Striking Black HI-MACS® helps create a cool workspace in a Belfast office  

Offices and workspaces can often face the challenge of creating a hardworking environment that’s visually appealing at the same time. But for software company Instil, whose office is based in Belfast, Ireland, the key to its successful interior design was to achieve a timeless, neutral aesthetic that could grow and develop with the business. The brief was the perfect fit for Terry Design, who specialise in designing, producing and fitting carefully considered spaces from their combined studio and workshop. ‘When we design, we don’t just think about where a company is now — we ask where it’s going. Instil has been an established company for many years,’ explains designer Rachel McDonagh, ‘but technology is always changing so we wanted to make sure we didn’t restrict the brand as it grows.’

Flexible in function, the open-plan space features a simple yet eye-catching reception desk at its centre, which is made up from layers of natural timber blocks with HI-MACS® used for the desk area behind. ‘The reception desk is the first piece of furniture seen when entering Instil’s offices,’ adds the designer, ‘and is also visible from the board room and waiting area, so it was vital that it made the right impression in all directions. Our concept was for an urban garden, which we achieved by constructing large beams in solid maple, one of which was extended to create a planter along one side of the desk to shield paperwork from clients’ view.’ The Instil logo was water-jet cut in solid maple and positioned in between the beams then finished with integrated lighting to highlight the typography. ‘We used HI-MACS® in Dark Night to create a clean, dramatic backdrop in contrast to the maple, making the brand really stand out.’

HI-MACS® was also used on the worksurfaces and as a wrap around the painted MDF cupboards. ‘Its ability to be machined in our workshop and assembled around our own cabinetry ensures a well-fitting and cost-effective solution,’ says Rachel McDonagh, ‘eliminating the need for third party fabricators. We were also able to create an upstand on the main desk, which houses switches for the reception’s lighting. HI-MACS® has the unique, contemporary and durable finish that effectively communicates Instil’s ethos of high quality and sustainable solutions.’

Within the Instil office, private meeting rooms double as all-day offices for international visitors while the open-plan breakout space can be easily transformed into a formal training zone or event space. Despite some more casual areas, it was important that it still felt like a workplace. The space retains its sophistication and professionalism through high quality materials including solid maple and HI-MACS® at the reception desk, Vitra chairs and luxury textured loop pile carpet, engineered oak flooring and powder-coated steel throughout.

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