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Successfully Blending the Old with the New

Design, Projects

It is on occasion architects and interior designers get to breath new life into buildings that they have grown up with. It was this exact opportunity that OBMI interior designer, Vanessa Bean, experienced which has resulted in her favorite room, the open-floor lobby at Cedar House, when asked by The Bermudian.

Completed in 2016, the Cedar House lobby was a deeply personal project for interior designer Vanessa Bean who remembers visiting the building as a child when her mother worked there some 25 years ago. “This space means a lot to me—it represents my past, my present and my future,” she said, explaining why this is her favorite room.

“As I child I spent many afternoons passing through the doors of Cedar House into this very space. The Cedar House lobby was my first self-led project after completing university. Ironically with a tree as the main design feature, the Cedar House lobby actually represents my roots—my start as a designer in my own right.”

The building is a multi-use facility with shared amenities for several different companies including Cohort, JLT, CONNECTECH and BSMART. In creating the new lobby space, the old space was completely gutted down to the structural beams and left as an open plan with a design intent to be“bold, open, bright yet warm, global, reflective and inspiring.”

“The space now fuses the interior and exterior, and successfully blends the old with the new,” said Bean.

The main feature in the airy space is a dramatic two-story-tall mural printed by Bermuda Blueprinting and installed by Abbott Decorating. Circa 1990, the black-and-white image is of the original Cedar Avenue—a tranquil dirt road lined with cedar trees harkening back to a simpler, more peaceful time in Bermuda’s history. “I was inspired by the image and the idea that this lobby renovation would serve as a bridge into the future which still honors the past,” said Bean.

Other design elements include cantilevered wood and polished concrete entry stairs, wood-look tile floors and modern, sleek seating chosen to encourage short-term visits as people move through the space.

“This project looked not only to create a beautiful space; it looked to revive a building,” she added. “In reviving this building, we have created spaces for new jobs, new ideas and for many new opportunities to grow. This makes me feel like my purpose is being fulfilled.”

Originally published by: The Bermudian