Think ‘work space’, and what’s the image that pops into your mind?

Cubicle after cubicle each with its semi-littered desk; and a few cabins for top executives, a water cooler somewhere, a notice board…and so on, right?

Well, that used to be the office design form till a decade ago; still is the norm at many work spaces.

However, some of the world’s leading brands – which also happen to rank highly on the ‘best places to work’ list – are breaking the stereotype, and going all out to create office interiors that are different, inspiring, and representative of the brand.

What’s the common thread among all these work space designs?

Most of these office interior design plans are based on similar ideas:

Brand

For example, think ‘Google’, or ‘Facebook’, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Is it the fact that they’re a search engine, or a social media network?

Or is it just the ‘Google’ brand, and the ‘Facebook’ brand?

That’s the power of a brand. And that’s what the top brands are trying to portray in their office designs.

Openness

One of the features of the earlier cubicle system is that people are cut off from each other.

A cubicle may have more than one worker; but you can’t communicate face-to-face between cubicles easily.

The new office interiors are opting for more open designs, so people can easily communicate with each other. Such an approach

  • Encourages discussion and collaboration
  • Stimulates creativity
  • Kills fatigue and boredom

Comfort

There’s an effort to add spaces throughout the office where workers can grab some rest, which can help with creative endeavours.

Samsung North American Headquarters

Representative exteriors

Designed by NBBJ Architects, does Samsung’s North American headquarters in San Jose, California remind you of anything?

Image courtesy: NBBJ Architects

One of the computer chips Samsung designs, maybe?

As for the interior, well, as you can see, the design emphasizes openness, and has elements of greenery.

 Image courtesy: The Atlantic

Just like green interior design can be beneficial for your home, adding green elements can be beneficial in the office environment too.

YouTube Office Space

Here’s a snapshot of the main lobby area in YouTube’s Los Angeles (Playa Vista) office

Image courtesy: YouTube

Notice the large video screen featuring the YouTube logo?

That makes the YouTube brand – a video streaming company – come alive.

Here’s a YouTube Space in Dubai

Image courtesy: Dubai Media Office

Again, it’s anything but formal, with a wide variety of seating arrangements. In fact, this seems to be a space where videos can be shot and recorded, which is what YouTube’s service is based on – video content.

Google Office Space

One of the key areas where modern work spaces are keen to distinguish themselves is to offer their employees a comfortable workplace, since it is widely accepted ‘work till you drop’ does not bring out the best creative efforts.

Google has gone all out in offering employee perks like can be seen from this ‘hammock room’ in their New York City office.

Image courtesy: spacetoco

As you can see, it’s a very simply designed room, with provisions made for people to get direct sunlight – or lie in the shade – whichever option they choose.

Clever conversions

Now, let’s take a look at Google’s Zurich office.

Image courtesy: pineapplebun

If those cubicles remind you of ski lifts, it’s because they are.

Google converted ski gondolas into cubicles for its Zurich office.

Apple’s work spaces and store

Apple park in Cupertino

Image courtesy: NYT

Just take a look at that massive structure. It’s simply magnificent to look at. There is no other word for it.

Now, let’s peer inside, at their visitor centre.

Image courtesy: architecturalrecord

If the lines and flow of the design remind you of Apple products, it’s because they’re meant to.

Image courtesy: bitfeed

A minimalist design helps create a feeling of peace and helps people innovate.

Apple’s NYC store

Technically, this is more a store than a work space but it’s so awesome I had to feature it here.

Apple’s store in NYC features this large – and undoubtedly eye-catching – clear glass cube.

Image courtesy: appleinsider

Now, what do you think it’s for?

Absolutely nothing.

The store itself is below ground. Apple created the cube to house a stairway and a lift to the store below. Which is pretty awesome.

The store also has a lot of greenery.

Image courtesy: businessinsider

Amazon’s headquarters

Extensive greenery

Speaking of greenery, which is a recurring theme in this blog on work spaces that inspire creativity, enable collaboration, and encourage hard work, Amazon’s Seattle headquarters seems to contain a lot of it.

Image courtesy: geekwire

Keeping plants in your living/work space is a key aspect of wellness based interior design.

Industrial themed design

Image courtesy: NBBJ

The interiors of Amazon’s Seattle office have an underlying industrial theme. However, the floor plan has been based heavily on the concept of flow which helps employees transition between their work throughout the day.

 

Which of these work spaces did you find most interesting?

Which inspired you the most?

Make sure you tell us in a comment below!

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