UAE: With nearly 60 billion aluminium cans produced a year, Rexam , one of the world’s largest manufacturers, wanted an out of the box design that reflected the spirit of the company.
“Rexam has a small staff count in Dubai and it wanted an office that as you walk in, it would almost be a conversation piece,” said Francois Papastefanou, senior interior designer, Bluehaus Group.
The underlying concept behind Rexam’s design was based on the idea of a space within a space. For the can manufacturer, Papastefanou hoped to create an interior that represented what the company achieves.
“With Rexam being a can manufacturer, the concept started that as you walk in, the clients or people working there should almost feel like they’re inside a can. So that’s the idea of a space within a space. So we took the envelope of the original space and then we took a secondary space within that envelope which became the inside of a can,” said Papastefanou.
The initial space given to Bluehaus was a long corridor that would normally prove to be a difficult space to design for many, but Papastefanou managed to make the space work for the concept rather than find a concept that worked for the space.
Papastefanou explained: “The space on the original tenancy is long and rectangular, which is rather awkward to work with. So what we tried to do was enhance what that space was and not try to hide the big spatial columns. We wanted to enhance the natural elements and that again is where the whole can thing comes from. We created a tube sort of that runs along the space and softens the awkwardness of the shape.”
With the space inside of a space, Papastefanou first considered actually applying aluminium to the interiors. However, he quickly learned that using aluminium would cause a lot of reverberation and echo throughout the office so Bluehaus decided to go with a more natural approach and decided on timber.
The timber look was provided by a synthetic vinyl from 3M, typically produced for automobiles. “It’s extremely resilient, waterproof and easy to apply,” explained Papastefanou.
And while the carpet was sourced from Interface, the furniture was supplied by Total Office, and maintains the industrial look with the colours inspired by Rexam’s vibrant designs.
“We needed to inject a splash of colour and the best way to do that was through the furniture. And that relates to the printed elements Rexam puts onto cans. Also, the fabric on the chairs is a natural fabric which again ties into the whole industrial, urban feel and use of natural finishes.”