A space enclosed within a renovated colonial building, the office interior of the Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka incorporates elements that accentuate the features of the original building while creating a modern space that is both welcoming and provides an efficient working environment.\r\n\r\nThe client required the interior of the office to be modern and subtle while preserving the heritage architecture; they were very clear on what they did not want. Chairman of the Credit information Bureau and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, P Samarasiri provided his invaluable direction on what was expected from the interior designers when decorating this office space. As such the designers of R M Perera were tasked with creating a space that was unique and different from any other government office.\r\n\r\nThe Central Bank, who owned the building, initially renovated the structure according to the original specifications. As such the teak flooring, doors, windows and curved glass had all been restored to their primary condition. Therefore, the designers had to ensure that the interior did not alter or harm the original elements.\r\n\r\nPartitions that segregated the various departments could not rise beyond a height of seven feet as the air condition system would be blocked, and the partitions had to be free standing as nails or adhesives could not be used. While an open office concept was never envisaged due to the function of the office, the interior of the building showcased to reveal the sturdy colonial columns that ran through the centre of the structure. Having been part of the restoration work of the building R M Perera designers were aware of the client’s emphasis on perfection.\r\n\r\nThe interior had to match the finish of the building as such wood veneer and melamine boards were used in brown and white. Green and blue, which are the colours of the logo as well as plants were introduced to give some variation to the otherwise brown and white theme.\r\n\r\nThe interior design was simple and followed the lines of the building and focused on opening out the space. The furniture was selected to accentuate this aspect. Depending on the function tables were of wood veneer as well as melamine. As lighting had been installed during the renovation period for the entire building, a new system had to be designed to provide additional lighting, which is still in the planning stages. The new lighting system will be iron fixtures with LED lighting to a provide a more cost effective solution while maintaining the modern and heritage appearance.\r\n\r\nThe interior of the office was designed after consulting all the staff where each and every need is catered to in the design. By opening the space the office is no longer claustrophobic and provides a more welcoming atmosphere for both the staff and the clients.\r\n\r\nThe staff are now easily accessible and the clients do not need to venture along dark narrow corridors. The arrangement is such that clients do not need to speak to the security or the receptionist as everything is very clear. The waiting area is very spacious with televisions so that the clients feel comfortable while waiting. Though the building and the large timber doors at the entrance are imposing, the designers refrained from covering any space. Glass was used as much as possible, even with the glass and timber façade were maintained to allow an undisturbed flow of light.\r\n\r\nWhile the designers of R M Perera had to adhere to client’s specific requirements they were able to create a space that supported the function of the office by incorporating modern elements to a colonial heritage building.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThe above are extracts taken from the DOMUS Magazine article highlighting RM Perera’s fusion of colonial and modern styling, which was written by Udeshi Amarasinghe. The article can be viewed in PDF format here!