Why are our office spaces increasingly influenced by hospitality and what can we expect next? James White, co-founder of MAWD interior architects, walks us through his vision for taking office space to the next level
At MAWD we see hospitality and workspace intrinsically interlinked. It started with the co-working clubs where the coffee bar and lounge spaces became the main attraction for new tenants. For today’s tenants though, a deeper sense of experience and connection to the space is needed.
The ‘flight to quality’ has driven unprecedented levels of hotel style amenity both by the landlord in the shared spaces and by the tenants on their floor plates. The amenities we are seeing now include the best in wellness, social space, collaborative work and flexible meeting space including ‘all hands / town hall’ type areas.
We are also seeing a bigger focus on brand connection – looking to retail influences to make the buildings and the tenants’ brands more immersive.
But it is not just this range of amenities that is influenced by hospitality – it’s the whole experience. At MAWD we have seen first-hand the focus on guest profile and user experience in hospitality.
We are now applying these hospitality-led principles to office space, looking to connect with the potential tenants through design, creating multi-functional destinations that put people first. Spaces we want to visit and inhabit. Spaces that blur the lines. Spaces you can connect with, interact with and experience.
Our latest US project, The Atrium Campus in Denver for Beacon Capital, typifies this forward-thinking approach to office space. Re-imagining an existing IM Pei building, ‘The Atrium’ was redesigned as an indoor streetscape with benches, greenery and street lamps.
This streetscape leads to the Spanish steps, which provide a space to sit, work and socialise. The ‘gathering fireplace’ forms a hub for modern socialising while the surrounding benches and work desks allow for flexible meetings and impromptu collaborative work.
These social and collaborative workspaces connect the streetscape to the office, retail and hospitality spaces which look inwards to The Atrium. The office space above also benefits from 9,000sq ft of leisure focused amenities including a gym, yoga studio, and conference rooms.
This is all aimed at attracting people who want flexible and responsive environments, building a community of like-minded inhabitants that really use and value the building’s shared spaces.
Images courtesy of MAWD