LocationWestminster, City of Westminster, London, UK
Text description provided by the architects. For the last twenty years, Atrium has been located in the base of the Centrepoint tower, the iconic building that once held the title of the tallest building in London. Recently Atrium has made a professional move away from modern furniture supply to selling the finest lighting products – a move that needed both explanation and celebration.
This then led to a design Brief that required an interactive open space, with a central reception area that could very easily be converted into a darkened showroom. Studio RHE reacted to the Brief by designing a carefully choreographed intertwined space which utilizes a series of rotating, interlocking, hinged, jig‐sawed wall panels that transform the bright day‐lit space to a darkened showroom with a simple twist.
These rotating walls allow natural light to be played with throughout the day as well as adding an ever changing frontage to the streetscape of St. Giles Circus. This theatrical transformation will let Atrium demonstrate their range of ‘Soft Architecture’ lighting by FLOS. Studio RHE has emphasized this by arranging a rich mix of tactile materials from high gloss resin to reclaimed Yara timber sleepers. This has been done whilst keeping to a simple palette of predominantly a clean white, accentuated by a bright acid green used throughout the edges as a luminous highlight.
Finally a darkened inner sanctum meeting space has been created with colour change lighting control wheels and integrally plastered fittings within the walls. These complete the showroom experience before returning to the beautifully fitted central kinetic bar at the heart of the space.
The design direction is continued through the entire space to the Offices above where desks are arranged along a diagonal show wall with integrated screens and net surfing booths that look out over the double height showroom and plaza. The works started in January 2011 with Completion in June 2011 and an opening party in mid‐ July.