Impressive Wall Panelling and Reception Desk Created from Solid Surface Material

As part of the extensive renovation of a London office building, the foyer also received a new look. Employees and customers now enjoy what is literally a glistening reception area. Rosskopf + Partner was awarded the responsibility for the production of the impressive wall panelling with backlighting and the sculptured reception desk, all fabricated from solid surface material.

In the middle of “old town” in a narrow alley of London's financial district are the offices rented by LaSalle Investment Management. From the plans of Gaunt Francis Architects, the 25,000 square-meter building complex was extensively renovated in 2012 by “The Interiors Group” a general contractor for construction. A special challenge lay in maintaining the character of the historic building while, at the same time, supplementing it with contemporary design elements.

In addition, one important requirement was providing a common and attractive foyer for all three wings of the building. To accomplish this, the facade was opened to the outside by four glass doors with a very large surface area, so that the sizeable 175 square-meter foyer now presents itself as transparent and flooded with light. But it is not only the large windows and numerous LED ceiling lights that provide a radiant reception area; the central attraction is the remarkable wall panelling that was fabricated using bright white solid surface material; it is sickle-shaped, backlit effectively and a modern bench was integrated into it in the reception area.

For the design development, fabrication and installation, the architects brought Rosskopf + Partner, a specialist in processing solid surface material, into the team. Depending on the requirements, their services range from consulting, engineering, manufacturing and assembly to the distribution of raw materials, which were more than sufficient for this project. Rosskopf + Partner accomplished the production at its Hennersdorf facility in Saxony in just three weeks. Before beginning with production, the designs of the architects were examined carefully by a project tea m of experienced engineers and craftsmen for their feasibility and to review questions about details, and clarified them to perfection.

Thus, the architects took a clear decision to implement solid surface material for this project because it convincingly possessed the necessary distinctive functional and aesthetic properties; the parts could be joined seamlessly with no visible grooves or joints and presented nearly unlimited possibilities for thermoforming. For the application in the London foyer, solid surface material HI-MACS® in the colour S28 Alpine White was first heated and then crafted into shape. What is invisible to onlookers is that the 20-meter long and three-meter high wall panelling consists of about 30 individual custom-moulded panels, which were joined together on location into a smooth homogeneous surface. Equally harmonious is the long seating bench with lack leather upholstery that was mounted subsequently on the wall.

The extraordinary processing competence of Rosskopf + Partner is reflected not least in the complex technology of backlighting. A compact chip pattern in the wall comprised of more than 7,000 different sized polygonal cut-outs that flow towards the centre offers an imposing sight when backlit with LED lamps. Light bands above and below the 12 mm thick solid surface sheets provide an addition impression to the room.

In stark contrast to the bright white wall are modern lounge chairs in refreshing yellow tones and a sculptured reception desk in dark grey solid surface mate rial – also fabricated by Rosskopf + Partners using HI-MACS® material in the colour S117 Midnight Grey. 

The L-shaped reception desk is about 17 feet long and the wedge-shaped tip protrudes more than six feet out over the open floor. To help bear the load of the main structure, concealed steel cables were anchored into the floor. While the closed front with a satin finish is visually especially impressive, the rear of the desk presents itself as extremely functional; here, integrated cupboards and open shelving offer plenty of storage space – even a heater was installed. An asymmetric worktop made of linoleum in a matching colour is imbedded to the exact millimetre into the surface of the reception desk.

The wings of the desk were also bolted together on site. Because of the joint-free fabrication and a smooth, non-porous surface, the furniture made of solid surface material is resistant to water and dirt, and thus, extremely hygienic and easy to clean. Therefore, the composite material of natural minerals and acrylic and colour pigments is ideal for every day use in heavily trafficked office and work environments as well as for highly frequented entrance and reception areas.

Construction Information Board

Design: Gaunt Francis Architects
Material: Solid surface material HI-MACS®
Location: London, GB
Photography: Constructive Management, Marc Wilson