Interview with Architecture student Niklas Eriksson


Text: Matt Carey
Renderings of model: Niklas Eriksson
Portrait photo: Johan Ronnestam

Woodworks is an open and flexible office space designed to foster creativity and collaboration. The building’s super structure, constructed from cross-laminated timber beams, forms a striking contrast with the surrounding concrete cityscape. Floor to ceiling windows let in natural light, creating a bright and airy atmosphere that promotes productivity and wellbeing. It’s an ideal space for businesses looking for a dynamic and inspiring workspace.

Tell us briefly about the environment you’ve been working on?

Woodworks is an open floor office environment. As a designer, I’m very interested in wood as a material, so I wanted to work with wooden structures. The concept is a modern flexible space, with well defined areas. I wanted the building to be a creative space and it’s important the building creates a sense of spontaneity and  creativity.

What materials have you used?

The structure is constructed from wood. It’s a minimal cross laminated beams superstructure. I’ve used lots of glass and configured meeting rooms to be created from bearing walls. The rest of the space has be designed to be very flexible in terms of furnishings.

What was the biggest challenge for you during the design process? 

It was a challenge to design a truly flexible and functional space for modern companies. I spent a lot of time playing with the placement of bearing walls for example, as these are fixed in place. The challenge was to keep a sense of space inside and keep the structure of the timber woodwork visible.

How did you incorporate BAUX products into your model? 

I’ve used BAUX in the main wall designs in the centre of building , which are approximately 7 x 12 metres tall. Here the BAUX materials have functional and aesthetic properties. They help to divide the interior space with texture and colour while providing good acoustics. I’ve also used BAUX in small nooks for spontaneous meetings. I wanted the corridors to be places that people can just sit and meet with coffee. So, these places need to feel secure and have good acoustics. The BAUX tiles also provide colour highlights in the corridor. I’ve also used BAUX materials in the formal meeting rooms where they create a functional acoustic space that’s focused and the textures are a backdrop for conversations.

How is your design connected to the future of wellbeing?
We live in a time of climate change, so using more wood might be counter intuitive, but I believe if it is sustainably sourced it can help us to move away from concrete and meet our global climate goals. Timber is regenerative and it creates a wonderful indoor environment. It feels warm and alive and people feel good inside. From a design perspective I think a building needs to provide humans with the flexibility to find spaces where they feel good and want to work. In the future I think we’ll see more hybrid solutions as workers work remotely.

This building has three floors, each with well defined areas for creative brainstorming and spontaneous meetings. The entrance has a lowered ceiling and marble floor, with a staircase that opens up into a large central space,  featuring an impressive BAUX design. The BAUX wood wool design serves as a focal point in the main space and dampens noise reflections, creating a calm acoustic environment.

Woodworks combines flexible office space for solitary work, with conference rooms and nooks for spontaneous conversations. The open floor plan allows for easy movement between areas, while the conferences rooms provide a sense of structure and organization. The space is flexible and can be adapted or reconfigure as needed, with BAUX flex felt dividers providing workers with privacy and improved acoustics.

One of the most striking features of the building is its exposed criss cross timber ceiling. The exposed wooden structure creates a feeling of being closer to nature. Throughout the building, the wood wool fibres of BAUX ceiling and wall tiles provide restful acoustics. The blues and greys in the BAUX designs provide subtle colour variations and compliment the buildings wood features. The use of natural and sustainably sourced materials reflects the buildings commitment to sustainability.

Niklas Eriksson is studying architecture and engineering at Chalmers in Gothenburg. His ambition is to use both the architect’s and the engineer’s toolboxes to help create better environments for our cities.

Visit BAUX during Clerkenwell Design Week 2023 to see all the models live. More info about Clerkenwell to come during the spring of 2023.

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