Considering how many companies have opted to allow employees to work from home since the pandemic, it’s good to know that many are still investing in workplaces, creating designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing but with features that are beneficial for the employees and the environment.
The list below features multiple workplace designs from 2021 that are inspiring and will, no doubt, make business owners think twice about permanently working from home. The workplace is becoming experiential. Here are my two favorite articles that represent this trend:
- Yanlord Central Lake by HWCD & TIANHUA, Taicang City, China. – In terms of building design, I find this breathtaking.
- Smart Design Studio by smart design studio, Alexandria, Australia. I love the curves and the minimalist interior design here.
Which ones inspire you?
These Are The World’s Best Workplace Designs in 2021
From 3D printed furniture to kinetic-screened façades, these 2021 A+Award-winning offices are cutting-edge in both plan and implementation.
By: Hannah Feniak
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Flexible schedules and hybrid offices are here to stay, and businesses now need to reimagine their physical workplaces to reflect the changes to company culture that have taken place over the past year. Although the following collection of officers were conceived before the pandemic began, their designs remain highly innovative precedents that foreground collaboration, community, sustainability and access to green space.
From 3D printed furniture (using bio corn-based plastic) to kinetic-screened façades, these 2021 A+Award-winning workplaces are cutting-edge not only in plan, but also implementation. Explore new forms of office design below, and discover the full list of 2021 A+ Award winners across diverse typologies.
This innovative, sustainable and sculptural building was purpose-built for and by the architects for their multi-disciplinary design practice. Set amongst brick warehouses in an inner-city conservation area, the design embraces the industrial essence of the surrounding building. This is both in an aesthetic sense as well as in the functionality, economy and innovation that you see in these modest structures.
A mezzanine with four meeting rooms overlooks the light-filled space through the existing slender steel trusses. On the top floor, a dramatic caretaker’s residence consists of four self-supporting brick catenary vaults that are offset from each other to allow light into the space. Meanwhile, from an environmental standpoint, the naturally lit and ventilated studio collects its own water and generates its own power, creating a carbon neutral building.
The JACX takes workspace innovation to new levels as the largest creative new office development in New York today. With two identical towers, offering sweeping views on all sides, this hub is connected by a landscaped terrace designed to bring the outside in, replacing dreary cubicle-filled interiors, acoustic ceilings, and sun-less spaces with open and airy environments, and plenty of communal areas.
The open floor plates, enabled by the side-core construction, provide visibility from end to end and flood the space with natural light, allowing ultimate flexibility in office configuration. Meanwhile, the verdant one-acre park on the 5th floor terrace is a botanical wonder, with greenery combining lush meadow plantings with poplar trees for shade. Seasonal plantings ensure year-round greenery, with over 25,000 flowering bulbs and 100 trees.
This signature, boutique and sustainable retail and office tower synthesizes the unique conditions that define the urban, environmental and cultural context of contemporary Singapore. Embracing its oddly-shaped site, the tower is broken in two primary volumes: a hovering crystalline office tower and a retail podium. A publicly accessible green space — equivalent to the site area — is offered on the landscaped podium and rooftop Sky Garden, both feature planted trees, natural ventilation, and views across the city.
20 office floors extend elegantly above the podium, maximizing the building height and marina views. The angled composition of the tower serves to increase access to natural light, mitigate direct views into adjacent towers, and reflect light to create a gem-like beacon for Singapore.
XAPO is the flagship headquarters for the eponymous company, which provides online banking services for crypto-currencies. The project transforms an old army barracks in the heart of Gibraltar’s historic center, offering a physical space for a digital bank.
The series of barracks (or ‘casemates’) were built by the British army in 1817, and are one of the better preserved of the military buildings that characterize this once-fortress town. Lagranja found them in a semi-ruined state, unappreciated for their historical significance, and crying out for a new use. At the intersection of archeology and modern design, the architects restored and reinvented the bays with a contemporary office layout. The furniture and décor were made with digital processes, and 3D printed in Barcelona using a bio corn-based plastic.
This project emerged alongside a newly built artificial lake just 3km outside the center of Taicang City. The park integrates eco-tourism, leisure and entertainment, sports and parent-child games. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding lake, the building’s façade echoes the patterns of ripples on the water, aiming to bring a larger landscape view. By lifting the whole building off the ground, the designers were able to bring more greenery inside the office space.
For decades, Scott Sports has engaged in a highly successful global enterprise specializing in sports equipment for cycling, skiing, running, and motosports; the company recently inaugurated its new corporate headquarters at Givisiez in 2019, following a three-year construction process.
Focusing on the quality and conditions of individual work areas, a spacious central atrium serves as the nucleus around which all workspaces orbit. The office will accommodate up to 600 employees. Cutting-edge technologies inspired this futuristic new structure, which takes into account environmental issues as well as fully embodying the company’s values.
This 76,000-square-foot office space has been transformed on the basis of a design that uses urban planning strategies unite the company’s growing population. In particular, a circulation “loop” amplifies experiential pathways, scaling the immense warehouse spaces with intimate moments through the activation of episodic social programs.
An inclusive design process used focus and advocacy groups to help to shape the future workplace. In addition to providing numerous community hubs, the design also prioritizes physical connection to nature by opening the building to the surrounding gardens and adding skylights.
The project targeted 75% local sourcing with all furniture and ultimately was able to source 98% of all items within a 30-mile radius. Using local furniture designers and fabricators also allowed to the architects to realize the project weeks ahead of schedule.
Blended elements of French style, simple materials, and a neutral color palette, with key moments reminiscent of Kering’s headquarters in Paris, were integral to HLW’s design for the Paris-based company’s American headquarters.
Taking inspiration from the Paris office’s central courtyard, which anchors the flow of the workspace, HLW designed a 50-foot stadium staircase, which leads to a mezzanine level and cascades into the cafe, offering outdoor views through 24-foot-tall windows. The building has been transformed into a bright, open office, complete with a host of personal workstations and lounge areas that are all cloaked in natural light. Each door portal is trimmed with custom-wood accents to help bring natural elements into the sea of metals.