A Quirky Micro-Office Hides Behind a “Hairy” Facade
Motivated by the dilemma of workplace distractions, the design team at 2hD Architecture Workshop creates Mission Control—an experimental micro-office covered in broom heads.
Yes, broom heads. Serving as the testing grounds to implement new technologies and projects, this quirky garden-shed-turned-workspace delivers the calm environment the team hoped for, including much more.
Of course, the most eye-catching experimental element of the structure is the "hairy" façade made up of 546 interlocking broom heads.
"We were looking for a material that could help conceal any entrance into the building (a safety feature to avoid break ins), as well as create a soft exterior that would be safe and friendly to the garden area outside, where the kids often play," explains Oslo–based director Thibaut Devulder.
Devulder states, "The use of natural materials was also important in the project (we used wood for the structure and sheep’s wool as insulation.) During one of our early brainstorms, the concept of ‘fur’ emerged and we quickly converged towards broom heads as the perfect candidate."
The broom heads were also an economical choice, and locally sourced. The seamless appearance of the wall-to-wall bristles gives the structure a hermetic feel, while emphasizing its primary purpose: a workspace free of distraction.
"Entering the building requires interaction: finding the ‘secret panel’ broom head, sliding back the heavy screen door, and pushing through the solid leaf behind," explains the architects.
At just 75 square feet, the small size of the space made for a relatively straightforward prefabrication process. The team modeled the structural panels in SketchUp, and then prefabricated 13 timber panels in their workshop, located 160 feet from the building site.
Inside the breathable and vapor-open wall construction, six inches of sheep wool is used for insulation. The broom heads, screwed onto the battens, form the final layer.
In contrast to its highly textured and dark façade, the interior is clad in whitewashed plywood. And because it was envisioned as an isolation chamber for uninterrupted work, the office is minimally decorated.
A single operable skylight in the pitched roof brings significant natural light and ventilation indoors.
"Commuting to work in Mission Control is an important symbolic process: The full experience of ‘going to work’ is here in condensed and enhanced form," says the architects. "Leaving the house, and traveling the 4-meter (13 feet) journey to the door of the office, provides just enough time to calm and focus."