Earthy tones and a wooden table in the shape of a cityscape feature in Olson Kundig’s first New York office, which was designed with sensitivity to the 100-year-old building it occupies.
Located in Midtown Manhattan, the office is spread across the 10th floor of a mid-rise tower constructed in 1923.
Olson Kundig – a studio with its primary offices in Seattle – created the interior to be its first New York City hub with a material and colour palette that responded to the building’s 100-year-old history.
The open-plan office is defined by a central “living room” that features a 144-square-foot (13-square-metre) wooden table on wheels with a statement geometric cityscape.
Created from raw timber offcuts, the table is divided into quarters for different configurations. It was designed by studio principal Tom Kundig and fabricated by Spearhead.
“The design was the result of a conversation Alan [Maskin] and I had about our teacher, [the late architect] Astra Zarina, and our fond memories of gathering around the table at her home in the centre of Rome,” Kundig told Dezeen.
“She always had a big pile of candles in the centre of the table, similar to the abstract masses at the centre of our table.”
“We want to foster the same spirit of conversation and sharing between colleagues and collaborators in this new office space, so it was a natural place to draw inspiration.”
A series of wooden workstations are arranged across the open-plan office, while conference rooms feature around its perimeter. An open kitchen is also located adjacent to the stations.
Platforms are positioned above the workstations offering a display area for sculptures and models. According to the studio, this continues its tradition of integrating art into everyday life.
The office interior was designed to reflect its Manhattan location, rather than mirror the firm’s flagship office in Seattle, according to Kundig.
“The existing shell of the office was largely concrete and glass. We added wood and warmer tones to soften the space, with natural materials to add texture and interest,” explained Alan Maskin, partner at the studio.
A mixture of vintage and contemporary furniture was sourced locally from locations in Brooklyn and Tribeca.
Like the Seattle office, the New York space will also host various art events, tying the otherwise-unique locations together.
Olson Kundig was founded in 1966. The firm has completed multiple international architecture projects including a beach house with louvred shutters in Sydney and a timber floating home in Seattle.
Another practice that designed its own studio is Urselmann Interior, which created its office using only biodegradable and recycled materials.
The photography is by Angela Hau.