Cool office spaces that rule the world
The latest modern office trend is being able to be innovative in design and maximise employee satisfaction and morale. More attention is being paid to the wellbeing of their staff and work environment, thus moving away from the cookie cutter corporate image. Here’s our pick of the top 10 office workstations from across the globe to show you what happens behind the scenes of the biggest companies on the internet, from big to small nuggets of design.
10. Selagas Cano / Madrid
Size doesn’t matter when it comes to breathtaking office design – one of the most relaxing and cool offices spaces to work in is found in a forest near Madrid in Spain housed by an architecture company. Designed by Iwan Baan, it is half underground, half above ground office with views out into the woods and plenty of natural and refreshing light streaming in. Light and airy with clean lines and colourful detail, it’s less about the fun slides and gaming areas and more about a relaxed environment away from harsh lighting and big empty rooms.
9. Comvert / Milan, Italy
This place was birthed when alternative clothing company Comvert was looking for a new and affordable office spaces – for their headquarters. During the search, they stumbled across an old abandoned cinema that seemed to offer the perfect solution and provided one cool office space to work in. It was big enough to house all of their offices, warehousing and even enough room for a shop in the front. But what did they do with extra room above where the audience sat during a movie? The answer: build an indoor skate bowl which sat suspended above the warehouse. It solved their space “problem”, kept staff entertained and fitting in with their clothing brand image.
8. ThinkGarden / Milan, Italy
Often office spaces don’t invest enough consideration in indoor plants to liven up the space. ThinkGarden understand that to do work, we have to spend most of our time indoors, but there’s no reason why we can’t bring some living nature in with us. Their whole office is inundated with nature strip designs intended to reflect nature with stone shaped bean bags, larges plants, flowers and trees. Even the walls, covered with vines and wall hugging plants make you feel like you’re working in the middle of the woods, and the bright white furniture contrasts with the plant life which only makes it stand out more.
7. Pallotta Teamworks / Los Angeles, USA
This is another creative innovation by Clive Wilkinson Architects who designed a way to utilise office for lease warehouse spaces in an affordable and unique manner. Shipping containers were used to create “breathing islands” inside the warehouse which provided space for each department and section in an individualistic manner while being smart with limited space. This particular design won a honour award from the American Institute of Architects in 2002 for “creating a lively work environment in a warehouse with reduced energy usage despite a low construction budget”.
6. Microsoft Office / Vienna, Austria
Taking a leaf out of Google’s books, the head office in Austria features a design that combines a number of colourful, fresh and eye catching design elements to create one of Microsoft’s most creative office spaces. It features a number of different themed conference and meeting rooms, from a hunting lodge to the deep blue ocean. Oh and what kind of office would it be without the resident slippery dip?
5. Nokia / Espoo, Finland
If you’re a bit of an OCD humanoid and love your clean lines, you can’t go past Nokia’s head office in Finland. They strive for pleasing-to-the-eye open environments and beautifully coloured themed sections of the office, allowing your mind to manifest in a relaxing and social hub. Oh and did we mention a pool table involved?
4. Inventionland Design Factory / Toronto, Canada
The name alone is already an indiction of what to expect when entering into this office. Inventionland is the World’s largest invention factory, where retailers, corporations and inventors come to innovate their products – and it definitely goes to show when you have a look at the environment they work within. It’s 70,000sqft facility holds 15 different set designs, ranging from pirate ships, race tracks, a castle or a giant robot which is apparently supposed to reflect what each area is responsible for. Not only do they have an explosion of creative madness, but they also facilitate state-of-the-art sound, video and animation studios with fully-equipped workshops for creaking working prototypes of inventions . Time to polish up those resumes if you want to become a “Creationeer”.
3. Corus Quay / Toronto, Canada
This is one of the largest offices on the list and by the looks of things, one of the most fun, so it’s no surprise that it made the top 3 on our list. Housing Corus Entertainment, it’s been dubbed as Toronto’s smartest building. Previously their staff were separated in 11 different buildings until they renovated the office allow everyone to exist in an open and collaborative environment – this included having numerous social spaces with their most prominent feature being a five story atrium with a three story slide (a popular and consistent trend). The priority the environment wishes to display is about bringing the fun into the workplace, and maximise productivity and company growth. With it’s bright colours, ridiculously large TV displays and boardroom tables shaped like ice hockey rinks, it seems like any working person’s dream.
2. White Mountain Office / Stockholm
What used to be a former 1200 square meter anti-atomic shelter located 30m below the surface of the Vita Berg Park in Stockholm is how home to an internet provider company, with the rock shelter hosting server halls and offices. It’s definitely a one of a kind atmosphere that’s sure to give even Batman a run for his money.
1. Google HQ
It’s hard to compete with the King of all cool office spaces when it comes to the Goldilocks balance of work and play. With their innovative designs that mix creativity and fun with productivity and purpose, it seems Google has covered everything. From themed meeting rooms, to free coffee and food for all employees, to clever rest and collaboration areas, to wonderfully mix and matched furniture that doesn’t look like a messy explosion, it’s probably no surprise if the employees feel more excitement coming to work than leaving.
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