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When Atelier launched in 2019, its makers — the global architecture and design firm Gensler and the Italian furniture manufacturer Fantoni, working in collaboration — couldn’t have anticipated that a global health crisis would soon catalyze the emptying of offices, sending employees home to conduct business at kitchen tables and rudimentary standing desks.

Atelier was envisioned for the workplace we once knew, one that played host to a throng of people moving freely between collaborative and private work within a communal office space. It speaks to Atelier’s versatility that the system doesn’t seem like a relic of our pre-COVID-19 world. The same qualities that made it ideal for busy workplaces — the uber-mobility, the sleekness of its form, the minimalist character that doesn’t look entirely corporate — make it a strong contender for whatever permutations of the office await.

“This well-designed kit of parts adds to the collection of innovation systems that support the ever-reconfigurable office space. It’s nicely conceived and executed.”
Marion Weiss, AZ Awards juror

The four-piece modular system comprises a mobile pinboard, a touchdown table, a storage unit and a bookcase, intended to be rearranged as necessary. Featuring lower cabinets topped by open shelving, the bookshelves offer an elegant solution for delineating space, maintaining a sense of flow while instilling physical distance between workers. A wireless lighting solution can be integrated into the undershelf to allow for further agility; the positioning of the shelves isn’t compromised by proximity to a power source.

Both the touchdown tables and storage cabinets are set on multidirectional castors; the former can be equipped with a cutout for a multi-socket power solution, while the latter has options for cable-friendly grommets. The reversible pinboard has both a cork side and whiteboard; it can also be detached and hooked directly onto the bookcase. Right-angled components, complemented by tubular metal elements, all rendered in black, give Atelier an industrial appeal. It’s a system intended for ever-changing configurations, workplaces in constant flux — a perfect solution for the new working-world order.

Designers Fantoni (Italy) with Gensler (U.S.) Manufacturer Fantoni, Osoppo, Italy

Winner: Furniture Systems and Collections
People’s Choice: Furniture Systems and Collections
AZ Awards 2020 Winner: Atelier

Designed by Fantoni with Gensler, this suite of office furniture – the winner in Design: Furniture Systems – provides ultimate flexibility.

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