Posts Tagged ‘cool offices’
December 4th, 2013 – Perhaps this is the kind of workspace that makes our parents want to throw up in their mouth a little…then swallow. While they spent their 20′s, 30′s and 40′s slaving away in the confines of uninspiring cubicle squares, their now employed children are basking in the glory of contemporary designed workspaces. (Thank you, mom and dad, for leaving the world in a better place than you found it!) An even bigger ‘thank you’ should be extended to the design creatives over at Gensler who realized AirBnB’s homey new San Francisco Headquarters.
Gensler transformed a former industrial building in the rapidly-developing SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco, into a residential-esque workspace for the property-swapping website’s 200 employees. The architects hollowed out a central atrium foyer to filter in sunlight, a layout that naturally situated the office’s around the perimeter of the four-story structure.
The atrium includes a GSky Green wall, outfitted with 1,226 sq ft of beautiful greenery that stretches up to three floors high. The Green Wall is a grand centerpiece that adds to the overall aesthetics of the building, employees will be able to enjoy a breath of fresh air everyday.
The team at Gensler integrated touches of home to enrich the workplace ambiance. The rooms are all replicas of actual homes that can be rented through AirBnB, named for the places they can be found in from Reykjavik to Paris, Amsterdam to Bali. It’s a smart touch that speaks to the company’s house-swapping concept, as well as providing a variety of spaces for people to meet and work in.
After gutting the building, the architects preserved existing elements such as the atrium’s worn and unpolished concrete wall and flooring. To enhance the salvaged components, a pallet of fine natural finishes like wood, stone, and the greenery were introduced into the space.
Parts of the home are swapped in for the typical office space. Instead of a boardroom, AirBnB enlisted a cozy living room as a place to come together. Instead of a cafeteria, the team dines together in a large kitchen environment. Broad hallways are broken down into small conversational areas donning a ‘mi casa es su casa’ vibe. Oh, and let us not leave out the nerd cave, hopscotch, and even a place for employees to lay down their head for a nap.
San Francisco has rapidly become the headquarters for tech giants, who aspire to re-write the laws of the workplace. Rather than keeping workers chained to their desk for hours on end, companies like AirBnB increase productivity and positive attitudes amongst their team by cultivating flexible, interactive, and comfortable workplace environments.
Photography by Emily Hagopian
The new Dunmai office has taken over an old motorcycle factory in the creative plaza on Shanghai’s South of the Bund, a place that serves as a remembrance to the familiar stories about old Shanghai. Designer Thomas Dariel, founder of Dariel Studios, gutted the old factory and replaced the space with a pleasurable, relaxing and modern workplace that reflects the company’s dynamism and creativity as well as serving their professional needs.
It took an internal architectural reconstruction to memorialize this old 4-floor factory building, Dariel kept the building’s historical façade, but completely transformed the internal structure into an open, high 3-floor volume arrangement under the design concept of “work in the park – play in the office.” A concept that is reflected in the overall structure and in every detail of this edgy and humorous-looking space.
The internal reconstruction is a response to the friendly atmosphere to the open space required by the client. A 3-floor high central patio, furnished with large white lacquer desks, was built so that colleagues can easily communicate with each other despite what floor level they are on.
Dariel appointed shades of white as the dominant wall color to push out the dark and dingy feeling of the old factory, and to reveal the original structure of the building. The shape of the new internal structure is inspired by the branches of a tree. Drawers on the wall let people imagine that all the plants growing in that space are spreading along the wall and up to the ceiling.
In order to make people feel as if they were surrounded by nature in the given space, the designer attempted to move all the elements of a garden to inside the office: grass lawns under chairs and tables, gardener’s tools designed on the walls, swings displayed during afternoon breaks that exhibit the sweet memory of childhood, and a groove for flowerpots on tables.
The natural light has been designed to infiltrate the whole space, so that one could feel a sense of being outside. The color scheme consists of pure white but bold colors such as vivid pink or green are used ubiquitously for contrast and for developing natural energy.
