Colours and Textures of NepalSpace & Interior Design + Branded Spaces
The UNICEF National Country Office of Nepal (UNICEF NCO) invited Lopez Design to refurbish its offices in Nepal. UNICEF is a global organization, admired for its warm relationship with people. This universal respect and professional standing had to show through a positive working environment, bringing cohesiveness and clarity to the organization’s functioning and identity.
The brief from the client to Lopez Design indicated that the design of environment should link and collectively represent the children of Nepal, the region of Nepal and UNICEF in Nepal. The environment primarily impacts the staff of NCO, visiting UNICEF staff, vendors, the local government and NGOs. UNICEF NCO wanted the office interiors to express their personality and mission and reflect the specific cultural context of the region. The environment should strongly project their philosophy, ideals and purpose by bringing a sense of pride and ownership, efficiency to internal functioning and interaction.
The offices consisted of two wings – east and west on the first floor of the UNDP Main Building. The existing layout was open and organic and had grown sporadically over time to accommodate varied functions. We began planning with a view to incorporate improved functions and work ambience towards efficient work output. Looking at internal needs, we made layouts for easy interaction and a balance of personal and meeting spaces. We created environmental graphics that would strongly reflect the ideals of the organization. The themes for these were inspired by the culture and landscape of Nepal, weaving seamlessly into the corporate environment to make connections with people and place. Moving away from sterile solutions, we responded to natural rhythms, infusing the warmth and colour of the countryside into workspaces with a vibrant touch. The environment graphics incorporated a strong sense of “uniting for children” through colours, images and textures.
Nepal is home to eight of the ten top peaks of the world. The high-rise mountains were inspiring in making a direct analogy for the prosperous future of Nepal’s children linked with the care of UNICEF. As the sun slants off an angle or reveals a new facet “many faces of mountains” are discovered. This formed the basis to this simple and elegant concept, which we elected to execute for its timeless quality and changing narratives bringing new stories each time. Using photographs, we collaged faces, stories and bits of lives to blend in the story of the mountains and its people.
We related the textiles of Nepal to remember the heroes of this country and the importance of its diversity. The other innumerable heroes are honoured and celebrated with patterns and colours derived from the exotic striped rugs of Nepal. The regular graphics in colourful bands complimented the unusual weaves of this region to present lively pictures. With this, we brought the focus to the fundamental rights of children to study, play, live and learn.
We found stimulating design solutions that drew strength from the Nepal region to showcase children as the face of the organization. Staying away from rigid layouts, we introduced open offices on a functional grid that worked well to combine the needs of our clients at the same time giving them flexible spaces. Combining the varied local culture with technology, we were able to arrive at a judicious balance of a professional workspace with a healthy and cheerful ambience.
Our team on the project Anthony, Divya, Ashish, Ajay, George, Shannon, Lalit and Chetan designed and delivered the project in a year’s time despite many constraints.
“I believe the work you have done in our office was simply magical. Thanks to your very artistic and professional team, you have transformed a debilitated, run down and worn out grey office into a most beautiful, elegant and most functional comfortable and spacy working place. We were impressed by how you succeeded in mixing modern style and functionality with the colors and sights of gorgeous Nepal to create the magical result of a top notch Scandinavian modern work place touched by the colors and aura of the great Himalayan lands in the heart of Kathmandu. Any one who visits our office has been struck by awe for this most extraordinary compilation. Thank you for creating magic in our working lives!”