Naked Attic – Office Interior Design

It was a dusty attic in a 100 years old villa, that, over the decades had many destinations and forms of accommodating people. In the original layout from 1925, it was the servant’s area, on top three sumptuous storeys, reachable from the back yard, via a narrow staircase. Over the years, the place remained uninhabited for some time, then, after the whole villa was turned into office spaces, it was like a buffer space for the floors below. Until not so long ago, when a group of startups from the publishing industry decided to bring it to life as their first working space.

Called upon this job, we spent some time in the attic, getting familiarized with the twisted and narrow geometries of the space. Even if quite large (240 sqm floor area) it was rather difficult to use, since all over the perimeter the height is quite low and the structure of the roof was all over the place, without any rhythm. Over the years, all wooden structural elements were dressed in gypsum boards and so resulting a rather massive and misshaped volume. On the other side, the brief was to create a welcoming and calming space, a home for journalists and publishers, a bunch of young enthusiastic people, working from home, from the office, from anywhere. A place where anybody feels included, where you can just pop in with your laptop and work. After exploring some extravagant ideas, oozing creative expression, colors, shapes and daring décor, the idea of simply letting the initial space be came so natural to our minds. All we had to do was undress the wooden structure, tear down any gypsum board and make this place breathe.

The rest of the process was simple and beautiful. Exposed original beams and columns, wooden floors, simple furniture, simple layout (altered just by enclosing a bathroom, a small Kitchenette
and a meeting room) all wrapped in a subtle off white shade.

We intended this calm and airy feeling, but also we pursued a non linear grid, avoiding alignments and perfect shapes, for the sake of honest, raw expression. Every old imperfection we discovered, we let it be, or in some cases we amplified it, pursuing an overall wabi sabi charm.

The communal desks are bespoke design, and the central ample legs are decorated with artwork especially developed for this project. The same artwork, combining simple Bauhaus geometries in a black and white scheme, was implemented in the small bathroom, as a wallpaper. Continuing the subtle B/W Bauhaus theme , the water station was transformed in fun and unexpected piece of furniture. To accommodate office and cleaning supplies as well as a clothes rack, one on the lower part of the perimeter was turned into a closed storage, with doors decorated in the same clean, elegant, but fun way. Arches combined with rectilinear shapes, wooden panels combined with rattan.Our fave spot is the “monstera over the bench”, a place that celebrates imperfections of life and nature around us. The bench is bespoke and inspired from a simple wood plank on top of two logs, as seen in a remote village. Just for fun, a round opening was placed in the wall of the adjacent room, to circulate the bright light of the roof windows.