oriented Fibres. Blue is corporate yet warm; it's tone is somber yet lively at the same time. “The colour was useful to divide the spaces, with blue symbolising the services center: cafeteria bar, bathroom; and the target for work and production areas,” says Andrade and Váscones.
Two shades of painted blue demarcate the cabinets and sink area adjacent to the glass and pine wood shelf. A suave reading and sitting area is also painted blue at angles, along with an alcove and curved door. The ceiling installations are left exposed, while the flooring is done with cement and a layer of sealant. Small potted indoor plants sit at vacant areas throughout the Oriented Fibres, adding specks of greenery and freshness amid the white and blue.
“The design and functional dynamics in the interior spaces are articulated by the utilitarian furniture that expands from the shelf, a set of fixed tables, storage units and sliding doors that make its purpose more flexible. The materiality, manufacturing methods and construction were devised particularly for the type of execution that the project should achieve,” the architects add.
Name: Fibras Orientadas (Oriented Fibres)
Location: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Built Area: 80 sqm
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: Juan Alberto Andrade and María José Váscones
Collaborators: Cuqui Rodriguez