Upmarket skincare brand Environ commissioned Haldane Martin to design its offices after successfully completing their reception design in 2014. The elegant office space is characterised by soft lines, warm water colours and contemporary design elements to reinforce the feminine and innovative nature of the brand.
In addition to an artful and unique interior, the project also lent itself to the design of bespoke furniture – the Soft Office furniture range – that is going into production under license by premium furniture manufacturers Ergoform. Identifying that existing office furniture is notably masculine and corporate, Haldane Martin saw the opportunity to create original furniture for Environ that could capture the essence of a brand that signifies femininity and softness, the traits of beautiful skin.
The brief was to furnish two meeting spaces, a number of director offices and the CEO office, as well as the marketing and admin departments, while working with the existing interior structure. The key features of the office design would thus be the bespoke furniture and wall finishes.
Haldane Martin’s unique desking and meeting office system draws on soft, visually elegant forms: rounded rectangles that are spatially efficient, felt screens shaped in soft forms to add an element privacy, and legs with trumpet-shaped tops. A credenza storage system with a soft radiused corner, raised back and sides and a cabinet leg with adjustable height is made from natural wood, with a clever cable management system created from a groove routed through the desk. Back storage cabinets use take on the elliptical shape of the Environ logo, with an organic non-repeating pattern CNC-routed into white sprayed medium-density fibreboard (MDF) doors with a birch frame.
The walls are a watercolour ombre in a soft application of colour in the palette of various packaging and products by Environ including the brand’s signature orange. The ombre wall design is crafted by scanning watercolour painting and scaling it up to form the basis for wallpaper.
Other features include the first Pebble Sofa designed for the CEO’s main waiting area, covered in creamy skin-coloured leather and felt. Haldane Martin’s Source Upholstered Chair has been customised for Environ with a petal shaped rosette button detail and wooden legs, upholstered in grey wool felt. The Heracleum II light by Moooi, shaped like an organic blossom of branches, picks up on the leaf motif found in the logo and on the cupboard doors. Organic shaped carpets soften the aesthetic of the meeting rooms. Ottomans from Ergoform (the Shroom stool) come in floral shades of purple and pink.
The ultimate effect of this dynamic, original interior design has been to humanise the workplace, creating a visually pleasing, aesthetic work environment that is simultaneously practical, functional and comfortable – all while reinforcing the brand identity and ethos through innovative design.
Haldane Martin worked closely with founder Dr Des Fernandes and his team to develop an interior concept based on the intersection of art, science and beauty – the essence of the Environ brand philosophy – for the reception area of their manufacturing facility
A 6.5m-long flowing organic shape, echoing the curves of a woman’s body, forms the front of the main reception desk. The complex curved form was created using advanced 3D-modelling software. The base for the form was manufactured from thousands of CNC-cut and numbered MDF profiles that were laminated together and fared smooth by a mould maker. This base was then clad with heat-formed and polished white Corian surfacing material.
The reception desk is framed with a sheer wall of polished marble behind it, bearing Environ’s corporate identity. Hovering lightly above the sinuous desk are three Raimond lights by Moooi.
Mounted to the wall on the left of the reception desk is a translucent white product display shelving system inspired by a microscopic image of human skin cells.
To the right of the reception desk in the waiting area is Haldane Martin’s iconic Songololo Sofa and Polyhedra Coffee table.
Photos by Micky Hoyle
Reception 2013-2014, office space 2015
Beaconvale, Cape Town