NEW WORKPLACE DESIGN
Same chair, same desk, same office – not anymore. Today's office workers are increasingly demanding more from their work-spaces.
As the workplace changes to accommodate a more diverse workforce, so office design adapts to suit a new, more flexible and more diverse set of demands that prioritise employee interaction and collaboration. The one-size-fits-all approach no longer works and architects are coming up with creative solutions, both for new and existing spaces.
Even blue-chip companies, such as Selfridges, are overhauling their workspaces to encourage a more innovative and interactive work environment. The existing space of Selfridges Offices in London has been designed by Alex Cochrane Architects who opened up the space and painted the walls white. The office is now zoned into different areas, including rows of desks, quiet workspaces and meeting rooms, informal break-out spaces, a shared canteen, as well as a flexible playroom.
But offices are still being built from the ground up. Zalando Headquarters in Berlin, designed by HENN and Kinzo Design Studio, is a sleek glass edifice from the outside, but the inside has been designed to reflect the city's industrial heritage, with exposed concrete columns and balustrades surrounding a large atrium. Although the large central space is adapted for interaction and can be turned into an event space for 1,500 people, the designers have also created more private nooks for concentration and meetings.
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