The advent of digital innovation, also known as ‘digital turn’, has brought a profound change in the world of work: this is how smart working, remote working, coworking and temporary offices have come about.
Professionals sharing working space can reduce fixed costs. Coworking, at the same time, can encourage and facilitate collaboration between different businesses. All this has changed the way the workplace is experienced.
The change in how office space is used corresponds to a change in ideas on the part of architects and interior designers, who have risen to the challenge from today’s workers, developing new spaces in response.
This type of office design embraces the minimal alongside the decorative, reflecting the new concept of work: freer from former, obsolete ways, and more focused on workers’ needs and psycho-physical health, all the while in constant contact with the surrounding environment.
Below, two projects that are excellent examples of this dual identity of architecture and design in the planning of offices geared to coworking.
Coworking space in Bruges
On the first floor of a small block just outside the historic centre of Bruges is the coworking space Work Around. The design of this office is the fruit of collaboration between the owners and the architects Buro Belgium. The location was chosen for its excellent accessibility: being on a road that links all the main cities of western Belgium, it is an ideal place for conferences and business meetings.
It offers various services to its users, including the option to use it as their registered office or administrative base. It boasts all the classic office comforts but with charges limited to actual usage. Rooms and workspaces can be booked for permanent or temporary use, and even for just half a day.
The space comprises work stations, meeting rooms of various sizes, a conference room seating 60 people, informal meeting spaces and also a lounge & bar area with a nice view. The spaces are functional but versatile, with mainly white decor and a lot of glass. In contrast with the generally neutral colour scheme, the flooring is in anthracite grey 80×80 porcelain stoneware slabs. This minimalist stone-effect floor is both versatile and robust, suitable for use in all the various areas.
Work Around – coworking space, Bruges (BE)
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Brain Factory Studio
In the interior design project for Brain Factory, by designers Paola Oliva and Marco Marotto, the classic studio concept has been revisited. In addition to the actual work area (designed for coworking use), there is a second, featuring the main innovations in the field of design conceived by the design team in question. This area allows clients to see for themselves the benefits of the design innovations.
The ‘display’ area is laid out like an apartment displaying the various design ideas in state-of-the-art materials.
Among the various materials used are wood-effect porcelain stoneware for a welcoming feel in the entrance hall, cement-effect flooring along with porcelain stoneware slabs from the Classici di Rex collection, reminiscent of calacatta marble. All the spaces also have artificial greenery elements, which contribute to raising the level of well-being of those working there.
Brain Factory Studio, Roma (IT)
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