When it was time to furnish the Bishop’s new office in Reykjavík, the focus was on creating a harmonious workplace that had both soul and a sense of the future.
The National Church of Iceland is organized into 266 parishes around the island under the incumbent Bishop, Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir. When the head office, Biskupsstofa, was to move from Laugavegur in Reykjavík to a newly renovated office in Katrínartúni, EFG was one of the furniture suppliers. The interior designer was Sesselja Thorberg, who runs the Fröken Fix Design Studio and is renowned for her sense of colour and space The vision was to create a modern, cozy workplace where everyone feels welcome.
EFG’s role: Furniture supplier
Interior decorator: Sesselja Thorberg, Fröken Fix Design Studio
Reseller: A4 Húsgögn
Business: Christian community
Floor space: 700 sqm
Furniture for flexible spaces and meeting rooms
The new 700 sqm office consists of an open plan solution with activity-based areas to make collaboration between departments easier. The premises includes a kitchen, two large meeting rooms, six group rooms, five single-occupant offices, a library and a reception. Great emphasis was placed on acoustics through carefully placed screen walls and upholstered seating furniture such as Surround and Mingle from EFG. The Pulse family is used as cabinets and ad hoc desks, and with the tower version placed next to seating.
I chose products from EFG thanks to their high quality and because, as an interior designer, I had the opportunity to adapt the design to fit the concept. For example, I added a table top and stand to the Pulse cabinet to create a new workstation.
I love using symbolism when I’m working with ideasSesselja Thorberg, interior designer
The offices and workspaces are designed to be peaceful places where people can work undisturbed. There are flexible workspaces where staff can work individually or together. Priests arriving from different parts of the island to work can sit for a while in Surround. The integrated desk and lighting in the booth dampen noise and also constitute a little office-within-the-office.
The sofa Mingle is on runners, and its two-colour upholstery is used in the open landscape, where the colour purple is repeated in the carpets, armchairs, pouffes and benches. One of the conference rooms boasts a HideTech conference table with technology cleverly concealed in the table top. There are also a couple of single-occupant offices including Bishop Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir’s own office.
It was important to create a sense of welcome, as it’s a large office that has visitors from all over the island.
Symbolism forms part of the interior design concept
The colours and shapes I used in the concept stem from my love of symbolism. I love using symbolism when I’m working with ideas, and in this project I had the chance to be very flexible within the assignment’s framework,’ says interior designer Sesselja Thorberg.
The interior design concept is based on warmth, with elements of religious symbolism and colours that reflect church activities.
Here I used the liturgical colours of the Christian calendar and played with shades of them on walls, glass coatings and furniture such as the painted stands and handles on Pulse cabinets in wine red and dark green.
The symbolism is manifest in the interior furnishings such as sound absorbers with cut-outs in the form of crosses; candles and the liturgical colours of the Christian calendar – white, green, red and purple. Triangles symbolizing the Holy Trinity can be found on tablecloths, rugs and textiles. But the interior designer leavened the religious expression by providing all employees with their own ‘halos’ in the form of circular pendant lamps above the desks.
The staff are extremely happy with their new office thanks to the big contrast with the old building.
It’s very important to have a clear overall picture from beginning to end. In fact, it’s essential!Sesselja Thorberg, interior designer