Manama, Bahrain – Conceptually expanding upon the bridge that connects the two nine-storey buildings of the Al Baraka Banking Group headquarters, the focus of the architectural and interior design is an exercise in visualized connection. Inspired by the seemingly infinite repetition found in Islamic geometric patterns, architectural firm Studio EMGA isolated and enlarged the connection points of traditional patterning to create the façade. Meanwhile, Fantoni heads the design of the building´s interior, customizing the space with site-specific materials that connect the inside experience to the façade and to the surrounding context.
Fantoni reiterates the intricate details of the geometric patterns on the walls, ceiling, carpeting and sound barriers, and goes so far as to continue the motif in the customized furniture and cubicle systems. In a study conducted by the University of Sydney, it was found that the number one concern of over 50 percent of people working in open-concept offices was sound privacy. Fantoni´s Research Centre utilized the findings of noise pollution research to inform its spatial design choices, installing sound absorbing panels that double as a flexible cubicle system. At the same time, glass walls and doors fulfill the desire for a visually open workspace and democratize the executive floors, encouraging a sense of transparency.
Developing a strong visual connection between the various design and architectural elements of the building through geometric patterns, Fantoni leverages its customizable materials and designs to create a thoughtful workspace.