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Chemelot Campus

2014
Geleen

'The office of the future’ Niels Maier, Studio Niels

The companies of today provide us with all the tools we need to be able to work whenever and wherever we want and to communicate in the virtual world. We can collect our data from the virtual world no matter where we are. This is also the paradox of working in an office. With this freedom that the virtual world gives us, why should we sit in an office? The answer to this lies in the fact that the office's function is shifting from a workplace we are obliged to attend to a place where, on the contrary, we want to work. The office is becoming a place for meeting each other, eating together, sharing our knowledge, and catching up with colleagues. 

 

 'The office's function is shifting from a workplace we are obliged to attend to a place where, on the contrary, we want to work.'

Future workplaces will thus need to be approached and equipped differently. Work environments require an identity; rooms without meaning will be irrelevant in the future.The office of the future should be comfortable and provide space for different ways of working, just like if we were at home: on the sofa, at the kitchen table, on a bed with a cup of tea, or just at a desk...with colleagues. 

At the same time, the office of the future needs to be a challenging environment. It will be necessary to create physical spaces that fulfil those functions that require a 'home base,' like spaces that connect the virtual world with the physical world. The office of the future is also becoming part of our social system. The basis of this is combining the workplace with hospitality. The better hospitality intertwines with the work environment, the more physical our office becomes. A good example of this is a café with a barista.

Within this context, the reusing and converting of existing buildings will become an important factor. After all, we will appreciate the value of using these buildings particularly because of the striking contrasts between historical architecture and modern functionality. The type of 'living and working' items that are used on a day-to-day basis within each building but are not specifically determined by the architecture will strongly determine the interior design.

ICW BroekBakema architecten

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