Perpetually on the lookout for new ways to live, sleep, create and work, Mathieu Lehanneur turns the advertising agency JWT (Neuilly/Seine) into a "digital plant station", a new reflection from the designer about contemporary working styles and the necessary invented depictions of them when applied to the professional world of communications. Hot on the heels of the office conceived for David Edwards, founder of the Le Laboratoire (Paris) and areas for teenagers and children at the Centre Pompidou, he has once again designed an area dedicated to creative production larger than 1000m2.
An interior architecture produced in collaboration with the architect Ana Moussinet where the objects are as much brainstorming aids as three dimensional logos assigned to sum up the spirit of this French JWT subsidiary specialising in digital media. First symbolic move: to reverse the usual dynamic of authority by placing the two chairmen and the director of JWT on the ground floor, as close as possible to the hub of the agency, separated from the reception simply by tall wadded doors!
The second meaningful gesture, the agency’s specific digital sensibility is entirely embodied by the meeting room, transformed into a creative cavern with walls totally produced from paper fibres, "It has literally sucked up and recycled the available paper in the agency, an archaic and useless support that JWT France eventually envisages totally eliminating.’ Providing excellent soundproofing, usually used for thermal insulating in organic buildings, the final execution sublimates the irregular exterior surface, a shell whose spray projected neo-archaism contrasts with the milky and luminous purity of the internal shell: pure James Bond genius where the most unobtrusive rock hides Dr No’s ultra technical trace.
Close-by, another mineral projection changes agency coffee breaks, this time from the sky and much higher, a black tar meteorite now serves as a bar. A strange and visually magnetic object, a small piece of interstellar virginity, this anti-design mass welcomes visitors for an onward journey towards creative horizons to be built. A place for fruit, objects or simply for leaning on or putting down coffee cups.
The lobby navigates alternatively between geometrical and unruly lines like these megabit landscapes in the form of seating, immediately counter-balanced by an effusion of plants, cascading from the ceiling that will prompt music when gently brushed against, inaugurating the plant mixing! A plant juke box developed with the artist group Scenocosme and whose play-list is updated by the creative members of the agency.
Linking digital rigour and the plant boom, between technology and the very human enthusiasm which transpires in each intervention of the building with the omnipresence of the Andrea air filter, a small harmless piece of equipment whose decorative plant becomes a resource dedicated to the lungs of the collaborators: probably the agency with the purest air in Paris!
JWT agency by Mathieu Lehanneur in collaboration with the architect Ana Moussinet.
Photo credits Véronique Huyghes