Industry Focus: The workplace dynamics of an Architect firm

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One of the most demanding workplace environments is within the architecture and construction industry. These companies must present a supportive working environment for their staff, who work long hours generating and developing new ideas and concepts for clients. As well as a vibrant, comfortable and highly functioning space, the office space must represent the style and design ethos of the firm. We take a look at a selection of offices from around the world that showcase how architect firms have created a workplace that supports its staffs key functions and workplace requirements along with design elements making the standout. 

 

Designliga, Munich, Germany

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Image Credit: Designliga

 

When a warehouse building is converted into an office space, the interior style mirrors the raw industrial feel of the previous uses. However, the offices for Munich based design firm Desingliga, the end result stands apart from the traditional arthouse-conversion story. Built in the mid 20th century, this former industrial complex was a previously a machine shop. Internal structures have been maintained allowing a split level interior layout. The spaces are clean and well defined with white washed ceilings and walls contrast against the natural brickwork. The interior furnishings are a combination of modern European designer pieces enhancing the sophisticated spaces and areas. Inside the complex, a village style setting has been created with a small chalet in the centre. Through the creation of small pockets of benches and large communal tables, the company boasts a more integrative environment for its staff. The informal spaces and connected working environment surrounding this village theme makes this an optimum working environment for staff.

 

Turner Construction, San Diego, USA

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Image Credit: Zwink Photography

 

With a history dating back to 1902, Californian architecture and construction firm Turner Construction is seeped with traditional values and goals. However, they have taken a modern turn for the best; leaving behind a large six storey office building for an open place office space spread over 15,000 square foot. The new offices represent a change in working styles rather then company ethos. To further promote teamwork, integrity and commitment, the three company values, the new offices presents a more collaborative and integrated environment. The spaces include a range of semi-private workstations and booths placed alongside small informal meeting areas. Conference rooms have been spread throughout the floor allowing a fluid use of each space without disconnecting from the overall space. The highlights of the interiors are the large timber frames and floor to ceiling height windows. The spaces are airy with copious amounts of natural light. For a construction and architecture firm, the slightly rugged design of the office space only adds to the company’s long-standing reputation within this industry. 

 

Studio Domus, Guatemala City 

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Image Credit: Alejandro de Leon

 

For a firm that advises and consults others on design and sustainability, it is vital that their workplace reflect these values. The offices of South American architecture firm Studio Domus are a great example of practising what you preach. Taking over a blank office space in the downtown business sector of Guatemala City, the office space has been designed from bottom up to highlight all the ideas and products promoted by the company. From natural carpet materials to daylight saving sustainable lighting fixtures, each element in the office space has been taken into consideration. Another example of an open plan office, no cabins have been reserved for either the boss or supervisors, forming a more collaborative and open working environment. The furnishings reflect the young and vibrant feel of the office, with ergonomic office chairs, designer meeting room seating and highly functioning and stylish task furniture. Studio Domus have created an office and a working showroom, allowing clients to come and see first hand the ideas promoted by the design studio. 

 

 

Cuningham Group, Culver City, USA

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Image Credit: Cuningham Group

 

Taking inspiration from the natural surrounds of the exterior of their office space and introducing a wealth of green initiatives, the warehouse office for Los Angeles’ based architecture firm Cuningham Group presents an award winning office design. Through a combination of open spaces, large skylights and windows, trickle air vents and an indoor garden, the office space is a refreshing indoor space to be in. The open plan element allows each corner of the office to bask in the natural light provided by the large skylights and windows, creating a fluid atmosphere for working and communicating. The use of wood alongside the green indoor garden enhance the attractive and comfortable ambiance. The highlight is the stunning wooden structure housing a private office and the main conference room. This structure breaks up the space without affecting the garden-like feel of the entire space. 

 

 

Woods Bagot, Sydney, Australia

 

Woods Bagots Sydney office design Spaceist blogpost

Image Credit: Woods Bagot

 

For an international firm, it is vital to support the long and arduous hours staff may need to work in order to complete a project. Dedicated toward creating a supportive and comfortable environment, Woods Bagot have designed a home-like interior at their Sydney based offices. Based next to a park, the offices garner inwards a relaxed and informal space for staff that supports collaborative working. The various areas have been designed with rigidity of function, meaning any team or group and adopt the space according to they’re working needs. The spaces are a stark contrast to some of the offices on this list; rather than bright white washed walls and rows of lighting, the interiors are lit specifically where lighting is required, paying more attention to the necessary spaces. Casual wooden stools and chairs align tables in design rooms and studio spaces providing a lightweight and flexible option. A relaxing communal space provides a restful pitstop when required, whilst the large floor to ceiling height windows allow natural light to flow through the spaces adding to the relaxed ambience.