...and a smile
Joy Armstrong -- Interior Design, 5/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
How do you brand an office for a company with the most recognizable product name on earth? For Coca-Cola Enterprises, the soft drink's largest bottler worldwide, ASD abstracted logos and accentuated the bubbly side of life. "One of their big concerns was to brand the space but not overdo Coke—there's such a rich body of images to draw from," says ASD principal and vice president Bryan Hunt.
Located in two buildings in Tampa, Florida, the office consolidates North American accounting divisions in a combined 96,000 square feet. The 10-foot ceilings and windows on all sides made the raw spaces ideal for ASD. The designers added few walls or partitions and even fewer ad-type staples.
In lieu of computer-generated images of thirsty polar bears and can-clutching Santas, ASD opted for more conceptual references. Walls covered in silvery fabric undulate in imitation of Coca-Cola's wavy ribbon logo. Coca-Cola red splashes over chair upholstery and linoleum flooring. Quartz-terrazzo floor tiles pick up on the green of a soda bottle.
And then there are the bubbles. Lots of bubbles. "Bubbles are a really big thing for them," says Hunt. Contributing to the effervescent atmosphere right from the start, one reception area's chairs are covered in the red op-art circles of a Verner Panton fabric. Above the seating group are white lighting globes in polyurethane-plastic, the same that ASD hung to complement the employee café's translucent polypropylene chairs.
Some commercial imagery is present more explicitly. "We not only used branding as an art form but also incorporated it into the architecture," says ASD president and CEO Thom Williams. In the same reception area, Acrylite wall panels' circular cutouts frame rows of original green-tinted contour Coke bottles, set on shelves that the designers installed in the plasterboard behind.
On opposite sides of the two employee lounges, walls of backlit acrylic panels display Kodak-style photographs, some of Coke drinkers, others of delivery trucks parked in front of Union Station in Washington, D.C. Hallways leading to an open work area are lined with more panels, these showing neon-bright close-ups of Coke, Hi-C, and Mello Yello in glasses.
So far, the installation represents the first and second phases of development for the Tampa complex. Phase three is slated to start in the near future, with ASD taking charge once again. Look out for another Coca-Cola classic.