The restrooms’ entrances are designed to look like open elevator doors. Thus, when one is in search for an elevator, he or she will be surprised to find that it is actually a bathroom. Even the toilet walls are creatively designed, for the designer pays homage to a famous French artist street style by using images from video games to decorate tiled mosaics. The design illustrates that working in an office can be a joyful and unique experience. An office space can be open and transparent, just like the glass walls and doors of many individual spaces in Dunmai Office.
January 22nd, 2013 – “Four perfectly curved openings are placed symmetrically, which gives the entire space a funny ‘sacred’ feel,” says Pinkeye’s Creative Director, Ruud Belmans, about the company’s new headquarters. Not in a church-like way, but a childhood filled with building tree houses sort of way. There is something really cool about getting a glimpse of a space designed by a team of designers, for themselves. Designing for your clients is one things, but actually designing a space for yourself is a whole new ballgame. When the office space adjacent to Pinkeye’s Antwerp headquarters became available, the growing firm rushed at the chance to takeover and expand their workplace.
“We are a multidisciplinary design studio, with various in-house specialisms – product developers, graphic designers, interior architects, marketeers – so our way of working is very dynamic and our output is highly diverse,” Belman explained. With all these in house specialists, the need to have a strategic spacial layout is pertinent, along with small and large communal spaces.
Belman understands how crucial a functional space is to the creative process – “under the right conditions they enrich one another, which leads to novel solutions that you wouldn’t normally come up with.”
The 6,500 square foot space is divided by a long wall full of diagonal wooden beams that runs central through the entire workspace. Half moon shaped cut-outs make for windows that reveal more intimate rooms, an intervention to create quiet, private work spaces in the overall open office design.
“We had the ridges painted the same matte black as the metal sheets which clad the curves in the wooden wall, ” Belman explained. At the near end of the room there are two spaces set behind glass doors: a rather sober conference room and a more decorative creativity room.
An elongated office table houses 18 monitors, mice, graphic pads and keyboards for as many creative heads. The interior design is a mixture of design and no nonsense. Black-and-white hanging lights hover above the central work table like UFOs.
The spacious lunch area, a space that could equally serve as a bar, is set to the rear. The bar itself is clad in gold, with diamond-shaped cut-outs outlined in black. “I thought it was important for us to all be able to eat and sit together,” Belman added.
(Photography by Frederik Vercruysse)
Australian architecture firm Hassell, known for their brilliant off-beat design ideas in the workplace, has recently completed some cool new digs for Dandenong’s Government Services. The new office is part of a local redevelopment package led by Places Victoria and the Victorian State Government, a major urban renewal project. Hassell wanted to create a “high standard of urban design and quality workplace in this outer-suburban region, and to assist in the rebirth of the precinct as a major mixed-use activity center.”
To meet their goal, The talented team of architects dreamed up a 14,400 square meter office space, which spans up over eight floors. The building comes with staff large communal spaces, community incubator spaces, retail outlets, food and beverage shops, bicycle facilities, and an underground car park.
Our favorite feature is the communal landscaped roof terrace which is cantilevered towards the side of the building on the fourth and fifth floors. The rooftop, also known as the ‘loggia’, is constructed out of hard wood floors and timber batten screen, which allows for sunlight to filter through. The loggia is also connected to a large conference facility and a series of outdoor rooms.
In addition to the supremely stylish design, the project was awarded a 6 Star Green Star design rating from the GBCA, sustainability features include an underfloor air distribution system, rainwater and grey water retention and re-use, solar hot water and waterless urinals.
When Microsoft held an international competition for architects to build their new headquarters in Vienna, INNOCAD took home the blue ribbon! Now, the final product has come to life in the form of a colorful, up beat workspace that “intertwines and harmonizes physical, virtual and social working environments,” the architects noted.
