Here we will look at some great examples of how offices are successfully combining sustainability with cutting-edge design.
Incorporating nature into the interior of an office, as per this ‘picnic green’ and living wall at HOK London, isn’t purely an aesthetic feature. The presence of greenery has a noticeably positive effect on workers, so much so that reports highlight that a ‘green’ office can boost productivity by 15%. Aside from the greenery, the office is designed using low formaldehyde and low volatile-organic compounds for finishes, furniture and carpets.
Using nature itself to create the shell of your workplace is one way of working with the environment. Albert France-Lanord Architects did exactly that when they transformed an old anti-atomic shelter into The White Mountain Office. Buried 100 feet underground in Stockholm, the 4000 square foot space is arguably one of the coolest example of nature meeting functionality.
Repurposing has reached new heights with the growing trend for upcycling warehouse containers. The Pallotta Teamworks LA offices, designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, not only looks great; they were also awarded for having reduced energy usage, despite being created on a low construction budget.
Another great example of upcycling is Hayden Place, a 11,650 square foot building in Culver City, that has been converted from an existing warehouse by International design company, Cunningham Group Architecture. Designed to LEED® Gold Certification standards, Hayden Place features numerous sustainable features, including indoor and outdoor gardens, repurposed shipping containers, light sensors and trickle vents.
Drawing inspiration from nature was certainly on the agenda when Selgas Cano Architecture created their studios deep in the woods in Madrid, Spain. The glass ceiling brings employees closer to nature, and allows the maximum amount of natural light to flood in.
As the old saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and that is exactly the theory behind Parliament Design’s Office in Portland, Oregon. Unused signs, recovered wood, crates, boxes and even a salvaged pizza oven and an old bear skin rug create a vibrant, chilled and ultimately creative working environment. Ticking the boxes for both environmental and aesthetic elements, this funky work space also gets a big ‘thumbs up’ for cost effectiveness.
One of the biggest power drains in an office is the amount of artificial light required to illuminate the work space, more often than not, designed to replicate natural daylight. The obvious solution when designing an office is to incorporate as much natural light into the space as possible. This was the approach that Fokkema & Partners Architecten took when designing the new offices for global consulting firm EY, in the Netherlands. Open spaces, white furniture and large expanses of glass all contribute towards the ultimate aim of creating an abundance of natural daylight.
The most environmentally friendly office in London is the Price Waterhouse Cooper building. Amongst many environmental attributes, the offices feature an IT system that allows individual workers to personalise their own workspace by controlling the light and heating temperatures.
Organic curves and heavily planted workspaces secured several prestigious awards for Open Architecture and Design’s ‘Office Greenhouse’ in Riga, Latvia. Designed with the psychological and physical wellbeing of employees in mind, Office Greenhouse promotes health and serenity with the inclusion of multiple large potted plants.