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The Cocoon: Camenzind Steps Further With Its Workplace Design ‘R’evolution

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on September 28, 2015 at 04:38 PM

Winning a host of international awards including the prestigious and renowned Platinum A' Design Award in Interior Space and Exhibition Design Competition Category for designing the interiors for Google’s Dublin campus, Swiss design firm Camenzind Evolution have successfully crowned their pioneering revolution in office space design. Having made ‘change’ their middle name, they broke free from the conventional mould to introduce new concepts in the design of work spaces. And this ‘change’, mind you, was founded on deep rooted concerns surrounding the relationship between workplace and worker. The playful concepts they introduced and the humanised changes they engineered revolutionised the very attitude of employees or workers towards their work and work place, re-emphasising the importance of ambience in productivity. From green lawns and breakfree gaming zones to star trek themes, from sci-fi robots to scooters and swings, from meeting rooms of various shapes, colours and materials to the now famous Google docks, from parent and kid shared office spaces to dynamic spaces that can be used variously at different times to optimise energy consumption, Camenzind has changed it all. It has ensured its work places are designed for humans to function in as humans and not as mechanical machines. Having taken the office design world by storm through its interior design, Camenzind Evolution has gone a logical step further with its architectural design of the office building for ‘The Cocoon’.

© Courtesy of Internet Resources

In a departure, or rather a logical progression, from using interior design to create fun offices, Camenzind uses architectural form to create the ideal workplace at the Cocoon, an exclusive office headquarter in Zurich, Switzerland. The sculptural form of an elliptical upwardly widening spiral sits on green lawns on a beautiful hillside in the Seefeld district of Switzerland. Though sharply reminiscent of Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, it is notable how the spatial continuity of the spiral and its inward looking arrangement has been adapted to create a ‘landscape of interactions’ in the office environment.

The Cocoon

On the outside, the entire facade is covered in the proverbially sustainable double skin – inner glazing covered externally by a superfine stainless steel mesh, resultantly providing privacy while allowing an optimum amount of daylight to filter in during the day. At night, the abundant lighting from the interior shines through the uninterrupted filter of the exterior double skin to make the building appear like a glowing sculpted lamp.

The spiralled and consequently contiguous office floor looks in on an atrium which is bathed in daylight showering in from a huge elliptical skylight. This outwardly tapering spiral not only creates undisturbed and various opportunities for interaction across all levels, but also totally obviates all level differences to promote a horizontal organisational structure. 

The total absence of walls, internal or external, creates an uninterrupted transparency within and outside the office. The connections within the organisation and with the huge, age old trees in the beautiful Swiss landscape all around seem sublimely seamless.

The external skin of wired mesh is laid out in vertically long panels which, while following the spiral facade, overlap at the edges. This makes for a scaly skin that lends a subtle yet distinguished character to the built form.

As on the exterior, the interiors also see minimal invasions in terms of decor. The furniture, though subtle and elegant, is restrained to basic necessities and merges in the monochrome. As the centre piece, the striking red spiral couch at the bottom of the atrium completes the sculptural composition, which is what this office is.

Famously known for their mind-blowing and profuse office interiors, Camenzind has now let minimality, subtlety and pure form engineer this magical modern work place. The Cocoon truly underlines the range of their artistry and showcases their mastery over spatial moulding.

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