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Architecture And Interior Offices: The Latest Architecture and News

WELL Building Certification - An Architectural Aid for Human Health

Architecture continually evolves to meet societal demands. Recently, a global effort to tackle climate change, and to achieve optimum energy efficiency in buildings, has brought standards such as BREEAM and LEED to the fore. However, as scientific analysis and awareness of human mental health has increased, architects are once again required to place humans at the centre of the design process. This growing trend has led to the development of WELL Building Certification – considered the world’s first certification focused exclusively on human health and wellbeing.

Symantec HQ - Staff interaction is encouraged as part of WELL standards. Image Courtesy of Little Symantec HQ - A vibrant collection of spaces encourage movement. Image Courtesy of Little Symantec HQ - Staff movement and interaction is encouraged to promote wellbeing. Image Courtesy of Little Symantec HQ - The building has achieved WELL certification. Image Courtesy of Little + 16

Infographic: The Evolution of the Office

Learn about the evolution of the workplace, from the very first office developed by the De Medici family to today's open collaboration spaces, after the break!

The Motherships Are Landing: What Google’s New Headquarters Reveal About Apple 2

When Apple revealed the plans for their new campus in Cupertino, the responses to the “spaceship” were….varied, to say the least:

Spectacular would be an understatement” ; “So disappointing…” ; a “…panopti-lawn…” ; and – my personal favorite – “Sphincter?” [1]

The announcement instigated a flurry of analyses and criticisms over the meaning of the design for the world – the Zen-like significance of the circle, the role of architecture in this technologically-driven age, the legacy and hubris of Jobs – but produced very little discussion over its meaning for the company itself.

Meanwhile, months before news of the “spaceship” landed, another internet giant was searching the California landscape for its own space to call home. Still very much under-wraps, the new Googleplex will be the first time Google builds a workplace completely from scratch. [2]

These projects will be the Magnum Opuses, the ultimate physical representations, of the two most influential Tech companies in the world, and the two share striking similarities. So let’s clash the plans of these two titans and take another look at Apple 2 – but this time in the light of Google – and see what they can tell us about these companies’ futures.

Caring for Your Office Introvert

The Crystal by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is a typically extroverted office environment.
The Crystal by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is a typically extroverted office environment.

“this open, ‘collaborative’ environment, where worker drones so nicely sit in poise out in the open while click-clacking on their computers, creates an atmosphere where people become desensitized to being on display. Sitting and thinking is actually frowned upon as being a waste of productivity. Why are you just sitting there? Why are you not talking, or typing, or writing, or drawing, or multitasking?”

– Mark Genest, comment on “In Defense of Introverts” [1]

Consider the contemporary office. White floors, minimalist style, no pesky walls getting in the way – just pure, unadulterated openness.

From our assembly-line past has emerged an increasingly consumer-oriented world, in which collaboration and gregariousness are valuable commodities. As a result, offices that resemble art galleries – with the employees on display – have become the norm, and while this sociable environment is energizing for the extrovert, for the introvert, it’s crippling.

In my last article, “In Defense of Introverts,” I posited that learning modalities, which better incorporate our introverted brethren, could revolutionize classroom design. In this one, I expand the concept to that of working modalities: an answer for office design that would engender an office culture sensitive to introverted rhythms and – at last – expand the way we conceive of creativity and innovation as a purely extroverted enterprise.