If you happened to be passing by a certain stretch of rural countryside just off a highway in Lebanon, you might notice what appears to be a strange black ship sitting on dry land at the crest of a hill. Strikingly unusual in its modernity, the structure is all angles and geometric shapes topped by a single canopy. It may be small in size, but it certainly makes a bold statement, and that’s just what AB Architects was going for.
“AB Workspace” is the firm’s own mobile office, designed to act as both a demonstration of their abilities and a practical space that’s accessible to three key Lebanese districts. Its rural location makes it easy to travel back and forth, and also gives it a certain level of exposure it might not have in a crowded urban setting.
The brand new studio, led by interior architect Ali Bazzi, specializes in a range of practices: architecture, interior architecture, design, landscaping, scenography, 3D visualization, set design, furniture design, and product design. You can see examples of just about all of these in the tiny 237-square-foot cabin.
Set against a backdrop of mountains and sky, the workspace has a decidedly theatrical flair. Upon entering, visitors find black and white interiors full of dynamic lines like triangular windows that make the space feel larger than it really is. The firm’s own lighting, furniture, and other details, including a metallic desk, add up to a cohesive representation of its signature aesthetics. A ladder leads to the rooftop terrace, offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
But part of what makes the AB Workspace great is the fact that it doesn’t just feel like a showroom. It’s functional, it’s eye-catching, and it stands as a cool example of the tiny office trend in its own unique way.
Designed to be self-contained, the workspace includes its own rainwater collection and storage on the roof, and it’s powered entirely by solar panels. It’s also partially prefabricated and sized to be easily picked up and transported to a new location, if the firm should ever want to move it. Completed in 2018, the workspace takes full advantage of its location without being restricted by it.
The AB team explains: “This new cabin has been a totally new challenge for us at AB architects as it was all about achieving our vision, creating an innovative workspace that connects us with our diverse client base with all possible luxury, and invit[ing] people to experience good design as an investment to evolve along with our work culture.”
AB Workspace is also part of a larger trend toward small mobile workspaces, whether they’re built by and for architects or commissioned for personal use. Some, like this one, are semi-permanent, installed at a certain location with the possibility of moving elsewhere in the future. Others are truly portable, perhaps housed in campers, vans, or trailers so their owners can decide where they want to work on any given day and make it happen.
Is that living the dream or what?