Certified Public Accountant's
Professionalism in a small space



Office  Tornavida Design Type  Renovation Role  Design · Construction Oversight Client  Sevgi Vural, CPA, İSMMMO Budget  10.000 ₺ Size  13 m² Location  Beyoğlu, Istanbul Year  2017 (2012)


This leased office space in an Ottoman-era office block in the historic district of Pera is occupied by a certified public accountant. Its design conveys values of integrity and dependability while still honoring the principal's wish for a casual rather than formal atmosphere. Fastidious organization of the space is a concrete need given its limited size, and this is furthermore an impression with which visiting and prospective clients are meant to walk away.
In addition to removing a drop ceiling from the 1970s, the brief included replacing various mismatched items of furniture with bespoke solutions to more efficiently organize and integrate the workspace, storage, and technical requirements of the office. The solution was to concentrate functional necessities into a single, compact unit along one wall. Computer towers, a refrigerator, office supplies, and the storage of dishes and snacks, are all accommodated in this modular casework, as are client binders dating back three years. The budget was constrained, so this unit was designed with ease of construction and readily-available, inexpensive materials in mind. The doors of the lower console – which suffer the most wear and tear – are of solid wood, while the carcasses of all the cabinets and the doors of the upper ones are of pre-laminated particle board.
The top row of cabinets, the doors of which open upward for easy access, were designed and installed in a cursory upgrade of the same office some years earlier. It was subsequently integrated into the redesign and determined the basic module of the casework.
Materials, hues, and the lines of cabinet doors establish a rhythmic composition. Active client files occupy an easily-accessed open shelf along the bottom of the upper cabinet, projecting the transparency and orderliness with which the work of the office is undertaken. Previous work for the client entailed branding, including a logo and standardized labels for these visible binders.

Rigid metal electrical conduit bolted to the exposed brick wall leads to convenience outlets for guests, but all other electrical wiring for the computers, various office machines, and the accountants' own convenience is handled within the cabinets and in a hidden tray beneath the worktop.
Previously, the accountants had sat at two separate desks opposite their guests. The new arrangement around a single, large worktop both literally and figuratively supports a collaborative atmosphere among the staff and clients. The efficient organization and accessibility of supplies, client binders, and office machines mean that the accountants have less need to move around the office. Confidential files can be kept accessible but out of the sight of visitors on the countertop along the back wall. Though the arrangement is ostensibly more open and less formal, individual workspaces are de facto more private.
In the course of demolition, it was discovered that patches of the walls above the drop ceiling were not plastered. An arch over the window as well as the shallow vaults in the brick ceiling, on the other hand, were thoroughly filled with mortar (unlike in the neighboring office). In lieu of the original plan to expose the vaulted brick ceiling, it was decided in situ to selectively remove plaster from certain walls revealing the Ottoman-era brick beneath.

An unused radiator was removed from in front of the window, opening and accentuating the depth and height of the niche. A picture rail, changes in the color and material of the walls, electrical conduit, and the top of the cabinets – as well as the ceiling fan – recall the plane of the former drop ceiling.

The steel and travertine side table is by Vincenzo Savastano of Studio 900 Design.
Two molded plastic Eames armchairs are intended as the primary seating for clients and guests, but additional bespoke seating was requested for occasions when the office hosts several guests at once. Commercially available sofas were generally too bulky for the limited, remaining space. The solution is a petite convertible chair made of plywood and muted, rectangular cushions that match cushions on the Eames chairs. When necessary, reorienting the cushions allows the custom chair to seat two.
The budget was constrained, so the main frame and legs of the chair are calculated to be constructed from a single two-centimeter thick sheet of plywood. The details can be achieved with a table saw and router. The magazine rack is made of a second, thinner sheet of plywood. In its single seat configuration, the slotted base of the chair serves as a shelf for a handbag.
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