Office/ Warehouse RELOCATING
The designers’ opening gambit called for a literal straightening out of structural disparities: being of different heights, the two unmatched floor levels were bridged with seven-step stairs. While at it, the designers erected a wheelchair-lift for the handicapped just behind. Inherited loading docks were closed off, and the interiors were gutted.
Following replacement of overaged electrical and mechanical penetralia, space allocation pegged to the staffs composition and working needs were staked out. Open work stations account for an 85 percent preponderance. Most systems furniture had been brought along from former quarters but was smartened up with cherry wood trims and veneers. Since it was impossible to dig a trench for power lines in the concrete floor slab, cabling runs from walls to desk bases.
Stealing the show hands down, however, is the designers’ way of infusing, as it were, the folklore spirit and historical significance of the universally–yes, as in cosmic universe–famed refreshment. So-called feature walls of cherry, frosted glass, and polished stainless-steel accents form the backing for 17 niches showcasing specially commissioned Coca Cola-related photographs, each sandwiched between layers of glass, taken by Neil Winokur and Frank Majore from New York. Elsewhere, well over 50 prints culled from the company’s archives depict old-time soda fountains, glass bottles, pre-assembly-line fast foods, and other such memorabilia. Frosted glass partitions with clear silhouettes of yesteryear’s Coke bottles stand in front of a corridor containing red fabric panels, their coloration seeming to fill the shapely cutouts with virtual substance. Then there are the columnar “totems,” two at each work station row and adding up to 34. Pruitt refers to the iconic standouts as “limited accents of the well-known Coca Cola red.” Limited? Hardly, he quickly concedes. The vibrant red hue comes in strong doses, always conforming to the company’s chromatic standard. Making it a proper match was something of a major production, the paint mixture having had to follow a secret formula cross-checked by sample control. All very hush-hush and recondite. And, in its finished state, captivating.
The job took seven months. Working with Rubio and Pruitt were project designer Sherry Collins, technical director Santosh Nadkarni, and technical coordinator Pierre-Emmanuel Maeli.