Inside the Head Office of Bocci

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By Jill Southern
A tour of the workspace behind Vancouver’s exceptional lighting design and manufacturing company.

Bocci produces an impressive range of sculptural lighting and design objects. Each is an exploration of form that is designed and fabricated in-house from materials such as glass, copper, brass, and porcelain. Bocci’s head office in Vancouver is more than a space for production, however. It’s a unique reflection of the company’s creative vision.

The office occupies the top floors (floors five and six) of a former printing factory in a quiet neighbourhood near Granville island. The sixth floor is the personal studio of Bocci’s creative director and co-founder Omer Arbel. The fifth floor houses the manufacturing, engineering, and sales teams in an open and energetic 5400 sqft workshop. Bocci’s glass-blowing studio sits in the parking lot below.

Inside the Head Office of Bocci - Photo 1 of 7 - The restored building, a former printing press, is home to Bocci’s Vancouver office. Arbel designed the protruding stairway that connects the bottom two floors.

The restored building, a former printing press, is home to Bocci’s Vancouver office. Arbel designed the protruding stairway that connects the bottom two floors.

Arriving at the fifth floor, elevator doors give way to an outdoor courtyard. When Bocci purchased the building, they removed the roof, poured a concrete garden bed, and craned in a London Plane tree. Wisteria and ferns add to this idyllic outdoor setting. Staff enjoy their lunches seated on the concrete ledges, or work al fresco by plugging their laptops into electrical outlets installed beneath.

Sliding glass doors surround the 725 sqft courtyard separating it from the interior office. Each door is outfitted with a large poured brass handle — a rectangular cousin of Bocci’s 19-series. In the summer, the glass doors are pushed open creating a seamless indoor/outdoor environment. In the colder months, the doors remain closed; the seasons are viewed from the studio’s outward facing desks.

Inside the Head Office of Bocci - Photo 2 of 7 - Sliding glass doors surround the spacious outdoor courtyard. In the summer, the doors are pushed open and staff can sit on the garden's ledges.

Sliding glass doors surround the spacious outdoor courtyard. In the summer, the doors are pushed open and staff can sit on the garden's ledges.

Inside the Head Office of Bocci - Photo 3 of 7 - The roof was removed on the fifth and sixth floor to create the outdoor courtyard. A London Plane tree was craned in from the street.

The roof was removed on the fifth and sixth floor to create the outdoor courtyard. A London Plane tree was craned in from the street.

Inside, Bocci’s work is not just on display. It's functionally integrated throughout the building.

A cluster of three amber-coloured 28-series pendants hang above desks illuminated by Bocci’s exotic desk lamp variation, the 28d. Custom electrical and data outlets — the 22 — replace conventional fixtures. A multi-coloured chandelier with nineteen hand-blown glass pendants hovers above stacks of inventory.

In lieu of walls, white open-shelf bookcases act as room dividers. Their shelves are half full with architecture and design magazines, glass prototypes, and sculptural experiments. One houses a glass pendant in every colour in the 28-series library. The open shelves encourage curiosity and create a maze-like interior that allows light and sound to mix between areas.

Inside the Head Office of Bocci - Photo 4 of 7 - White metal desks are lit by a desk lamp variation from Bocci's 28-series. Behind them, open bookshelves act as room dividers.

White metal desks are lit by a desk lamp variation from Bocci's 28-series. Behind them, open bookshelves act as room dividers.

The conference room is strewn with prototypes and works in progress. At its centre, and used as the boardroom desk, sits Arbel’s 17, a grooved surface that explores the relationship between plate and table. Even the staff shower is lit by waterproof 14-series sconces mounted on tile walls.

Tucked away in a back stairwell is a spectacular 14-series chandelier composed of one hundred and twenty pendants that span the entire height of the building. The cast-glass spheres cascade between stairs that exit to the glass blowing studio.

Inside the Head Office of Bocci - Photo 5 of 7 - 120 glass pendants from Bocci’s 14-series illuminate the back staircase.

120 glass pendants from Bocci’s 14-series illuminate the back staircase.

Bocci's work is both playful and precise. It explores the natural quality of materials and works with technical precision. Their head office serves not only as a showcase of the company’s excellence and adaptability, but as a work environment that allows for its ongoing ingenuity.

Inside the Head Office of Bocci - Photo 6 of 7 - Left: The conference room is strewn with prototypes and works in progress. Right: A detail of Bocci's 22 – an electrical outlet that's designed to mount flush on any surface.

Left: The conference room is strewn with prototypes and works in progress. Right: A detail of Bocci's 22 – an electrical outlet that's designed to mount flush on any surface.

Inside the Head Office of Bocci - Photo 7 of 7 -

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