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When the architecture and design firm Edição Limitada – Arquitetura e Design LDA was tasked with creating the headquarters for Horizon Building Inc. and Davos&Co. in Porto, Portugal, the initial idea was a clear one: a vibrant space, with soft colours and a luxurious yet simple aesthetic, that could function as both a workplace and a gallery for showcasing various real estate projects. The goals were to build a space where clients and associates would feel at home and to create an elegant, discreet design where other works, projects, etc., could be displayed.
“With regard to the choice of an industrial style, we wanted to leverage the great potential of the high-ceilinged original space. Everyone involved in the project was part of the real estate and architectural sectors, so we were looking to convey the essence of a project in progress, combining luxury materials like marble and HIMACS solid surface with basic construction materials like concrete and metal,” explains Ricardo Rios, the project’s designer. “We didn’t need to add anything else. Thanks to the property’s excellent location and fabulous views, we were able to focus on the quality of the finishes of the existing materials.”
The most complicated challenge in this project was to satisfy the requirements of all three companies that own the property and incorporate them into a single design, in a chic, industrial style. Happily, the architectural firm enjoyed complete freedom in the choice of materials and the creation of each part of the space. The selected materials had to enhance the elegance of the industrial style, be versatile and highly adaptable to each area and, finally, be refined yet discreet, meaning it should not come across as ostentatious.
As a result, HIMACS Pavia was chosen to be one of the main components of the project. As Edição Limitada – Arquitetura e Design LDA says, “We wanted to employ backlighting techniques, which we were able to do thanks to the translucent properties of the Pavia colour, in addition to providing the aesthetics of natural stone and an attractive overall look.” The Pavia hue, an immaculate, soft white shade, is one of the Aurora Colours from the HIMACS Marmo Collection. Its marbled pattern and translucent properties make it very special, particularly when light bounces off it, either directly or indirectly.
Pairing perfectly with the other materials, HIMACS Pavia was used for desks, the surfaces of credenzas, shelves, door handles and knobs, and bathroom sinks. The material’s hygienic, antibacterial properties, its capacity to be worked into multiple shapes, its translucent aesthetic and its delicate, soft feel to the touch made it the ideal material for all of those applications.
The ethereal aesthetics of Pavia can be appreciated in their full splendour here, in the shelving in one of the offices and on a bathroom sink.
For the bookcase, the refined contrast of the dark colour of the wooden shelves with the HIMACS separators, backlit to give off a warm light, is a perfect match for the delicate colours and textures in the rest of the furniture, including the softness of the velvet used to upholster armchairs and sofas.
For the bathrooms, each sink and countertop were made from a single piece, entirely in Pavia. These fixtures are also backlit, endowing them with a delicate appearance within the room. This, along with the golden details and the dark back wall, creates an eclectic aesthetic that fits perfectly into the offices’ industrial style. In both rooms, the combination of HIMACS with more robust finishes, dark tones and straight lines produces a harmonious, balanced and supremely refined overall result.
The use of HIMACS solid surface for contact surfaces, worktops and areas with heavy traffic, such as desks, tables, doorknobs and bathroom furnishings in the case of this project, is proof of the trust that architects and designers continue to place in the material’s durability, in terms of both hygiene and sturdiness.
The completely smooth surfaces of HIMACS prevents dirt and bacteria from building up, making the material particularly easy to clean and maintain. And with the absence of any visible seams (further preventing the accumulation of grime), the finish and end result are uniform and polished.