Last year, together with Praeter, sustainability and energy consultants, we picked up a research project focused on the characteristics, needs and challenges of modern office spaces. We decided to look carefully into this field as we noticed that many of our clients were struggling to make their office spaces up to the expectations and standards of modern society: employees and clients alike.
We are living in a very dynamic time when many, mainly sociological an environmental , changes are taking place. However, our physical world does not always keeps the pace with what is going on in our minds. As architects we have the power and responsibilty to model the build environment in a way that not only fulfils the current needs of society but also anticipates future requirements. Is it possible for an architect to foresee what is to come? What needs will arise? Well, not always, but by studying the past and the present we can make certain predictions. And by designing in the most flexible possible way we can prepare the build matter for the changes to come.
So, we analysed the office spaces and typologies build in the past, throughout the centuries and picked up what lessons were learned. It’s important to look into the past because human minds are able to make huge steps in a relatively short time but our bodies have restraints. Physically we still need fresh air, direct daylight, views to the outside, ergonomic furniture and mental rests exactly as much as our ancestors did. It’s true that other aspects did change and tech gadgets give us new tools to realise our contemporary goals, but many physical and mental needs didn’t.
We also had a good look at our direct surroundings. In the past 15 years the office lanscape in the Netherlands has been changing dramatically. As society we started to work more and more from home and we are giving up our private cars and choosing public transport and the sharing economy instead. As a result of those transformations, many office buildings situated next to the highways started to empty and more and more companies started moving into the city centers to win more visibility and be better reachable by public transport. The ongoing pandemic has accelerated this trend. People are working almost exclusively from home and show up at the office only once or twice a week. As result the physical offices need to provide space for much less people than before but they face other challenges. Flexibility, sustainibilty, healthy environment are only a couple of them.
By this thorough analysis, we created a checklist for the DO’s and DON’Ts in a modern office space. It serves us as a tool to design the best possible spacial solutions for our clients. And this, combined with guidance from Praeter in the field of energy consumption and sustainability, offers a full package for companies who wish to bring their offices into the future.
Is your organisation struggling with adapting your physical space to the requirements of the modern era? Let us help you: contact
Are you interested in office design by CNCPT A? Check out JV21 and MW174