Urban jungle office, Burle Marx style: StudioSpass takes inspiration from landscape art

Rotterdam, Netherlands – What happens when playful sculptural forms are brought into the workspace? It’s a challenge that the Arttenders Art at Work project wanted to pose to the innovators at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Rotterdam. In the most recent installation of the project, local studio StudioSpass was invited to transform the common area of the Center into an urban jungle. The spatial intervention by StudioSpass introduces new shapes and custom furniture while also mingling with the existing interior architecture and designs created by local studio Kraaijvanger Architects and CIC’s design team.

The center is a creative hub, providing a workspace for startups and creative entrepreneurs to thrive in a collaborative and energetic space. The interior inspiration of an urban jungle was first taken up by CIC’s design team and Kraaijvanger Architects who introduced spaces with brightly coloured illustrative wallpaper and hallways crawling with air-purifying greenery. In a collaboration with Arttenders, Kraaijvanger Architects and CIC invited StudioSpass to interpret the theme for the Center’s living room.

StudioSpass looked to the work of Brazilian landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx for inspiration in abstracting the visual biases emergent from the theme. Burle Marx famously made sketches of his landscape designs by creating topographic maps of colourful organic shapes representing flora and fauna, so StudioSpass applied the same approach in the interior design of the workspace. Sculptures take the form of surreal entities that enter the space as friendly intruders from another dimension: portals of colour intervene on surfaces, while amorphous shapes create playful seating areas.

The walls have been covered with a custom-made gradient carpeting which further accentuates the bold primary colours, while the contrast between the smooth forms and the textured wallcovering sets off the three-dimensionality of the cut-outs from the wall. Providing a neutral colour and material, plywood flooring climbs up to create plant boxes around the sparingly placed greenery. In the transformation of the space into an abstracted landscape, StudioSpass has created a surreal colourful environment that encourages people to engage with their workspace in a completely new way.

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