The edgy TRA office fit-out by José Gutierrez Ltd has taken out the top prize at the 2015 Interior Awards evening. Presented by Interior magazine at an exciting industry event at Auckland’s St-Matthew-in-the-City, 17 June, the Supreme Award recognised the firm’s stunning re-fit of The Research Agency’s Britomart office.
A boutique research and analytics business at the forefront of its industry that has just been rebranded to TRA, this repeat client worked with José Gutierrez to create an innovative office space that was unique and reflected the goals and specific needs of the data analysis and research industry.
The spatial brief asked for a reception space, open plan office for 40 staff, a boardroom, meeting rooms and a staff breakout area. A new, more progressive space was required while also working with the 110-year old heritage building the office is located in.
José Gutierrez Ltd was presented with a $6,000 cash prize and a bespoke trophy designed by Minka Ip.
There is a delightful tension between history and the future at play here: between a client working in a forward-looking industry (chiefly data analysis and strategy) and the 1906 building they chose to inhabit. The designer translated the ephemeral nature of data flows into a solid, decisive language while, at the same time, respecting its industrial context. Mirrors and a highly restricted palette of materials are seamlessly detailed to accentuate the materiality and spatial drama of the heritage space. José Gutierrez resolves the space’s inherent horizontality with a striking, ‘cathedral-like’ (to use the designer’s own words) insertion of a 7m-high steel screen. There is bespoke cabinetry that alludes to punched paper tape or other binary means of transporting information. In short, TRA is replete with a quietly assertive and palpable attention to detail. Yet, it is not just about the poetry of small things. This design is also well-versed in the manufacturing of “WOW moments”, (its reception being a strong case in point) and an intelligent awareness of its overall context and the client’s industry. The result is a seemingly effortless solution to a complex problem.
- Full coverage of 2015 Interior Awards winners here.
- Extended coverage and full jury citations can be found in the June 2015 issue of Interior magazine.