Don’t we all wish that we could work like this! Still accomplishing something but enjoying the great outdoors or having more fun in general! Studies do show that employees who are provided with built in “break” spaces and/or connections to nature are much more productive and of course happier. That said, obviously we can’t work outside all the time – but these companies have come up with some great solutions to keep their employees engaged:
SELGAS CANO ARCHITECTURE OFFICE by IWAN BAAN
This Architecture office, located in Madrid, Spain, takes “going outside” quite literally with the clear glass walls and submerged floor plate. The space almost looks like it is outside at first glance, which must make for a pretty serene work experience. The perspectives of this building must be very interesting, as employees are sitting with the ground directly at eye-level – a view you normally do not get to see! I like the fact that the interior of the space is very simple, which does not distract from the views. It hearkens back to ‘glass box’ spaces that Mies van der Rohe and others were designing in the Modern period – and at the same time the curved edges and wacky colors are a bit more space-age.
The organization of the office interior is really well done, given the tightness of the space. The desks are cantilevered off the wall to reduce the space required underneath the desk and it does make it look cleaner (though of course when a photographer is taking photos usually you do clean up!) I like the playful bands of green and yellow, it would be a pretty bright (uplifting) place to work throughout all the seasons. The only thing I wonder about is how often they have to clean that huge glass wall/roof!
Images from: http://www.archdaily.com/21049/selgas-cano-architecture-office-by-iwan-baan/
PONS + HUOT OFFICE by CHRISTIAN POTTGIESSER
This office, in Paris, France, literally brings the outside inside! The trees in this greenhouse-esque structure are embedded into the desks. The whole thing reminds me of a boardwalk through the rain forest, and definitely takes ‘employee desk plants’ to a whole new level.
In fact the entire office is a series of levels – it was a renovation of an existing 19th century industrial warehouse (hence the greenhouse-esque steel structure! Think Eiffel). The hall was restored, and then in order to create the space needed for the offices, the hall was split into several built-in levels. The lower level accommodates board rooms, a recreational room, and restrooms (as well as all the comms requirements, electrical, and soil/watering of the trees); the main level consists of the embedded desks; and the surrounding space contains executive offices, archival space as well as the kitchen and staff area.
Atop the ‘cubicle’ desks among the trees are these strange pod contraptions – they call them ‘telephone’-domes and they are made of plexiglas. They are there to keep the reverberation from phone conversations to a minimum as the ceiling of the space is so high (in a normal office there is usually a drop ceiling or something similar that makes this unnecessary). I am not totally sure I like that aspect (it would look a lot cleaner without it) or perhaps there was a more organic way to deal with the sound issues – but in the end it does look pretty cool. (Below is another example where things are a bit cleaner – though note the ceiling is a lot lower and the trees are tiny!)
Images from: http://www.contemporist.com/2011/02/18/pons-huot-office-by-christian-pottgiesser/ & http://www.marvelbuilding.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/workspace-in-Modern-Working-Space-Featuring-Living-Trees-and-Unique-Desk-Unit.jpg
GOOGLE HEADQUARTERS AROUND THE WORLD
I actually don’t have much to say about this next set of images… they kinda speak for themselves! Other than it looks like so much fun to work there! (And I do have to say some of the spaces are waaaaayyyy too themed for me – BUT still really really neat).
Till next week! Ciao