15 July 2021
Curated by: Redazione IVM

Twelve new concepts for redesigning the office

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Offices are developing in the wake of new models of behaviour and new approaches to work that are gradually changing the habits, needs and activities of personnel, in addition to those of the people who are involved in the management of corporate human resources.

In this area, there are opposing forces that oscillate between inclusive dynamics, working on socialisation and sharing, and situations that are hallmarked by restricted accessibility and limited cooperation.

But the fundamental principle should remain the same. In a world in which work is increasingly smart, fluid and flexible, individuals’ wellness should retain a central role, including, most importantly, workspace design.

This gives rise to many alternative perspectives, and those who are looking for new solutions regarding the redesign of their office environment can find fertile ground and sources of inspiration deriving from many different viewpoints. We have tried to summarise some of these, and we are presenting them for you in this article.

Are there guidelines to be followed during the design phase?

Devising a new workspace concept is a complex activity that requires a careful preliminary phase of analysis and study of the setting, in addition to the appropriate office design expertise.

Luckily there is no single definitive manual laying down restrictions and categorical guidelines. But there are many opportunities, suggestions worth examining and authoritative studies that can be taken into consideration in the context of specific requirements, based on sensitivity, style, and above all, corporate approach.

Amongst these studies, that by Clive Wilkinson, world-renowned architect and interior designer, also famous for having designed Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters, has attracted considerable international interest.

Wilkinson recently presented a map of 12 office spaces reinvented to support and improve new methods of work in this post-pandemic period.

Let’s look at them one by one in this article.

Concept Clive Wilkinson

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Plaza

We can consider the “Plaza”, or the relaxation area, as a true social condenser. It is a location that connects people, encouraging experiences and promoting a sense of community.

It is a setting whose dimensions vary according to the companies’ spatial resources, and that can be enhanced by numerous design elements, such as seating, designer furniture, and long tables facilitating moments of shared relaxation.

plaza

Immagine di Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Multipurpose Room

This is an interior designed to connect both remote and in-person workers. It can be used equally for training sessions and moments of interactive brainstorming.

In general terms, it is a space in which employees may spend several hours of their day, and for this reason it is important that it is designed and furnished thinking primarily of their wellness.

multipurpose room

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Pitch Room

This is the space where meetings with people outside the organisation – clients, investors, suppliers and so forth – take place.

In Clive Wilkinson’s vision, the pitch room is the location that combines technological innovation with the need to live an in-person experience. It consists of a simple wall-mounted system for the physical display of presentation materials, a long table that facilitates co-working, and monitors fixed to the wall, to create an immersive physical-digital experience.

pitch room

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Team Room

The Team Room is the quintessential co-creation space. It is one of the most important rooms in the company, where workers meet to collaborate together and develop new ideas.

The dimensions of this type of room vary primarily according to the size of an organisation’s team. It is important to underline that a team room should encourage the sharing of ideas and thoughts, and it should promote creativity.

The solution devised by architect Clive Wilkinson comprises comfortable sit/stand desks, ergonomic seating and lounge furniture. Every wall is highly functional, with extra-large monitors and a whiteboard so that notes and diagrams can be shared directly on these vertical surfaces.

team room

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Reception

The reception is a company’s business card. It is a space that provides a welcome both for employees and for people from outside the organisation.

It can be envisaged as subdivided into two areas: a control-point area, that we have come to know as a health-screening zone, and the true welcome area, hallmarked by elements that reflect corporate culture and comprise a comfortable lounge environment where guests can wait.

reception

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Park

In the most highly structured organisations, there is space for true natural oases.

These locations can offer many benefits to workers: they help alleviate stress and mental fatigue, and encourage concentration.

Of course, designing an open-air park is not a common feature, and therefore this area can also be created inside the corporate premises, adding plants, drawing in outside air by means of a natural ventilation system, and daylight using windows or skylights.

park

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Avenue

Even the spaces destined for traffic and linking the various offices are considered as amongst the most important, worthy of redesign.

Instead of being just transitional spaces, they become connectors of people and locations for social interrelations.

In Clive Wilkinson’s concept, they consist of functional surfaces, personal lockers, and long tables with many stools that can transform simple, casual meetings amongst colleagues into opportunities for exchanging ideas.

Avenue

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Booth

Booths are spaces designed specifically to guarantee privacy and discretion.

Whether large, also suitable for moments of collaboration, or single telephone booths, these spaces are proving to be increasingly indispensable in offices, which in a future vision become dynamic, smart and multifunctional locations.

 

booth

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Desk

In the post-COVID era, the desk becomes an even more personal space for employees.

This is an element which, in addition to possessing outstanding design characteristics, also has to be functional, in order to facilitate cleaning and sanitising policy.

The surface for the keyboard or laptop docking station can be fixed or adjustable in height, but it should always be paired with an ergonomic chair.

desk

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Library

The offices of the future may even include the distinctive feature of a library setting.

Just like those commonly used for study and reading, this is a space designed for people who are looking for peace and concentration.

Clive Wilkinson presents the library with a variety of seating types, from classic chairs to armchairs and settees for relaxation, in order to encourage a varied, personalised experience.

This space is also distinctive for its low level of lighting, aimed at creating a more relaxing atmosphere.

library

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Remote Pod

Certain office spaces are tailored for confidentiality and discretion.

For example, remote pods are soundproofed spaces that embrace virtual connectivity, specially designed for videoconferencing and encouraging moments of concentration.

They generally comprise a sit/stand desk, an ergonomic chair and sound-absorbing wall panels, and they are hallmarked by adjustable lighting.

remote pod

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Wellness room

The wellness room is the ideal space for relaxing, resting and rebuilding energy after a period of intense work.

This is also the twelfth and final concept by architect Clive Wilkinson’s studio, and it presents a design consisting of soft fabric-clad walls, a daybed, an adjustable lighting system and customisable ambient music.

wellness room

Image by Clive Wilkinson Architects

 

Una nuova visione del lavoro

After this series of concepts, which have offered different views of how an office design project can be interpreted and developed, there remain, above and beyond, a number of common denominators, and above all the awareness that today, more than ever before, offices have to be designed with the ambition of promoting new methods of working and of improving the employees’ experience.

The formulation of these twelve spaces begins from precisely this vision and from the need to create varied, diversified workspaces where people can find not only a balance based on their own needs, but also the ideal conditions for developing their talent, expressing their creativity, generating collaboration and offering better performance for the company.

 

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