14 Cool Work Spaces from around the World
May 05, 2015 at 03:49 PM
Gone are the days of boring workspaces! The common perception of offices as dreary and sombre spaces - with silent hallways lined with cubicles, and desks piled high with files, assembly lined work stations topped with nerdy monitors, conference rooms with long tables and a digital screen, admin areas dominated by photocopiers and fax machines and some bright flowers and a pretty receptionist adding a spot of cheer - is a thing of the past! With the global work culture morphing substantively in the internet age, the workplace is changing in look and feel too. The demand for an interactive work culture and the need for creative work processes have diminished the divide between work and play. Besides this, the technological progress which limits work tools to just a laptop, the general consciousness for fitness among the workforce, awareness of hazards related to prolonged engagement with the computer workstation, competition among employers to retain talent and such other factors - have together contributed to making the workplace fun and attractive. Also, with the growing numbers of self-employed internet-based workers certain workplaces are just hubs for such individuals to connect and interact for short durations. Thanks to the laptop, conference and meeting rooms have seen the most interesting change. Ranging from being ‘break-out’ spaces overlapping with the cafeteria to fun-themed discussion cubicles, these spaces have become creative and interactived playgrounds for the employees!
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The Superdesk at The Barbarian Group Office, NYC: Cover photo
One mammoth ribbon of a desk looping around the entire office, passing over cubicles and meeting rooms to descend on the other side and continue on its looping track – this more or less sums up the interiors of The Barbarian Group office at New York City designed by Clive Wilkinson. The remaining details just include storage and exclusive worktops and couches inside each of the cubicles underneath this undulating desk, cabins and conference facilities at the edges around this desk and ancillaries like chairs, mobile chest of drawers and dustbins provided along the entire loop to accommodate the staff. In this office, the staff are connected and bound closely by this cool shared desk as much as by the shared wifi!!
Talent Garden, Milan: image 1
A coffee bar, a foosball table and bean bags in cool and cheery atmospherics for the staff to chill out and hold informal discussions have become ubiquitous in all modern office interiors, as seen here in the Talent Garden office at Milan.
Aurecon, Sydney: image 2
At this Sydney office, the table at the cafe bar welcomes business discussions while the grey and yellow bar code printed flooring and a live garden wall mounted on segregated waste bins provide the cool, green connect.
One Shelly Street, Sydney: image 3
This large scale, multi function office is another masterpiece by Clive Wilkinson Architects. The central atrium affords clear vision through almost the entire glass and steel workplace dotted with task tailored work pods, destination work plazas and themed meeting and conference areas. It has been described as ‘part space station, part cathedral, and part vertical Greek village’!!
The Monkeys Office, Sydney: image 4
Despite the funny name, this media house in Sydney is into serious business. The image here shows the meeting and discussion spaces in their office designed by Akin Creative. Using a neutral palette with splashes of colour and raw, simple materials like cement, wood, nets and chalkboard on wheels, stadium style seating combined with little colourful stools, they have created a fresh and cheerful ambience. The generous amount of sunlight pouring in and potted plants dotting the landscape add to the sunny cheer.
Essence Digital, London: image 5,6
You can work on a a shared cushioned stadium in side this London office of Essence Digital. Or simply escape to the tropical landscape of the enclosed terrace to relax or work in tranquillity!!
BBC Worldwide Office, Austrailia: image 7
The green carpet in this BBC Worldwide garden...oops, office is completed by garden chairs, basket swings, trees and even smooth and soft boulder like seat cushions – a perfect setting for fresh minded discussions!!
Merchants iiNets, Cape Town: image 8
The interiors for this leading BPO company’s call centre offices at Cape Town, SA, are themed around creating geographical connects to various parts of the South African landscape. There is a stimulating and flexible work environment created in an open plan office system, with breakaway areas like the partially enclosed meeting room displayed in this image, which is themed around the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Baya Park Office, by Planet 3 Studios, Mumbai: Image 9, 10
This office interior by Planet3 Studios for a real estate developer in Mumbai is a cool marketing tool and an award winning design. This office has, for a meeting cubicle, a huge room-sized nest of the Baya bird, after which the firm takes its name, installed in the spacious reception lobby. Made from curving ribs of plywood and woven pine strips from shipping containers, the meeting area within has light filtering in through gaps in the pine slats. Apart from the experience of sitting in a nest, the customers also get welcomed by a live plant wall at the reception and the baya theme reflected in the pictures of the bird on transfers on the windows.
Rotterdam Municipal Office: image 11
A municipal office in an Indian city would evoke old, depressing and inefficient images. But, quite contrary is this municipal office of Rotterdam. Each of its floors is designed as a different neighbourhood and adorned with cheerful details. The image here is of a series of meeting rooms for citizens and corporators partitioned with colourful, transparent curtains and lighted by fun paper lamps!!
Ekimetrics Office, Paris: image 12
This marketing and data consultation firm located on Champs Elysees has a 100 sq m space with classical moulded interiors and an open plan system. To this, the designer Estelle Vincent added slatted wooden box-like structures as space for meetings and informal discussions. Done in keeping with the mathematical yet artistic, young and dynamic image of the firm, these boxes are a cool twist to the firm’s interior tale. One of them is even exited by a blue slide!!
POF Office, Vancouver: image 13
A successful Canadian online dating site company, Plenty of Fish has its office based at Vancouver, British Columbia. A series of cushioned blocks running along the centre line of its reception lounge forms an interesting detail as it can be variously used and arranged. It serves as a seating for informal discussions, presentations on the board in front or for waiting in the reception lounge.
Kavellaris Urban Design Office, Australia: image 14
This Spartan office design for an Urban Design firm is fun and creative even in its austerity - disproving the general notion that only playful forms and vibrant colours can create a fun ambience!
King Offices of Candy Crush, Stockholm: image 15
And what can be expected in the Candy Crush Office?? This Office with its fanasty land design, bright colours and childish spaces may seem a bit over the top. But there is no denying this design, with carousel cubicles, swing discussion rooms et al, sets new standards in cool and fun office interiors!!