June 1 2017 | By Alissa Ponchione for Hospitality Design Magazine
With the gig economy growing, startups continuing to reign, and freelancers and consultants finding success in being their own bosses, office life—and the way people work—has evolved. Forget isolating cubicles, drab interiors, and bright fluorescent lights, designers have been challenged with creating open spaces that encourage collaborations, while carving out private zones, breakout areas, cafés, lounges, and even game rooms.
Take New York’s austere yet playful Spring Place. Designed by local firm Bluarch Architecture + Interiors, it acts as an artist’s enclave attracting the creative set, where design, art, fashion, and music meet. Meanwhile, for the Greenpoint, New York A/D/O design space (founded by MINI as part of the company’s own design practice) explores innovation in one of Brooklyn’s buzziest neighborhoods, with locally based nARCHITECTS leading the transformation of the one-story warehouse. In London, Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio crafted the Interchange with 600 work stations and custom lighting installations throughout. Shanghai-based Lukstudio converted an abandoned building in Guangzhou into a modern, concrete café with office space.
Indeed, many of these spaces have taken cues from the recent onslaught of communal hotel lobbies and “bridge the gap between life and work in a way that is tasteful, mature, and breeds productivity,” says Parts and Labor Design cofounder Andrew Cohen. HKS is blending the two with h.Club LA, the first global extension of London’s Hospitality Club, which is set to open in 2018 within the Redbury Hollywood. The firm will overhaul the five-story hotel and aim to develop a space “to inspire other creatives where a synergy between minds, spirits, and imaginations can flourish and lead to new ways of perceiving our world,” explains Luciana Mazza, director of hospitality architecture for HKS’ London Studio.
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