Sevil Peach in conversation with Hettie Judah on the refurbishment of Kvadrat headquarters
London-based architect Sevil Peach has transformed Kvadrat’s head office in Ebeltoft to an open office space celebrating textiles, landscapes and creativity
When you first visited Ebeltoft, did your impression of the building reflect your impression of the company?
SP: Not at all! The building had nice elements: surrounded by a beautiful landscape, the sensitive use of daylight and lovely white bricks had a Danish touch. There was definitely a family feel to the place at lunchtime, when food was served in the canteen. But beyond that one just didn’t see people or activity because all the workplaces were enclosed and hidden. You’d go into the warehouse and they’d show you all these textiles, stacked up to the top: it was phenomenal, but there was no presence of the textiles in the main building. We wanted to be able to see the DNA and spirit of the company: the fabrics, the work behind the fabrics, and the people who make it happen.
In the new design the building has been divided into five zones each gently demarcated by a family of colours – what led that decision?
SP: The original building steps down over three levels reflecting the topography of the landscape, and the tower and the south wing are later additions, so the building naturally divides into five zones. It thus became natural to introduce different colour palettes in each of these zones.
Kvadrat’s products almost act like a colour thread woven through the building. Different colours and textiles are used for the curtains, upholstery, rugs and cushions in each specific zone, whilst still keeping the concept holistic and unified. Where possible, the colours link to the landscape beyond. At every move we made we wanted to bring the landscape back into the building. A lot of the colours in the landscape are the inspiration for the colours of Kvadrat’s fabrics.
Whilst our design needs to respond at an organisational and physical level, it also has to respond on a personal and emotional level. We always try and create human environments that are inviting and familiar, to create feelings of comfort and confidence, and to make working pleasurable. The environments we create will influence the way people behave. In the case of Kvadrat they are already gifted with the wonderful products that they produce, and a beautiful inspiring landscape.