The headquarters, which has all the basic needs such as conference rooms, offices, lounges, lobby, and cafeteria, also has some additional perks to it, like a super cool slide, a fortress of living walls, small desk pods to work private, and custom made high-top tables to promote socialization. Our favorite space has to be 10 person conference room that has a warm cave-like effect to it, where stylish light fixtures hang over a large wood table with a vintage leather sofa and classic bear run adjacent. The Austria based architecture team lives by the philosophy that they “work with their brain, and act with their heart,” This project is a fantastic example of that mantra.
(Photography: Paul Ott)
One of Germany’s most beloved coffee brewing companies, Kaffee, has just moved into their curvy new 106,000 square foot headquarters. 3Deluxe, the visionaries behind the architecture and design of the project, wanted to combine the effect of a striking sculptural architecture with the functionality of commercial workplace needs for 300 employees. The result of this idea manifested into a 4-story, asymmetrical, form-flowing layered structure.
Every morning, employees are greeted with a drive through coffee shop, giving the people of the company a moment to experience the products of their company on a daily basis.
Asymmetrically curved facade bands connect all the buildings and flow together, you would never guess there is actually an orthogonal grid of the underlying concrete frame.
The interiors follow in suit with the exteriors; form flowing. The walls undulate to become seating and desks, the floors pop up to create benches, and the walls break open to create shelves and lighting.
Ultimately, the team at Kaffee wanted the expressive architecture of the new headquarters to be established as a fundamental part of the company’s branding, because competence and innovative spirit is their mantra.
Taking inspiration from the surrounding mountain range in Nanshan, the newly designed Chongqing Mountain & City Sales Office has come to life. The interior architecture of the office, designed by One Plus Partnership, has its valleys and its peaks. The space is fitted with an abstract version of a mountain, by connecting triangular grey marble faces to one another. The “mountain range” is central in the office, and custom built angular bronze desks are randomly scattered around architectural element. A field of tube lighting drapes down from the ceilings creating an aesthetic of a rain shower pounding down on the rocks.
(Photographs: Ajax Law Ling Kit and Virginia Lung)
The Research Agency, proudly being one of New Zealand’s leading and fastest growing boutique agencies, wanted to outfit their new workspace with a design that represented their business brand. The research gurus called upon award winning architect Jose Gutierrez to give them the powerful and energetic aesthetic they desired. “The empty run down shell of an existing heritage building was transformed into a bold sleek office,” Gutierrez explained. The architect re-vamped the old space by adding a contrasting palette of black and white to the office. The walls, pillars, ceilings, and curtains all became white, while accents of black were introduced with elements such as large metal letters spelling out the name of the firm and black carpeting.
The layout of the office is fairly open, creating a contemporary work environment, a place where natural light can be transmitted far into the space from the windows. Beyond the open layout, Gutierrez created some private areas such as the 16 person conference room which is surrounded by floor to ceiling white curtains, and has a high gloss black ceiling, with cool framed photographs. The design of The Research Agency’s cool new office definitely top’s our list of places we wouldn’t mind working!
(Photography: Jose Gutierrez)
Thailand’s leading telecomunications firm DTAC recently sprung for a 662,000 square foot workshop which will house 3,200 full time employees. The space was concepted and built by Australian design team Hassell. Hassell took DTAC’s mantra, ‘Play and Learn’ and brought that to life with its grand curvilinear library/ampetheatre, a “fun floor” which is an entire floor deticated to table tennis, a running track, indoor soccer, and concert space for performances. The concept was intended to inspire the employees of DTAC to be creative in their work environment. Hassell did this by creating mobile and unique choices of workspaces such as the Conversation Pit, the Freeform Meeting, and the amphitheater seating, to truly encourage face-to-face communication.
The design team carefully painted the spaces with incandescent lighting to give a relaxing feel and they used local timbers to add warm natural wood to the workshop. The dynamic spaces are open and flexible allowing DTAC to make internal additions depending on future needs. Enjoy!