When the client’s name is spelled out in uppercase letters — FUEL Advertising — chances are that client wants an in-your-face office interior. Inger Bartlett, founder of her eponymous design firm, took the hint. Waxing alliterative, she describes the aesthetic for her design scheme as “power, punch and pop.” (And it packs plenty of snap and crackle, too.)
FUEL, the Canadian subsidiary of Chicago-based Draft/FCB, wanted its Toronto branch to exude hip stylishness to motivate employees and attract new ones, give a strong sense of arrival for visitors and reinforce the company’s brand.
Wasting not a moment as the arrival sequence unfolds, the office makes a robust statement right from the front door. The reception area is dominated by the honking big colour accent of a wide, candy-apple-red wall emblazoned with the client’s supersize “The Power of the Possible” wordmark. This red wall plays off against the pure white seating arrayed against it. Overhead, parallel lines of corrugated metal ceiling panels with naked light bulbs punching through act as a wayfinding device, pointing the way to the boardroom. Here, “supersize” is again the operative world. Big sliding barn doors open to reveal the 25-foot boardroom table.
Framing the creative work area are white and lime-green acrylic panels bolted together to form 13-foot-high screens. Elsewhere, vibrant pink and orange panels identify the client-services bullpen. Task chair fabrics in each area reiterate the colour code.
The “pop” in Bartlett’s triple-p motto is supplied by Pop Art flowers and birch trees on Marimekko fabric panels on the walls of the lounge and caf. Inspirational sayings from John Lennon, Steve Jobs and Kurt Vonnegut, in black on plain white canvases, visually link back to the words on the reception-area wall.
Design team: Inger Bartlett, Michelle Gray, Joel Stevenett, Genevieve Bergman and Alexandra Samouk