The first few weeks of January never come easy. After rushing to the finish line of another year, Christmas and New Year’s Eve seem to always fly by in an instant, and suddenly a brand new year is upon us. For those returning to work, the start of a whole new year can act as a catalyst for a shake-up in work routines, environments or even career.

We’re currently pursuing the second shake-up in the form of a workspace that is refined yet inspiring, so it’s fitting this oh-so-smooth commercial project from Spanish firm Dot Partners came across our table. Presented with a raw space with only the central metal mezzanine structure in place, Dot Partners chose to keep the space minimal, emphasising form and function.

DESIGN Dot Partners

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The design was influenced by local factors, such as the building’s flood zone location and surrounding low-lying roads. In response, the layout features an elevated level in the entry area to protect against water runoff, as well as the larger mezzanine level within the building. The designers also chose materials that create a harmony inside the building while nicely contrasting with the exterior landscape, such as the polished concrete floors and steel partition frames.

Used continuously throughout the design, these materials add gentle emphasis to the structure of the building. While the layout may look simple, it’s deceptively so, as bench tops and tables melt into the physical structure and inbuilt storage is tucked cleverly away. Cutout spaces are further amplified for natural light, with the front facade’s upper story windows draping the lower and upper levels in sun.

With a strong design and ample inbuilt features, additional furnishings are few and specifically-selected. Design pieces in their own right, the scattering of chairs, stools and desk lamps add a darker tone to the greyscale colour palette. Again, form and function are key here, with no objects added for decorative sake.

Surveying the clutter of our own desks, we’re feeling more than a little jealous of the serenity the Cointec Office seems to possess. In fact, if we can’t restructure our office to a minimalist’s paradise we’ll settle for decluttering and stripping back to the raw materials – a lesson well learnt for any design undertaking.

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