Hoffman International was founded in 1986 and has become the leading modeling agency in the Midwest region by training and representing models nationwide. Mobius Architects is honored to be a part of creating a space to truly represent and reflect the success of this modeling agency and model development center. Besides accommodating the growing needs and providing a new identity of the agency, this new space is to showcase the success stories of their represented models and the glamor of the modeling industry.

One of the main focuses of the design is to create a unique experience as one visits the agency. Being the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of modeling, the runway takes the center stage and is accentuated by a sculptural ceiling element. This ceiling element integrates the state-of-the-art video, audio, heating, cooling and lighting needs for the most professional fashion shows, and is carefully designed to express in an elegant and articulated form which draws one’s mind into the glamor of fashion shows as soon as entering the agency.

On one side of the runway is the business center with a formal reception and waiting area anchored by a ten-foot long reception desk with a custom cast concrete top straddled over it. The interesting texture of the cast concrete contrasted by the warm organic bamboo texture of the desk draws visitors towards the reception as they are greeted by one of the professional staff members. On the opposite side, the model development center carries a hip and sophisticated ambiance created by a boutique style oversized case opening showcasing the beautiful comp cards of the represented models.

The biggest challenge, and yet the most interesting part of this project was finding just the right balance in the architectural language to uniquely express the taste of our Client. From developing the overall concept to designing the reception desk, every detail has been fine tuned to ensure the design is bold yet elegant, minimalistic yet articulated, contemporary yet warm and inviting. The complex texture and palette of each of the architectonic elements fit and flow elegantly together in simple geometric forms, creating a clean-line yet rich and interesting space.

The architectural concept is to create a series of blocks within one another by carving out the space in between much like the process of the Chinese puzzle ball carving. As each block slides, the interstitial space opens up while encapsulated by the adjacent block, which allows clear separation between spaces yet visually connecting and flowing seamlessly from one space to another.