17. Oct 2017

No. 106 – Office design


Not only a case of black and white
RD Construction headquarters in Moscow/RU.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: Alexey Zarodov

A corporate office facility can sometimes drift into becoming a city of its own within the city. The surface area comprising corridors, rooms of different sizes and workspaces is extensive and “heavily populated”: it has developed its own working infrastructure, an administrative and organisational structure that ensures all processes and workflow remain intact; then there are spaces for people to rest and relax in that look like bedrooms, lounges like living rooms, and all kinds of workstations. All the features of a residential home, in fact – and enough things to buy to eat, or fully equipped kitchens if you prefer the hands-on approach. And of course the opportunity to pursue leisure activities. Viewed in these terms, RD Construction’s headquarters in Moscow could be classified as a no-nonsense, ultra-modern office city within the city …


Subconscious symbolism
Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s new office in Melbourne/AU.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag, Joachim Ritter
Photos: Electrolight, Peter Clarke

Lawyers have an image problem. As long as we have no need for them we are happy to do without them and, contrary to other professionals we sometimes need to seek help from who generally wear white at work, lawyers always seem to give us the feeling they are against us. It is imperative that they show no weaknesses, and yet we need their understanding and their know-how. A modern office environment and the right lighting can literally shed new light on the image lawyers currently have, aligning their work and reputation to modern, socially acceptable living standards.


Reason to stay
Revitalisation of a trading floor in an historic setting in Montreal/CA.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: Stéphane Brügger

The board members of the National Bank of Canada must be heaving a sigh of relief. Their original scepticism towards any kind of modernisation of the former dull-looking trading floor in their offices in the historic Sun Life Building in the centre of the City of Montreal, Quebec/CA reigned supreme for a long time. In fact, it looked as if there was a greater chance they would move to another building rather than embark on a renovation project. The bottom line today does indeed look quite different from what they – or anyone – expected. A team of architects and lighting specialists were ultimately commissioned to revitalise the spacious work environment, which accommodates almost 260 traders and managers. And hugely successful they were too, as the result shows.


Back to the future
Biophilic design in the King office complex in Stockholm/SE.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: Joachim Belaieff

In nature, every plant and species of animal yearns for ideal conditions in which to thrive and grow. It is no different when it comes to fostering ideas: working environments that feature the best possible conditions for their users can help ideas expand to acquire enormously creative and highly successful dimensions – an aspect which is being given increasingly higher priority in our modern working world, or in urbane enterprises where such spatial atmospheres are deemed necessary and appropriate. The right atmosphere can inspire the people working in the space to be far more creative and flexible than ever thought possible. Certainly a great basis for a developer of colourful, highly imaginative video games, when creating the right scenarios for their staff to fulfil their daily tasks.


The redesign of the 751 D-Park office building in Beijing/CN gives rise to a very special partnership.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: hyperSity office

In order to structure and strengthen political, social and economic development in China in the 1950s, the country introduced a series of Five-Year Plans. The first five-year plan, which came into effect in 1953, focussed on industrial change and growth. Companies were nationalised and funding provided to promote their activities. This led to economic success on many levels. The 13th five-year plan is now underway: the time has come to renovate specific buildings to bring them in line with modern-day China …


New horizons
A windowless control room in a refinery in Berlin/DE with a view outside.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag, Joachim Ritter
Photos: Oliver Voigt, Lichtvision

What Till Roenneberg and student colleagues experienced and proved in the bunker experiment back in the 1960s sums up daily life in some office facilities today. Our biological clock and the lighting required at workplaces in control rooms simply do not match. That said, what does not appear to match can be made to do so – by exploiting the potential of technologies available to us today.



Sunlight for indoor illumination
How to handle the best light available.

Text: Barbara Matusiak

The most profound paradox in the daylighting of buildings is related to the utilisation of direct sunlight. Huge luminous intensity has great potential for being utilised as a light source. However, in common practice sunlight is mostly kept out via various forms of sun-shading devices and electric light is used instead, even in the middle of a sunny day at the warmest time of the year.


