The main purpose of the office fit-out is the comprehensive and functional development of the building, based on the individual needs and requirements of users. Employees should feel at home, and for this to happen, the office must respond to their habits and have a positive effect on their daily comfort. Raising the visual standard is only one side of the coin; the scope of works is much wider and multi-faceted. For us, the most interesting is of course introducing nature into the interiors and the green fit-out, which is usually based on biophilic design. Relaxation zones, gaming zones, cleverly arranged open space - meet the five favourites we've chosen from among the world's most impressive offices!
1. Google in Zurich
There are legends about the Google offices - and no wonder, because indeed the interiors of the world giant captivate with their finesse and functionality. In accordance with the Larry Page's concept, the offices are arranged in such a way that employees feel as comfortable as possible and thus can be as productive as possible. The Google invests a lot of money in creating perfect work environments where business is combined with pleasure and where there is always some space to relax, regain your energy and stimulate your creativity. The essence of this approach is presented by the Google's headquarters in Zurich; over 2,000 people work on four floors of the building near Lake Zurich, arranged by the Evolution Design.
Examples? There we go! Meetings in the room which looks like a small jungle with over a hundred large plants, slides and sliding poles linking the floors, or ever-full fridges, up to 100 metres away from work stations. In a nap room full of aquariums, employees can take a nap in the bathtub filled with sponges. Employees have at their disposal free cafes and massages, a gaming room, concert and cinema halls as well as a private gym.
2. Selgas Cano near Madrid
The office designed by Ivan Baan is the best evidence that size does not matter - skilful layout of a given space is much more important. Selgas Cano employees spend the day working both under and above the ground, looking through the glazing in the semi-circular roof, directly at the surrounding forest. This environment stimulates architects to be more creative; light ample space full of clean lines and strong but light colours creates a cosy and comfortable place to work. There is no question of bright cold lighting or empty depressing rooms; the light comes into the room straight through the roof, and all desks are arranged along one side of the wall. Biophilic design is reflected here not so much by introducing nature into the interior, but by incorporating that interior into the surrounding nature.
3. Corus Quay in Toronto
The headquarters of Corus Quay in Canada is one of the largest and most innovative offices around the world. The creative industries quarter covers an area of approx. 46 thousand m2 and gathers more than 1,100 employees in one place. Architect Jack Diamond and interior designers from Quadrangle Architects Ltd. aimed to create a friendly open space that would be favourable to both productivity and cooperation of the entire team, as well as simply good fun. The idea was to ensure well-being of the staff, and at the same time bring some fresh business energy to the area. A five-storey atrium, a three-storey slide, bright inspiring colours, TV and radio studios, huge screens and a conference room with tables in the shape of hockey rinks - there is almost everything in this building!
Eco-friendly solutions in the spirit of biophilia are a huge advantage of the Canadian office. In addition to the reduced consumption of energy and water as well as the use of local recycled materials, it is also worth emphasising the presence of a huge green wall of live plants that stretches in the open space on all five floors of the building and tirelessly filters air in the office.
4. Adobe in San Jose, CA
The Adobe's headquarters in California is one of the best examples of what a comprehensive green fit-out of a modern office should look like. Design of the Gesler company combines three separate towers into a vertical campus where you want to work and spend time. Here we have two lobbies, a customer service centre, two cafes, a wellness centre and work floors, i.e. an alternative space to work on the floor - everything is cosy, warm in wood and earth colours, and full of life. There are activity and relaxation zones spread throughout the office campus, where you can gather your thoughts, meditate or read in comfortable egg chairs, and thus take care of your well-being, which in turn increases the efficiency.
The application of live plants and moss, grass rugs, picnic tables, as well as wooden boxes mounted on the walls and ceilings makes employees feel the contact with natural landscape. This effect is additionally enhanced by large nature photo wallpapers. Geometric shapes, professional woodwork or a smart logotype game (just look at the composition built around the letter A in the photos) are also a great strength of this unusual arrangement.
Photos: David Wakely via officesnapshots.com
5. ThinkGarden in Milan
Finally, let's return to Europe and look into a magical place, which is ThinkGarden. Its architects, Sara Carlini and Radim Thadlec, perfectly understand that work is performed best if accompanied by living nature. The unusual office is designed in such a way as to show the natural landscape. The decorations are to imitate walls of a birch forest, and the entire open space is dotted with impressive specimens of plants, flowers and even trees. Raw white furniture stands out against the green background and together form a harmonious whole. This creative business lounge is arranged with the care of well-being of the people staying in it; its aim is to enable isolation from the hustle and bustle of the city and return to soothing nature. The original hospitable space promotes business meetings and mutually beneficial interests. The inner lawn enables walking barefoot; hammocks encourage to relax, and natural sounds relieve stress during an intense working day. The architects believed in the slogan: "doing business is natural".