Offices & Stores
Look at an average office and you can see why many people might dread getting up in the morning and going to work. Grey impersonal buildings make the people who work in them feel like drones in a miserable corporate machine. To tackle this mentality, lots of companies have started putting more effort into making work a little bit more fun for their employees, whilst creating a place that staff will actually want to spend time in.
Here you’ll find our pick of some of the best and most creative offices from around the world. Whether you dream of going to work in the middle of a forest, a secret underground lair or even a padded room to thrash out your rage in, these are the places you should be applying to.
If you’ve ever dreamt of leading the life of a double agent then it might be a good idea to send off your CV to Swedish internet provider Bahnhof. Located in a Cold War bomb shelter, the former office of Wikileaks is suitably covert, with the majority of the building situated 30 metres below ground level in a system of caves.
One of the worst things about working in an office is that you inevitably spend most of your days in a grey city centre, far away from the calming
effect of natural, green spaces. To combat this problem, Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano did what they do best and built their own offices in the middle of a forest. In this glass-fronted building, workers can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding woodland, whilst a hinged mechanism allows for varying degrees of sun exposure and ventilation. Imagine stumbling across this on an afternoon walk!
Whilst setting up your headquarters in the middle of a forest might not be a realistic option for everyone, you can still bring nature to your office if you’re based in the city. Buy plenty of easy-to-maintain plants and swap air-conditioning for fresh air to boost the building’s feel-good factor.
Google is famed for its fun-loving attitude to work, so it’s no surprise that the London offices of the search engine giant are featured in this list. From the ‘velourmptious’ room – a snug, green, padded homage to the traditional British pub – to the secret garden on the roof terrace, Google’s offices have a decidedly quirky, eclectic feel. There’s even a padded room with a prison-style lock, so if employees ever need to vent their ire against the search engine world, they’ve got that covered.
Although you may not have a budget to match Google’s, it’s still possible to create a sense of fun with your office decor. Why not get some bean bags for your meeting rooms and invest in some board games for lunch-time tournaments?
The clean, white space of this former industrial hall near the centre of Geneva might look like many other modern office buildings, but the meeting rooms it has inside certainly set it apart from the rest. Stacked up like building blocks, 16 glass-fronted shipping containers serve as the meeting rooms in Group8. Rather than styling up the containers, the company decided to maintain their rough, original aesthetic, making them stand out in an otherwise neutral space.
You can easily recreate this look in your office by customising some steel storage containers and using them as meeting or breakout spaces.
The Goethe Institute
How would you like to be treated to your own personal light show every time you walk into work in the morning? Well, that’s exactly what you’d get if you worked in the Goethe Institute in Barcelona, where the reception area features a light display created by interactive designer Sebastian Neitsch. From a Tron-style neon web to a psychedelic checkerboard, the walls change to something new and fascinating whenever someone walks into the room. On top of that, microphones in the wall pick up on sounds and turn them into customised light displays.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 29 January, 2014
With its cult following, Aesop, the Melbourne-based skin-hair-body care company now boasts a journalistic-style of modern retail design in its Lower Manhattan shop. Located in the hip neighborhood of Chelsea, this store is literally covered in The Paris Review. (The literary magazine’s New York headquarters are nearby.)
The smallish shop is true Aesop style, as its founder refuses to have any two stores look identical. A nondescript black awning and plain glass front does little to let one know they’ve arrived so a closer look is requisite.
Posted by Suzanne at 27 January, 2014
With five floors of modern office space rooted in corporate identity, the digital age and Brazilian culture, Walmart.com in São Paulo, Brazil simply shines. Designed by Estudio Guto Requena with the focus of an “urban veranda,” the headquarters encompasses all areas of professional business integrated with relaxed socializing zones such as game rooms, screening theaters, a library and even a rooftop play zone.
Plentiful woods were utilized to warmly contrast the cool, brighter colors of the brand’s logo of yellow, orange, blue and green. Windows allow streaming daylight to filter into the open workspaces throughout the day, while specialty lighting design speaks volumes about the location of this company. For instance, an installation featuring a collection of gourds, a fruit typically formed into Brazilian musical instruments, presides over a casual lounge with four beachy wood-frame chairs adorned with punchy blue-and-white throw pillows.
Posted by Suzanne at 21 January, 2014
Occupying five floors of a renovated building in Kent, England, The Workshop Offices have been designed by Guy Hollaway Architects. The ultimate modern office space is comprised of three stories of flexible work zones and highlighted by the two top floors’ stainless steel tubular slide which resides in the View London offices.
A traditional facade painted charcoal black plays a striking juxtaposition to the sleek, undulating glazed wall of the same building. The architect sought to create a stand-out feature, attracting companies and visitors to an utmost modern work environment.
Posted by Suzanne at 14 January, 2014
Panic Software of Portland, Oregon sought out a renovated office space which sang to them with open spaces, amenities and not only a view but a place to enjoy it. Holst Architecture delivered that and more when creating this modern office space which is brimming with cool color, tasteful fun and flexible work-social zones.
Interestingly, Panic Software’s offices sat in a converted wood-framed warehouse space–not exactly exciting. But the architects and designers changed all of that. The renovation featured additions of a trio of large skylights, a concrete and steel staircase, family room, kitchen and huge rooftop deck Mario Bros.-style–more on that later.
Posted by Suzanne at 23 December, 2013
Ancestory.com’s new offices in San Francisco, California were envisioned by global design group Rapt Studio to enhance openness, offer gathering places and evoke the genealogy firm’s brand. These modern office spaces are bright, spirited and shy away from the typical, over-the-top quirky elements that far too many office designs are succumbing to.
With vibrant pops of orange, yellow and green, these wholesome work zones are rooted in earthy tones of brown and grey with bold white accents. A section of one wall is dedicated to blackboard space allowing staffers to foster creativity and ideas. Live greenery injects a fresh energy in work and social sections and ties into the “family tree” symbolism in the firm’s logo. Concrete ceilings are left exposed, while a huge garage door separates a lounge from a meeting room–how fun!
Posted by Suzanne at 16 December, 2013
Jive Software’s UK Headquarters just received a fresh pulse of modern office design. The new 12,000 square-foot space in the Thames Valley Park business center in Reading, Berkshire was envisioned by Office Principles.
Specializing as a mobile business platform company, Jive Software sought out a workspace that would enhance productivity and collaboration amongst its staff, while offering a welcoming atmosphere for clients and visitors. These light-filled office and meeting zones are colorful, bright and incorporate elements like glass and timber throughout.
Posted by Suzanne at 10 December, 2013