jueves, 26 de febrero de 2015

Open-plan office designs unpopular with workers and can damage productivity

News: more than half of employees prefer a private work space, while open-plan office workers often experience too many distractions to work effectively, according to new data.

Research commissioned by British office equipment company Expert Market found that 54 per cent of workers would prefer to work in separate offices, while 65 per cent said that lack of natural light negatively impacted their mood.

"Employees reported that the open-plan design of many offices encouraged a negative sense of competition between staff and a hostile working environment that pitted colleagues against each other," said a statement from Expert Market.

Related story: Bad workplace design means most employees are "struggling to work effectively"

"Peace and quiet came out top on the list of things which could improve employees' working day the most, with over 37 per cent of respondents preferring a quiet office over regular breaks and even cake," it added. "In the quest to boost team morale through a relaxed and less formal environment, companies may have achieved quite the opposite."

The report follows on from research published in September by office furniture specialists Steelcase and research company IPSOS, which found that insufficient privacy in the workplace was a worldwide problem.

The survey of 10,500 workers in Europe, North America and Asia found that over 85 per cent of employees were dissatisfied with their office environment and were struggling to concentrate.

Respondents were losing up to 86 minutes per day to distractions, and 31 per cent reported they had to leave their offices to complete their work due to lack of private space.

The 11 per cent of workers who had more privacy and were more satisfied with their workplace overall were also the most engaged.
Gensler US Workplace Survey 2013

Disengagement in the workplace and subsequent loss of productivity is currently estimated to cost American companies up to $550 billion and UK companies up to £70 billion a year.

The results formed part of a wider report in Steelcase's 360 magazine, which said that 70 per cent of office space in the USA was now open-plan in some form, while the amount of space designated to each worker has more than halved.

"We expected that in countries like China, which has a very collectivist culture, privacy might be less of a need than in countries like the United States, where individualism is prized. But what we discovered is that people all over the world want privacy at times," said Wenli Wang, who conducted Steelcase's privacy research in China. "In different cultures, they may seek it primarily for different reasons and in ways that are permitted in their culture, but the need for privacy sometimes — at work as well as in public — is as important to people as is the need to be with others."

Related story: "Offices designed as fun palaces are fundamentally sinister"

Research released earlier this year by Canada Life Group Insurance also found that open-plan office workers were more than twice as likely to take sick days than home workers and were almost six times as likely to believe their working environment promoted stress.

Last year, Dezeen reported on a workplace survey by architecture firm Gensler, which found that new office technologies and a move towards collaborative, open-plan offices were damaging the performance of employees.

Workplace effectiveness in the USA had fallen by six per cent in just five years.

"Just because you can see your colleagues doesn't mean you’re going to collaborate with them," said Matthew Kobylar, regional workplace practice area leader at Gensler. "Open-plan is quite effective as a general space but there are times when you need to focus on collaboration, and it fails to support that."


jueves, 19 de febrero de 2015

Jump Studios dresses Soho juice bar with industrial fittings and tiled herringbone floor

Industrial pipework runs over the ceiling of this juice-bar by London office Jump Studios, which features a ceramic herringbone floor and a marble counter.

Cold Press Juice Bar by Jump Studios

Jump Studios was behind the design of the space called The Juice Well, a cold-pressed juice bar in Soho, London. The cafe is set behind a shop front featuring a panel of patterned green glass on the ground floor of a building with an upper brick facade.

Related story: Amanda Levete's Tincan restaurant presents tinned seafood as "objects of desire"

The cafe is a joint venture between documentary-maker Joe Cross of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead – a film in which he drinks only fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days – and local restaurateur Will Ricker, who founded Mexican restaurant La Bodega Negra. It is intended to promote a healthy diet.

The London practice wanted to produce a design that reflected the home-made nature of the juices, using exposed industrial pipework and untreated wood to clad the interior space.

Cold Press Juice Bar by Jump Studios

"The client brief was to create a space that conveyed the crafted and hand-made approach to the product; high-end super food smoothies, cold-press juices and cleanses all of which are made every day on the premises," said studio director Simon Jordan.

"Industrial fittings were left exposed as we wanted to reflect the fact that this is a space where the product is made; from raw ingredients to finished, bottled product. A workshop, if you like."

Cold Press Juice Bar by Jump Studios

A wooden herringbone floor has been reinterpreted in slim white ceramic tiles, which run from the floor onto the walls on either side of the shop floor and into a stairwell.

A white marble counter situated under a kiosk to the rear of the shop displays the cafe's fresh produce and is used as a preparation area for the hand-pressed juices.

Cold Press Juice Bar by Jump Studios

The cafe's motto is written across the wooden top over the serving kiosk, while white text on the black walls either side of the counter is used to display the menus and price lists.

A rectangular pocket in the front of the juice bar and a set of white oak shelves positioned at right angles to it are used to display pouches of solid snacks.

Opposite, a bank of stainless-steel fridges stores bottles of pre-prepared milkshakes and juices, for customers who have no time to wait.

"The space is designed to express the quality and carefully crafted nature of the produce, combining a utilitarian but rich, honest and natural palate of materials," said Jordan, whose studio also designed Google's colourful Madrid offices.

Cold Press Juice Bar by Jump Studios

A raised table and bar stools positioned in the shop window have white oak tops and black stainless steel frames.

The shop name is presented in black text applied directly to the glass frontage.

London-based communications agency The Exposure Group created the brand identity and packaging for the cafe.

martes, 10 de febrero de 2015

Inaugurado en Milán el ‘bosco verticale’ de Stefano Boeri


Inaugurado en Milán el ‘bosco verticale’ de Stefano Boeri
En el centro de Milán, junto a la torre Unicredit del arquitecto argentino César Pelli, se alzan dos reascacielos residenciales —de 112 y 80 metros de altura, con 73 y 40 apartamentos, respectivamente— en cuyas fachadas crecen más de mil especies vegetales diferentes. El proyecto ‘Bosco verticale’ del estudio Boeri, que comenzó a construirse en 2008, está concebido como un experimento arquitectónico y botánico y definido por el concepto de reforestación metropolitana. Balcones escalonados de hormigón contienen árboles, arbustos y enredaderas, entre otros tipos de plantas, con el fin de generar microclimas para las viviendas. La vegetación reduce el consumo de energía al regular la entrada de luz, y, a su vez, actúa como barrera protectora de la contaminación acústica y partículas de polvo. Mientras que los paneles fotovoltaicos contribuyen a la autosuficiencia del complejo, las aguas grises se reutilizan para el riego.