Architects: Fitzsimmons Architects
Location: Oklahoma City, Ok
Construction: Lingo Construction
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Joseph Mills Photography
From the architect. The program for this project located in the under-utilized attic storage space of an existing office lease space was to create a personal office space for a young entrepreneurial executive with an upstart company, which could also serve as a small retreat to relax with family. The space leased below the executive office was fully functional for the small staff that moved in immediately upon contract signing. The client worked in a remote office until the new office space and retreat could be completed a short time later.
The client wished to create a space reflective of his personal taste for clean lines, vivid colors, sports, auto racing, and display of a growing collection of art. An important aspect was that the space needed to be a place where his family could also spend time comfortably with him on late work nights, and be a resting place for the many cultural and sporting events the family frequently attends within walking distance of the office in down-town Oklahoma City. The program challenges included working within a confined exaggerated corridor-like space with low ceilings, one small window and large HVAC duct chases which serve the offices below.
Due to the modest budget and short time frame for a significant amount of build-out needed within the unused space, as much of the existing fabric was chosen to be left in place and utilized for creation of design elements, including the large square metal ducts running the full length of the space, keeping the existing stair, and placement of the plumbing near the existing stand pipes and hot water heater. Also because the space is long, narrow and low, the design focused on the creation of a sense of motion, and exaggeration of existing proportions. Resulting from the design approach to create a sense of motion is the abstraction of the auto racing. Long lines, subtle curves, floating and distorted planes and perspectives are the result, balanced with subtle repetition. The Curved ceiling to wall planes installed between the low 7’ joists blur the sense of volume, by continuously changing as one moves through the space.
This sense of motion and shifting volume is reinforced by the functional elements morphing from one another. For example, the couch and bed become the Kitchenette cabinet, the art wall travels through all spaces from stair to desk, and the rotating table can be within the Office “Conference” space and rotated into the lounge space. Lighting from multiple locations, both up and down, soften edges and further increase volume. The material palette of bright green (the client’s favorite) is balanced with natural wood, soft white and deep grays. The wood elements are used to both encapsulate the existing duct chases and are extended to become functional cabinets. The desk surfaces and couch planes share the common theme of flotation and movement.