Modern classics


The offices of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York afford sweeping views of Manhattan’s impressive skyline. Less than one kilometre from New York city, the bank’s premises are located directly on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River and were modernised and redesigned in 2018.

Sponsored by the US government, the banking group provides home mortgages and community credit. Local interior design studio, the Switzer Group, was appointed to redesign the bank’s offices at the New Jersey branch.

The walnut ceiling creates a warm atmosphere for visitors to the reception area. Photo: Colin Miller

The purpose of the open-plan offices was to lend the premises a spacious feel. As a result, the designers deliberately dispensed with lots of room-partitioning elements. A variety of materials such as wood, tiles and carpet as flooring or ceiling panelling were used to create visual indications of how the spaces are used and to emphasise the main axes.

The designers decided to add rounded walnut ceilings over the communal areas. The fluid shapes of the ceilings create a warm atmosphere that encourages people to talk to one another. The flooring in the workspaces changes to carpet or wood. The marble reception counter harmonises with the anthracite-coloured floor tiles, which are used throughout the communal space.

In order to separate the conference rooms from communal spaces, glass partition walls are used, which guarantee maximum natural lighting to every corner of the offices. Light-coloured curtains and blinds provide the required privacy during meetings. The theme of walnut ceilings is also picked up on here – but as wood panelling for the inside walls.

Timeless design and superior comfort: right up until today, Wilkhahn’s classic FS management task chair is an impressive sight in contemporary offices. Photo: Colin Miller

When furnishing the meeting rooms, the designers chose Wilkhahn’s classic FS management task chair (design: Klaus Franck, Werner Sauer). The conference chair’s white smooth leather contrasts with the light grey carpet in the meeting rooms and therefore looks even more impressive. This chair’s only available with a bright chrome-plated frame and robust leather so that it’s set to last for decades. Wilkhahn’s FS-Line has automatic synchro-adjustment to make dynamic sitting possible. Whether people are leaning forward to write something or leaning back while talking on the phone, the tilt of the seat and backrest adjusts automatically to any posture they adopt. And despite its slender look, sophisticated upholstery methods mean the chair’s just as comfortable plush upholstered furniture. Consequently, it’s no surprise that this classic office chair isn’t just highly popular with the German government’s cabinet but also with people working in the international hubs of politics and business.

Click here for more information about the FS-Line.

Photo: Colin Miller

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