An abandoned warehouse transforms into a trend-setting showroom celebrating contemporary furniture
The client, Artec Design, had been making office furniture in Islamabad in the mid 80’s. After a hiatus, they aimed for a big comeback, with contemporary home furniture, utilising an old un-used warehouse. Taking challenges as opportunities for creativity, the purely utilitarian columns in the interior were used to create porticos with distinct and exciting proportions, interlocking to create interest, some becoming staging decks for exclusive furniture items. The colour palette was minimised.
White porticos jumping out of the dark grey surrounding walls provide the neutral backdrop for furniture on display. An internal patio introduces natural light from one side, with a stone wall in the background. The floor is also white, with stone pathways through the porticos, also reflected in the ceiling design. Using locally available materials throughout, wood and stone textures soften the straight lines.
The managerial offices at the back were enclosed behind a huge stone-clad wall, creating an interesting backdrop, with an astutely placed window providing a panoramic view to the CEO. The exterior is also minimalist. Puncture-less walls invite the viewer to enter, then the immense interior opens up in contrast to the stark walls outside.
The solid, dark tone of the façade is a bold design statement, distinguishing the show-room from the surroundings. The tree out front was preserved, complementing the façade and providing natural shade for parking. Such remarkable transformations, the need of the day in developing economies like ours, are a special interest of DB Studios. The abandoned warehouse is now a modern show place for contemporary furniture.
The interior design supports the kind of merchandise, while the exterior anticipates what is inside. The project has elevated the general ambience of the whole locality, and advanced the state-of-the-art in furniture show-places in Islamabad.