It is an unequivocal fact that your working environment has a direct and significant impact on your performance. However, in recent years - and especially since the economic crisis - architects have increasingly begun to turn their focus towards the importance of effective use of space, colour, mood and atmosphere when it comes to office design, using this psychological notion to build environments that tangibly affect the successful operation of a business.
Going above and beyond the prerequisite elements of a typical workplace, architects such as Matiz Architecture & Design, William McDonough + Partners, COA, PS Arkitektur and GSarchitects - to name but a handful - have in the past few years created working environments that make Monday mornings more of a pleasure than a chore. Naturally, the stimulating surrounds, the focus on relaxation, the introduction of vast stretches of greenery indoors and contrasts in daily scenery have a positive, uplifting effect on the individual, encouraging creativity and therefore boosting productivity. Architecture can also change the way people interact, hence effective office design can produce important improvements in internal communications.
It is with this in mind that Matiz Architecture & Design came up with the labyrinth of visual delights that is the Etsy Office, COA the Cape Town Office for Red Bull and of course Clive Wilkinson Architects the Google European Engineering Headquarters in Zurich, with its universally-envied slide that delivers employees straight from their desks to the cafeteria. More recently, another fantastic office space has been designed for Skype by PS Arkitektur.
As attention-grabbing as they may be, these voluptuous creations are not just a feast for the eyes, but a catalyst for the commercial success of any business. And with more and more exciting offices being built by the day, we eagerly await the next boundary-breaking innovation.
Have you designed an effective office building that was completed a year or more ago? Enter the WAN Effectiveness Awards 2011 for the opportunity to share its success with the global architectural industry. More details here…