Photo: Scott Brownrigg
Most of the companies for whom those offices were created are already broadly known: perhaps anyone can recognise a part of their brand identity incorporated into their offices.But what is more important, they have seemingly become pioneers in a very different, contemporary office culture which throws away the old segregated cubicle and celebrates an open space, free flow of people and ideas and the blurring of the thick line between work and play.
With the advancing of digital technologies and mobility, the concept of workspace is to be redefined. As companies began to employ design as not simply a functional background, but rather a key and active element in shaping their identity and conveying a message, they have also began to reevaluate its potential for creating a productive environment.
What is striking is the overall, bold introduction of entertainment and encouraging communication between people: perhaps behind those lies the entirely rational understanding that a happy and playful person is more motivated and active and perhaps in times of intensive competition and global shifts, a strong and energetic team is the biggest asset.
It’ll be a long time before installing slides leading to a gourmet cafeteria becomes a worldwide corporate standard, but most of those companies have been instrumental in creating global trends. And looking at their new offices, we can probably see pieces and bits of the future where for the lucky ones of us work will be truly fun.
The new office is designed to create a dynamic and collaborative work environment that supports the growing number of Google staff in London. The office features the strong local theme of London-Brighton and as a result many iconic elements of both are incorporated into the design.
The core idea behind the Skype software application as a useful and fun tool has generated the design concept for the interior of the new office through a playful atmosphere that allows good, crazy and brilliant ideas to develop.
Employees of Facebook recently moved to a new headquarters that facilitates interaction and connection, reflecting the company's mission as a social networking website provider. The design of the space relied heavily on input from the users and O+A designers interviewed employees about what they wanted from their new headquarters.
AOL launched a company-wide initiative to adapt to changes in online culture. Thus O+A's floor plan emphasises collaborative space--a change from segregated private offices to open workstations and the collegiality of shared environments.
The interior design and materials relate to the identity of the MTV Networks (Germany) logo with its characteristic font and the colours dark brown, white, and yellow. They are referenced and translated creatively in the design of the various spaces.
The National Headquarters houses the professional business functions of Red Bull energy drink, and at the same time is representative of the energy and dynamic nature of Red Bull, the people that work for Red Bull and the athletes and opinion leaders that use Red Bull every day to realise their dreams and ideas.
Universally considered as one of the pillars of the modern Ad agency, Leo Burnett embodies a rich lineage of contemporary creative thinking infused with age-old heritage and values. Design features include gigantic graffiti style mural of Leo, anamorphic art and gold-gilded wheel barrows overloaded with trophies.
Google is not a conventional company, and does not intend to become one. This is readily apparent in their new offices for Google's EMEA Engineering Hub in Zurich, Switzerland, where the design cultivates an energized and inspiring work environment that is relaxed but focused, and buzzing with activities.
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