The typical office has long been a familiar part of our lives, even if workspace design has evolved over the years, or varies from region to region, industry to industry. No matter if our office houses 20 people or 200 people, most of us enjoy similar workstations and amenities, and the ubiquity of the office is almost comforting when we start a new role.
However, some lucky employees around the world work in spaces that defy convention, and bring a little more interest to their daily working lives. Here are some alterative offices around the globe:
SelgasCano, Madrid, Spain
Dubbed the office in the woods, architecture firm SelgasCano created a tunnel-like, one storey office for their employees, with a long and thick curved acrylic window along one side. Employees are treated to a view of the local woods on the other side. The building provides adequate shade from the Spanish sun, while providing maximum sunlight (and gorgeous scenes outside).
Money.co.uk, Gloucestershire, UK
The Money.co.uk team were asked to describe their dream office – and in some cases, they got it! Bath-based design team Interaction joined forces with TV interior designer Lawrence Lllewyn Bowen to transform a grade II listed castle with whimsy – think an ice cave, Rolling Stones-themed bathroom, secret passageways and a Star Wars cinema room.
Boatsters, Mallorca, Spain
It makes sense that Boatsters, a peer-to-peer yacht rental company, decided to ditch their traditional office for life on the sea. Boatsters’ boat holds six employees, and mostly docks just outside of Mallorca. The organisation still maintains a small office on land, which comes in handy when the office boat is rented out by others. Bosses consider the boat not just a novelty of an office, but a great way to make connections with local boat owners.
Inventionland, Pennsylvania, USA
You might expect an office home to inventions to be a little bit quirky, but Inventionland’s unique and playful space goes one big step further. The 70,000-sq. ft. facility is home to 15 different sets, each with a special theme designed to inspire and invoke whimsy in their employees – from pirate ships, to a racetrack, to a red carpeted catwalk, to a castle. Employees are dubbed ‘Creationeers’, and everyone wears white lab coats.
Ogilvy & Mather, Jakarta, Indonesia
One of the hallmarks of the modern, cool office is a slide – and Ogilvy & Mather’s Indonesian offices have just that. The stairs area is also home to clever seating, giving employees a central location where they can have informal chats (something many offices of today require), and their dark, stylish and cosy smaller spaces are perfect for more private conversations, or those who need to knuckle down and concentrate.
Image source: Office Snaps
Pallota Teamworks, California, USA
American charity events organisation Pallota Teamworks came up with an inexpensive and unique way to house their employees – a series of bright orange shipping containers, stacked within a large warehouse. The space was born after architecture firm Clive Wilkinson discovered the company didn’t even have sufficient funds to provide full air conditioning. The individual ‘tents’ or ‘breathing islands’ as the design team referred to them, could be properly managed on a shoestring budget, adding an interesting design element to the facility.
Avant, Illinois, USA
Upon first glance, Avant’s Chicago-based offices seem like any other modernised office. The Coke Freestyle machine and electronically adjustable desks may be a big positive, but the real gem here are the eight separate secret rooms, each with their own theme, for employees to escape to when work becomes a bit too much. The themes vary from Nintendo (complete with consoles and games) to a vintage video store. The idea is for employees to have fun and connect with their creative sides.
Soundcloud, Berlin, Germany
Soundcloud’s offices are located in an old factory in Berlin, but the interior offerings are in sync with the company’s musical output. Along with free food and drinks in the impressive kitchen, Berlin’s most successful chefs visit the site twice a week to cook for Soundcloud employees. Then there is the recording studio, for use by both employees and visiting artists, and the chill out area that contains an LP player, and an extensive collection of records. Most exciting of all is the fully-equipped DJ booth, where tunes are spun to mark the end of every working week.
Adrian Jeffers I Programme Office I Condeco