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Calico

Project Year

2022

Client

Calico

Lazerian’s Calico project is a stunning collection of bespoke pieces designed and created for Calico, Manchester’s new home for creative enterprise. The team manufactured the welcome desk, coordinating stools, tables, and planters at their Manchester workshop, along with additional exterior elements. The design blends modern and traditional craft, showcasing Lazerian’s innovation and dedication to preserving the city’s rich history. The functional reception area is a work of art, emphasizing the importance of design in everyday life

Outdoor view of Calico in Manchester situated 2 mins from Manchester art gallery

Lazerian recognises the importance of design elements that transcend indoor spaces and extend to the exterior. The client’s vision for a home for creative enterprises required Lazerian to bring some of the reception area’s elements outdoors. Therefore, it incorporated a mixed palette of materials and techniques to create a welcoming front area that aligned with the interior’s design. Drawing inspiration from the reception area’s artwork and techniques, it envisioned a row of tiles that added a sophisticated touch. The consistent use of ceramics and patterns further reinforced the Calico brand and allowed the quiet elegance of the reception area to be extended outdoors.

The inspiration for the reception area came from the building’s fascinating history. Lazerian looked to the original Calico designs and seamlessly blended the pieces with the natural raw aesthetic of the interior. Ceramic was chosen as the primary material, complementing the building’s aesthetic and capturing the beautiful texture of fabric, print rollers, and color synonymous with the original Calico printing warehouse.

One of the main inspirations behind the creation of this reception area was the printing industry, which has played a significant role in Manchester’s industrial history. The common column-like structures throughout the pieces symbolize the printing rollers used in the printing industry, paying homage to the traditional craft of printing once prevalent in the city.

National winners of the British Council for offices- Calico in Manchester. This image shows the enterance way/reception area designed and created by Lazerian- a art and design studio also in Manchester

The reception desk is a testament to our meticulous design process, with much thought and care put into its creation. Inspiration was taken from printing rollers, color separations of artwork, and the patina that old tooling takes from frequent use. The desk is a stunning piece of art that pays homage to the building’s rich history while adding a touch of modernity to the space.

The reception desk is a perfect example of Lazerian’s innovative design process that incorporates sustainability, functionality, and aesthetics. By infusing the desk with the essence of the Calico print warehouse,  a unique piece has been created that elevates the overall look and feel of the reception area.

Close-up view of the ceramic desk surface, showcasing intricate bespoke design details and unique features
“Our new reception desk proved to be a real talking point at the launch, and I’m not surprised, it was built by robots using 3D printing techniques and it’s a work of art! Like the building, which in the 18th Century was a printing company for the growing textile trade in Manchester, it’s inspired by the past but completely state-of-the-art.” Faris Mousa
Inspired by History: Ceramic Desk Reflects Calico's Legacy and Printing Industry Heritage in Manchester. Lazerian's Blend of Original Design and Raw Aesthetics.
Zoomed-in perspective reveals the ceramic desk's surface in all its intricate splendor. Every inch is a canvas of bespoke artistry, adorned with meticulous design details that stand as a testament to the artisan's skill. The ceramic's expanse hosts a symphony of unique features, each telling a story of creativity and craftsmanship. The close-up view captures the essence of the bespoke design, inviting admiration for its one-of-a-kind charm and the labor of creativity it embodies
Side close up view of welcome desk for Calico designed and created for Lazerian in Manchester

At Lazerian, it is believed that preserving traditional art and craft is crucial, and this is evident in the Calico project’s reception desk. The artworks embedded within the desk’s symbolic columns were created over a century ago in the same building. By integrating these pieces into the desk, we pay homage to the importance of traditional art and craft while showcasing our dedication to preserving the city’s rich printing history.

To achieve a perfect blend of traditional art and modern innovation, a 6-axis robot was used to print the artworks. The glaze on the ceramics has a patina that mimics the look of printing tooling that has been used for years. This further emphasizes the importance of preserving the city’s rich printing history.

The form of the table itself is also significant, as it is created by taking one of the line forms within a piece that was designed and printed in the same building over 100 years ago. It is believed that by infusing our designs with the essence of the building’s rich history,  pieces can be created that not only look stunning but also tell a story. Attention to detail and commitment to preserving traditional art and craft is evident in every piece created, and the Calico reception desk is no exception.

2 ceramic planters on display in a reception area. The front one is out of focus and the one behind is in focus display cermaic pattern imagery created by Lazerian in Manchester
Close up view of lower part of the welcome desk featuring distinctive design for Calico reception. Design by Lazerian
Architectural Stairs in Lazerian's Calico Design Project, Manchester: Merging Artistry and Functionality

It is obviously extremely important to pay attention to even the smallest details when it comes to creating a space that is not only functional but visually stunning as well. That’s why Lazerian is particularly proud of the visually striking stairways that were added to the Calico reception area.

To create these stairs, steel with a patina effect was used, which not only enhances the coloration but also gives the surface a beautiful soft shine. This effect will only become more attractive with age or use, creating a mark of history, age, and character that perfectly embodies the city’s rich industrial past.

The addition of gold brass fixtures was a deliberate choice to add an extra touch of elegance and sophistication to the darkness of the patina effect steps. The combination of the two creates a stunning contrast that draws the eye and perfectly complements the overall aesthetic of the interior.

A view of black stairs with golden brass circle attachments. A view of Calico as designed by Lazerian
Featuring bespoke stools made from ceramic and brass table design. In the foyer of Calico in Mancheter
Ceramic stool made by lazerian as part of a refit of the reception are of Calico in Manchester.

As a proud part of the Calico project,  Lazerian also had the opportunity to design and manufacture the planters that adorn the reception area. It was deliberate that the patterns on the design of the planter were matched to the other pieces of the project. The artwork on the planter was the same patterns used when Calico was a printing warehouse, thus adding a historical touch to the overall modern design. The planters bring a touch of greenery and life to the reception area, and the carefully crafted designs ensure they complement the overall aesthetic perfectly.

Close up of 2 plan pots with large green cactus inside. The planters are bespoke to Calico (where they are displayed) and made by Liam Hopkins of Lazerian
Bespoke Plant Pots with Green Cacti: Lazerian's Artistry at Calico, Up Close
Aerial view of a bespoke stool designed and created by Lazerian studio in Manchester for co-working offices Calico

The stools were created with unique inspiration, taking the idea of the printing rollers and turning them into functional pieces of furniture. Three columns were used to represent the three rollers in the color separations of printing. The stools come in a range of three to six columns, depending on the print. By using the same design elements as the reception desk and planter, Lazerian was able to create a cohesive look throughout the space. These stools are not only visually striking but also serve as a nod to the building’s rich printing history, making them a perfect addition to Calico’s interior.

Bespoke ceramic stool made by Lazerian for the reception area of Calico- a co working space in Manchester
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