Rather than offering pure product presentation, the new Microsoft Briefing Center in Wallisellen, Switzerland, uses in-house Microsoft technology – such as Kinect, X-Box and Surface – to enter into an interactive dialogue with the visitors, whose physical movements control the software.
Stuttgart-based interdisciplinary design firm, COASToffice, has selected Hi-Macs as its choice of surface material at the new showroom. Thanks to its versatility, Hi-Macs made it ideal for the new challenges that arose during the design of Microsoft’s dynamic, technological space.
The acrylic stone’s specific material properties make it shapable, rendering it ideal for three-dimensional design. The tactile qualities of Hi-Macs’s pliable, smooth surface are no obstacle to its use in rooms with high footfall – the non-porous, watertight and low-maintenance material is also extremely robust.
The new Microsoft Briefing Center is located on the first floor of the Microsoft Schweiz head office. The front of the space is dedicated to the Product Lounge, in which a sculptural piece of furniture made from Hi-Macs provides an eye-catching focal point and tool for lounge purposes and communication.
In order to produce contrasts without being overwhelmed by colour, the table surfaces of the otherwise white interior sculpture were fitted with thin black layers of Hi-Macs. These help to give proportion to the large, two-section lounge piece.
Both the Microsoft Kinect Welcome Zone and the Microsoft Surface Bar use touch- and motion-sensor technology to enable multifaceted interaction between the media screens and the visior.
The showroom is completed by two conference and presentation rooms of varying sizes to the rear, which are arranged around a spacious courtyard.
Graphic patterns have been affixed to the glass walls to provide privacy screens, which is particularly useful for dividing the conference rooms. Aesthetically, however, they also reflect the design theme of reflection and absorption, breaking apart and coming together. Atmosphere and cutting-edge technology enter into a highly-effective symbiosis at the Microsoft Briefing Center.