Craig Curtis discusses the Office of the Future:
Office Building of the Future
In a recent competition, NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association) asked us to consider what the office building
of the future might look, feel, and function like. Our starting point was to consider what factors were driving changes in the
way we work and look at the ways those have transformed other industries.
Access to mobile technology allows work to occur anywhere. Smartphones and cloud computing bring our networks with us wherever we
go- the office, the coffee shop, the airport, or home. Work occurs throughout the day. 9 to 5 is waning, and as a new culture of
live/work emerges we are seeing increasingly flexible work hours. These factors are contributing to a social attitude geared towards
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION. We are becoming aware of our limited resources and seeking the increased efficiencies brought about by
SHARED spaces, energies, and experiences. While trending technologies may present the opportunity for a decentralized workforce,
the need for spaces of interaction and collaborative efforts are becoming increasingly important.
Our proposal recognizes the need for increased ACCESS, FLEXIBILITY, and COLLABORATION and responds with a building of three parts.
The first is a simple raw office bar with a narrow floor plate and great access to natural light. This zone is completely raw and
open allowing start-ups to use and reconfigure only the space they need. Density is key and resources are shared among tenants.
Then second part is a strong retail base with a generous exterior collaborative space called the (b)hive. This zone is open to
the tenants and the public and serves as a venue for ideas to cross-pollinate across professions and property lines. The third
part is a tower of prefabricated meeting pods. Outfitted with the latest technology and interchangeable over time, these spaces
serve as collaborative zones for tenants and the outside community. Spaces can be rented for a matter of hours or days from any
mobile device much like the zip-car model.
This project is a concept- scalable and adaptable to different contexts with a focus on responsible development. The building size
is based on the carrying capacity of the site rather than FAR values. The potential energy and water available to the site drives
the size and configuration of the three program elements- ultimately providing a unique solution to each scenario. Seattle is
the starting point, but the principles of the (b)HIVE can be applied anywhere.