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working details

Power Road Studios De Metz Green

A 1930s industrial building has been converted to office units. By removing suspended ceilings, exposing the original structure and using new materials in their natural state, the architect has created a rugged aesthetic. It is echoed in the design of the furniture - a ground-floor reception desk and a basement kitchen and bar.

'We took our concept, ' explained the architect, 'from the texture and solidity of an industrial packing case.'

Standard kitchen equipment - servery, hot and cold food display, sink and bottle cooler - are set behind units of 100 x 50mm timber studwork faced on both sides with 100 x 20mm Douglas fir planks. Counters are faced with stainless-steel sheet backed with 18mm ply, with the hot and cold food display protected by a 15mm toughened glass screen slotted into aluminium channels concealed in the adjacent counters. Kickplates of stainless steel sheet bonded to ply, run at the base of all units.

Bar equipment - bottle cooler and washer, ice-maker - is fitted behind a similar unit of studwork faced with Douglas fir planks. The stainless-steel bar counter has a slot of opalescent glass sealed with structural tape and lit from inside with fibreoptic filament.

On the ground floor, the reception desk continues the 'packing case' theme; it is clad with Douglas fir planks with a 20mm-thick galvanised steel kickplate running at the base. The Douglas fir worktop is inset with a glass panel laminated with a graphic interlayer; a lower glass shelf supports VDU and switchboard. A pair of Douglas fir-clad doors,1.2m high to match the worktop, control entry to the desk.

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