When selected to design the Polish headquarters for Bausch + Lomb, Warsaw studio 137kilo drew inspiration from the 160-year-old company’s expertise in vision products, and sought to deliberately evoke the look of research laboratories. Throughout the interior, an antiseptic white dominates: floors, walls, ceiling, and even furniture are white or light grey.
Layered on top of this canvas are multiple plant walls. They vary in size from full-wall vertical gardens in the reception area to smaller, poster-sized pottings tucked behind the chair of the opthamological examination room. There is scarcely a place in the office without a direct eye-line to some greenery – a proven method for soothing tired eyes.
The office’s floor plan is divided between large, open-concept areas and enclosed meeting rooms. Delineated by sheet glass (further evoking the company’s history in optics), the boardrooms can be made more intimate by drawing the white curtains that drape the edges of the spaces with an almost residential feel. Other desking zones are dedicated to employee work stations centred around a small tree to form a plus sign, referencing the company name. Echoed throughout the office, this effect is also seen in the supports of glass-topped tables found in the breakout areas.
The walls of these breakout zones are the most dramatic gesture inserted into the open-concept areas of the office: inflatable igloo-like hemispheres, which connect directly into the building’s climate control systems. Resembling giant contact lenses, the casual meeting spaces offer employees a space for informal collaboration. Besides the private inflatable domes, this part of the office also houses circular lounge seating for catching a quick break with coworkers.