The Latest Interior We’re Coveting is… a Film Production Office?

We’ve been thinking a lot lately about the flattening of visual culture and what gets lost when everything looks the same. In design, this is most prevalent in furniture and small goods like ceramics, but we have begun to notice a crushing sameness in interiors as well, with each new office or co-working space aspiring to look like the ground floor of a Brooklyn brownstone or a Parisian flat. Which is why we thought it might be useful to analyze the latest project by New York–based studio Civilian, which, despite featuring many pieces that I’d like to have in my own home, somehow avoids these pitfalls and still firmly reads “office.” The space is a multifunctional home base for a documentary production company called Sandbox Films, and what we actually love about this project is how it walks right up to the line between public and private space without crossing it. Let’s go over the building blocks.

Located in a landmarked 1920’s neo-Gothic skyscraper in New York’s Flatiron District, the 4,200-sq.ft. space features a central reception area and bar, a conference room, offices, production and editing suites, a screening room, and a killer mix of carefully-sourced vintage and custom-designed furniture. Civilian founders Nicko Elliott and Ksenia Kagner say they were informed by the early 20th-century movie houses of Stockholm and Amsterdam, “the architectural color gestures of Danish modernist designer Poul Henningsen, and the vanished world of interwar New York conjured by the project’s Broadway address.” The conference room is a standout here, partitioned with mint green acoustic sliding doors and anchored by a glossy cream custom table, vintage Tobia Scarpa Sling Chairs, and a papery Noguchi pendant that resembles a chrysalis. So is the seating area, which features a custom, curved double-sided Pierre Chareau-inspired bouclé and velvet sofa, an Ellen Pong lamp, and two refinished Milo Baughman swivel chairs.

I suppose what I like most about this office is it doesn’t hide the fact that it’s an office; it’s just the best-looking one you’ve ever seen. It’s so darn functional! Film posters hang above the custom, cornflower-blue credenza, a screening room features custom oxblood Lambert & Fils lights with a built-in tray for note-taking during screenings, and the reception area showcases a round stone-topped bar and counter seating, serving as the studio’s daytime pantry and transforming into an entertaining space for evening events and screenings. It’s a modern-day salon that doesn’t forget what it’s there to do during the daylight hours.