SEVEN OF THE COOLEST OFFICES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
You’d be forgiven for wanting to get out of bed each day to go into work if you were an employee at any of these funky office buildings.
From space-age features, edible gardens, to rumpus rooms, views of London, to a workplace that evokes a feel of a faraway foreign place, we have narrowed down seven of the world’s coolest office spaces for your start to the working year.
While this office space looks like it belongs to the space age, in actual fact, it is home to internet service provider Sparven Bahnhof.
Albert France-Lanord Architects drew inspiration from a cloud for the design of this office and service hall. The roof’s extension protects two generators. And the reason why the architect chose a cloud as a theme? All because the work of the provider was a “physical manifestation” of what is known as the cloud.
Thousands of plants to relieve stress and improve air quality, an edible garden and circadian lighting, which mimics natural daylight patterns to support people’s biorhythms are just some of the impressive elements of Medibank Place, the head office of health insurer Medibank, in the Docklands area of Melbourne.
A large premise of the design, which was the brainchild of international design practice Hassell, was to create one of the healthiest workplaces in the world. The bright and colourful workplace gives employees freedom to decide where and how they do their jobs.
There are more than 26 types of work settings on offer, thanks to laptops and mobile phones, which allow a choice of quiet inside spaces or Wi-Fi enabled balconies.
Designed with the goal of making the Sydney headquarters of hipages – a website for hiring tradies – feel like a second home for staff, workplace design company Axiom created a space where home and work came together.
Inspiration came from the average home, with entrance to the office via a domestic front door to evoke the feeling of arriving at home.
The heart of the office is a kitchen and ‘family’ rumpus room, otherwise known as the team’s ‘town hall’. Time-out spaces have been designed to enable a place of relaxation for staff. A balcony, deck area and terrace were designed to extend the interior and exterior, while also providing staff with a chance to work outdoors.
‘Groupon the cat’ can’t be missed upon entry to the 35,300-square-metre e-commerce company Groupon’s headquarters. The giant cat is riding in a UFO.
Designed by BOX Studios, employees and visitors can enjoy an array of themed rooms with unique furniture from an enchanted forest with fake rocks and a room with hanging chairs.
A green zigzagging “soffit” motif runs from the elevators to the reception area. A full-height logo is comprised of several of Groupon’s deal categories.
London, United Kingdom
Bloomberg’s new European headquarters occupies a full city block – a 1.29-hectare site – and consists of two buildings united by bridges.
It is situated on the ancient Temple of Mithras, one of the UK’s most significant archaeological sites, where more than 14,000 artefacts have been found.
Designed by Foster + Partners, the building features 6700 work stations across 10 above-ground floors and four basements.
Teamwork and collaboration is promoted via radial height-adjustable desks in clusters and pods of six.
The striking ceiling, consisting of polished aluminium panels of ‘petals,’ serves many roles including cooling elements, light reflection and acoustic attenuation.
Other features include breathable walls to bring outdoor air through the building via a natural ventilation system, a rainwater collection and a first-of-a-kind external facing glass elevators to give “unparalleled views” of the city upon entry to the building.
A human-centric approach was the premise of the design of Microsoft’s new south Dublin campus for more than 2000 employees.
Architectural firm Gensler and RKD Architects ditched a traditional office design in favour of an island, which featured all of the typical island components.
The arrival point is the harbour, a beach is for socialising, a lake for reflection and an area for employees to come together, while the mountain is a place for learning and discovery.
The grasslands is an open-plan workspace where teams work together in collaboration spaces.
All of these elements were linked by a ‘trail’ aka a traditional corridor used as an actual work environment.
San Francisco, California
Elements of its global community were the inspiration behind Airbnb’s new San Francisco office.
Designed in conjunction with architectural firm WRNS, each floor of the building was dedicated to a different city, including Kyoto and Amsterdam.
Cafes on each floor were designed to reflect the city’s culture, while the interior design of meeting rooms were inspired by Airbnb’s listings.
Other points of difference include a yoga room with a Japanese theme and a boot camp area.
LISA CALAUTTI Contributing Writer