With the new atelier collection, Italian manufacturer FANTONI is launching a highly flexible, functional, and elegant working environment for the office of tomorrow. it could be that employees won’t want to take holidays anymore. An office layout that isn’t flexible, can’t be reconfigured, and artificially confines employees to a fixed workstation is anathema to Fantoni.
So it’s not surprising that this leading Italian manufacturer of office furniture and fittings has developed an atelier, a highly versatile, innovative furniture system, in collaboration with san Francisco-based architecture and design giant Gensler.
Modular, flexible, and supremely elegant, the atelier was launched at the Salone del mobile this year. it comprises four key elements: a configurable workstation; configurable, multifunctional 105 cm-high collaboration and touchdown tables; storage units including one equipped with a detachable pinboard; and a bookcase/ storage system. the collection’s minimal, streamlined aesthetic allows it to be unobtrusive in an office environment.
The Fantoni group, based in osoppo in the province of Udine, northern Italy, has moved nimbly with the times ever since it was founded in 1882. it has consistently embraced innovative manufacturing, while its self-sufficient infrastructure allows it to undertake all stages of its production processes. it now produces a plethora of products that underline its dedication to versatile workplace furniture, including partitions, storage walls, and sound-absorbent panels.
The two companies first became acquainted not long ago when Gensler was planning a renovation of its London office – a prestigious project, given the US firm’s high profile: it has 3,500 clients specializing in different areas of design, from architecture to graphic design. unable to find a product that truly reflects the way Gensler works, they joined forces with Fantoni, with the common desire to design workplaces that are at once flexible, modular, adaptable, and efficient. soon after, they hit on the idea of the atelier.
Both companies believe a well-designed workplace is infinitely flexible – adaptable to ever-changing technologies and working practices. it should stimulate creativity – the antithesis of a conventional office with static furniture that is likely to feel intellectually stagnant. modern office furniture should be adaptable, conducive to teamwork, and the lively exchange of ideas. Fantoni and gensler agree that an ever-changing, non-hierarchical environment that encourages democratic, collaborative working methods is more likely to inspire and motivate staff.
Atelier’s protean design embodies and promotes such activities and values: it allows staff members to move from one spot to another – be it a social breakout area or more private space – in an effortlessly agile way. the ease with which the collection’s pieces can be repositioned correlates with the atelier’s ethos of inspiring free-flowing ideas. indeed, the atelier is the perfect solution for an office in a healthy state of flux.
Its 105cm-high collaboration and touchdown tables on castors are eminently suited to informal meetings. these modular pieces are highly practical: they can be enlarged by adding other tables to them and they incorporate discreet cable-management facilities and sleek drawers. they also interlock with the tall storage units. these comprise cabinets supporting a skeletal frame forming open shelving – and conveniently double as room dividers. optional LED lighting can be installed under the shelves, rendering the units even more functional.
Meetings can be conducted anywhere with the aid of the mobile pinboard. an additional detachable panel used for writing notes or displaying mood boards can be hooked on to this. available in two sizes, this panel is reversible and dual-functional: one side is covered with cork, the other with a wipe-clean whiteboard. completing the collection are smaller, moveable storage units incorporating shelves or compartments for keeping rolled-up drawings and documents.
In today’s forward-thinking workplace culture, change is to be welcomed rather than feared or discouraged. as such, the atelier is at the very vanguard of flexible office design.