Providing contemporary custom-made furniture and glazed partitions, the Molteni Group-owned office design company UniFor joined forces with architects and planners Lehman Smith McLeish (LSM) to curate the interior design of the 2,965-square-metre offices of Covington & Burling LLP. Nestled in Quartier Nord in Brussels, the capital’s lively business district, the Manhattan Center building houses the second branch of the American multinational law firm; the first, in Washington DC, was completed by UniFor in 2015.
Sitting on the top three floors of the 29-storey building, the space is designed to maximise natural light through glazed curtain walls that assure spectacular views of the capital of Europe. Agile working and teamwork are enhanced by fully height-adjustable workstations cantilevered from a fitted wall. Spaces are divided by an elegant freestanding modular bookcase system, while private offices are arranged with single-glazed UniFor RP partitions designed by the Italian starchitect Renzo Piano.
The key to a contemporary working environment that will encourage both creativity and productivity, and attract talent, is to make it dynamic. Here, thanks to UniFor’s Supersincro sliding door system, the meeting rooms can rapidly turn into open-space work areas, providing the flexible option of switching between spaces for privacy and concentration and a more unrestricted, accessible layout.
Manufacturing office furniture since 1969, UniFor, based in northern Italy, has completed large-scale projects for well-known clients such as IMB America, Bloomberg and The New York Times. But it’s not all about corporate. The headquarters of Balenciaga in Paris and the Qatar National Library in Doha are also outfitted by UniFor, as is the Jean Nouvel-designed Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, also in Paris, which is home to a collection from Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
With its range of elegant, streamlined products, the company led by Piero Molteni, the engineer son of Angelo and Giuseppina Molteni (founders of the Molteni Group, of which UniFor is a part), offers a modern and creative take on office furnishing, and undertakes special collaborations with iconic architects such as David Chipperfield and Aldo Rossi.
Along with the other Molteni Group brands (Molteni & C, Dada and Citterio), UniFor is part of the celebrated Italian Brianza design district. Famous for its craftsmanship and technical innovation, it is an area between Milan and Lake Como of 90 square kilometres that houses more than 2,000 companies working in the wood, furnishings and design sectors.