I got a handful of preview shots from the new Red Bull New York offices the other night, with interiors designed by INABA, and I thought I’d post them here.
[Image: Red Bull New York offices by INABA; photo by Greg Irikura].
INABA, of course, already designed the connected Red Bull Music Academy, and the private office space continues that aesthetic, albeit deliberately stripped even of the constrained maximalism of that project’s bold colors and public-facing spatial entertainments, down to a minimalist, calm workplace distinct from—or perhaps offsetting—Red Bull’s identity as an international energy drink monolith.
As architect Jeffrey Inaba explains, “the company wanted its New York offices to be low-key. The 16,800 SF project doesn’t celebrate the company’s values with eye-catching forms, nor is its layout inspired by recent theories of workplace productivity.”
[Image: Red Bull New York offices by INABA; photo by Naho Kubota].
“Instead,” he continues, “the design is simple and without the pretense of being on the cutting edge of cool tech office design. It responds to the quick cycling of trends in workplace interiors by steering clear of large-scale gestures, playful lounge zones, or urban-inspired ad hoc décor.”
From the architect:
If the new standard for corporate offices is to create a physical experience that builds on the brand qualities the company has successfully established in digital media, then Red Bull’s New York space is the antithesis of this best practice. There isn’t a reliance on storytelling or graphic imagery; the space is dialed back to reset the focus of the experience on the basic architectural qualities of scale and light.
Acknowledging that offices and technology are evolving quickly and the future functions of the work environment are unpredictable, the architects composed a layout of spaces with distinct, fixed features. The three types of spaces are large open zones, medium-sized enclosed areas, and small rooms. They are used now as open office seating, conference areas, and small meeting/workrooms, respectively. Designed to be unique in size and day lighting and not to any particular functions invites people to invent new uses for them in the future.
In Kubota’s case, she shot both digitally and on film, with the latter shots taking on a hazy, almost noir quality, like the set of a 21st-century Mad Men caught on a Sunday break.
Meanwhile, check out BLDGBLOG’s two interviews with Jeffrey Inaba—from 2007 and 2010, respectively—and congrats to INABA’s Darien Williams for appearing on Curbed‘s list of Young Guns finalists for 2014!