While designing those interiors we obviously followed the nature of this space, as a meeting place of officials and citizens. Although investor's guidelines were equally important, and they cared about creating a positive image of Poland, a country that should be modern. The way we understand modernity is supposed to also appear in the functional aspect of consulate. We wanted the department to be perceived as an egalitarian space, available and favourable for partnerships and collaboration. Another factor, which determined the final form of the entire project was a lack of possibility to interfere with the arrangement of the walls, the selection of ceilings (the height of rooms was significantly below the level accepted by Polish standards) or the floors.
First of all, we’ve focused on the clear division of functions in the public part of consulate. We wanted the waiting area to be used as a multifunctional space and to be accessible for waiting visitors, in many cases tired from a long journey, overwrought and insecure. We’ve planned it on a rectangle in which we’ve placed configurations of seating, bookshelves and a countertop for filling in applications, with information boards as well as a playhouse and table for kids. These will be in shades of oranges and browns. Using comfortable upholstered seating rather than separated seating makes better use of the available space, and provides more seats for visitors awaiting assistance.
An important element of our project is the three-dimensional play with letters, forming the inscription “Polska”. These appear outside and in the window of the consulate functioning as an unobtrusive designation of the department for guests as well as creating an image of Poles in the eyes of Norwegians. On the other hand, inside these letters turn out to be part of the furnishings in the waiting area, as a sculpture made with FIDU technology or abstract graphics. Continuation of this game is a figuration of Sukiennice (central feature of the main market square in Cracow’s Old Town). In the corridor connecting the public and employee’s spaces, gold outlines on the walls and ceiling create the shape of the monument, which appears to the eyes of the viewer through an optical illusion game - anamorphosis. It may function even as a contribution to the conversation with consul's guests, but first it is a striking element in official space, which gives it lightness and deprives it of rigidity, which earlier increased the severity of the atmosphere.
In the area designed for guests and the one for employees, we’ve decided to use warm colours (yellow, gold, bright brown shades of wood) and natural materials (stained pine plywood). Due to that the department has gained a more welcoming and less formal look. While selecting the furniture and other equipment we’ve focused primarily on projects made and created by Polish designers and artists. As a result, a selection of poster and painting reproductions appear on the walls by artists including Ryszard Kaja, Wiesław Rosocha, Andrzej Zbrożek, Roman Kalarus, Jerzy Głuszek, Jacek Sienicki). Pride of place in the visitor’s hall belongs to the pumped “O” form, by Oskar Zięta. While in the consul’s office there are two iconic chairs, RM58 designed by Roman Modzelewski.