Top-Hit Trend of 2017: Flexibility at Work
In the fast-changing environment of today’s workplace, the days of sitting eight hours behind one office desk seem to be long behind us. The five most popular online articles on workspace design focus on spatial and functional flexibility, whether in corporate offices or co-working spaces. It’s clear that readers are interested in interiors that reshape the workplace around a more fluid type of work – and worker – heralding an era of adaptable spaces and diverse working styles.
With co-working spaces around the globe, American company WeWork expanded the concept of hot-desking in Hong Kong’s Tower 535. Designed in collaboration with NC Design and Architecture Ltd, the 60,000-sq-m space unfolds over eight floors and encourages social interaction rather than isolated work.
Through the use of varied colour and material palettes as well as custom-made and locally inspired art, furniture, and lighting, each floor is turned into a ‘neighborhood’, each with a distinctive sense of space and atmosphere. The variety is meant to intrigue members to wander from one environment to another, thereby maximizing the chances of creative encounters and collaborations.
The exclusive member’s only co-working space Alma was brought together by Fredrik Carlström and Anna Behring Lundh with the help of local architects Tham & Videgård. Stockholm’s creatives can enjoy its private and collaborative offices, meeting rooms and large areas for socializing – all designed with a signature-Scandinavian, eye-for-detail aesthetic.
The stand-out atrium in the heart of the structure is flooded with natural daylight and hosts exhibitions, events, and a restaurant exclusive to Alma members. For non-members who want a piece of Alma, a selection of its custom-designed furniture and objects by contemporary artists are sold in the building’s only open-to-public space, the concept store Austere.
Domino Architects divided the COOOP3 war room, the advertising agency’s command centre where all discussions, ideas and decisions take place, with a wooden cross in the middle of the space. Polycarbonate whiteboard panels slotted into the wood’s grooves form a portable partition system inspired by Japanese sliding screens. The sections are able to accommodate various teams and meetings at the same time. Once sessions are over, panels may be removed, returning the space to its original openness.
Located on a historic street in central London, the 540-sq-m penthouse office of software company Slack puts the focus on employee comfort and productivity. Odos Architects maximized views and natural light with roof window portals fitted with cushioned seating that open out to the city skyline. Black elements break up the two-storey space according to function.
Aiming at expanding the comfortable and relaxed atmosphere of the home into the workspace, Hyundai Capital employees are encouraged to bring objects such as plants and books into their office. Gensler based the design of the company’s headquarters on various areas of the typical residence to encourage socialization and collaboration within the office’s adaptive design.
The 865-sq-m space is divided in areas such as the Living Room, Kitchen, Game Room and Open Workspace, while traditional concepts such as the reception area have been eliminated and replaced with open-plan social spaces.