The internet sees the light
Multitasking for electromagnetic waves.

Text: Joachim Ritter

Another quantum leap in the field of so-called state-of-the-art technologies, or the next chapter in the book of pulsating nonsense? With Li-Fi, the transfer of data via visible light, it is apparently possible to achieve data rates of up to 40 Gbit/s. Stability issues are still preventing the technology from being widely used in professional practice. The solution may lie in solar cells… But the fact that Apple are also working on incorporating this technology suggests that it is definitely to be taken seriously.



Feeling good at work
Interview with Cristiana Cutrona.

Cristiana Cutrona is an interior architect and has a design firm, Revalue, in Milan/IT. On the occasion of the Salone del Mobile 2017 in Milan, she was responsible for the special exhibition entitled “A Joyful Sense at Work – concentration, sharing, creativity”, which met with high approval on an international scale. Cristiana’s client base includes Facebook Italy, Microsoft and of late Samsung.



Longing for the digital world in green
Success and creativity as a question of the design of the office environment! What is the difference between the office of the Industrial Revolution and the Digital Revolution?

Text: Joachim Ritter

There is hardly any other age in our history in which students have been so successful as in the early stages of the IT revolution. Steve Jobbs, Bill Gates, Larry Page and Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg started up their companies shortly after graduating, if not before. All they had, in principle, was their creativity, an idea and a computer. Machines for production? Not necessary! What they design and produce are structures made up of ones and zeros.



The LED light source that even leaves incandescent lamps in the shade …
Seoul Semiconductor and Toshiba surprise the lighting world with a new development that looks like it could mark the beginning of a revolution.

Text: Joachim Ritter

For some it was purely a question of time, for others a seemingly unattainable goal: an artificial light source that is as perfect as daylight – or at least almost as perfect. Seoul Semiconductor are currently practically overwhelmed with queries and “applause”. In June, they introduced the SunLike TRI-R LED onto the market, a product that has even taken critics of LEDs by surprise.


Creative sustainability
3D-printed LED luminaires that harness renewable energy to store and generate electricity.

Text: Alison Ritter
Photos: Margot Krasojević

Renewable energy, and how to optimise the interaction between plan, typology, and architecture, has always been at the forefront of Margot Krasojević’s research and design approach. The LED luminaire depicted here consists of a 3D-printed net made of recycled polymer whose geometry is elastic yet strong enough to stretch and reform when subjected to tremors and shifting changes in its immediate environment. The net is designed to give the illusion of intensifying the light emitted due to the dome shape, which channels the light around the surface of the semi-transparent geometry.


LG Display embed themselves in OLEDs
With a focus on the application potential of organic LEDs.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: LG Display

People have been waxing lyrical about OLEDs for some time now, and can envisage never-ending potential for incorporating them into future-oriented products. But after years of planning how to overtake the market by storm, the predicted triumph has been sporadic. Some large manufacturers have turned their backs on the once unique development. LG, on the other hand, never gave up. The company is underscoring its ambitions and investing billions in developing state-of-the-art OLEDs.


Functionality plus flexibility plus style equals Remo
New luminaire from Plexiform helps office spaces take that leap into the modern age.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: Plexiform

Modern offices with flexible and versatile workplaces are definitely a good thing. Employees can choose where they would like to work depending on the task at hand or the mood they are in – alone or in a group set-up, in retreat or in a larger open space, in comfortable surroundings or sat at a desk. This helps promote a positive working atmosphere, enhanced creativity, targeted results and tangible success. All of which also depends on well designed lighting, which plays a central role in ensuring these positive effects – especially in the case of classic desk layouts, which are nowadays expected to be part of a modern office environment and likewise modern from the point of view of design. The Remo luminaire from Plexiform combines the functional with the decorative to achieve this ambience.



Co-design and continuing professional development

Text: Alison Ritter

There are two key topics, or to be more pragmatic perceptible trends, that are currently occupying the lighting design community – and which are reflected in a number of the papers to be presented at PLDC in Paris in November.




My opinion:

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