Creating The Office Design
Formulating an Office Design Scheme.
There are a number of typical steps in designing an office interior that applies to all projects. Some projects have specific design actions for the type of project…office refurbishment, listed premises, office expansion etc., and the sub pages cover actions that are unique to these.
Design for Office Refurbishment
Listed Building Office Interior Design
Design for Office Expansion
Designing Innovative Office Interiors
Office Reception Design Principles
New Ways of Work
Office Design Principles
Design Life Expectancy Designing for an office interior starts with timescales…how long do you expect the office interior to function, and will it perform as well in the last year as it does in the first? An office fit-out that only exists for a 3 year lease will have much less investment, and so a simpler design, than an office planned for 20 years. The 10 year or 20 year office interior scheme will also be designed and specified to a quality standard viable for a long life…fittings and materials will be higher quality, the flexibility in-built to the design scheme will be greater.
Current Status Once a lifespan is defined, our office designers set to work understanding the current status..what is working, what isn’t, and where the business is going in the future. Fusion act as a catalyst, asking questions and challenging accepted thinking to help an organisation view the future, rather than the past.
Project Timeline We’ll establish the project timescale…when are concept designs needed, and when must work commence in order to meet the wider demands of the property actions or business needs. Any features that are a vital part of the project objectives, such as new ways of working, will be defined and agreed ready to inform the design scheme.
Concept Design Scheme With all this background, the office design scheme can start in detail. Work flow and proximities can be mapped, staff numbers, meeting rooms, service areas and shared spaces can be defined. Following the evaluation and survey of the new premises (or space to be refurbished) the building outline and the new requirements can be married up, creating first draft space plans. Building services (M&E) Fire regulations and client preferences can be fed into the plan, and aspects such as light and heat sources, external views, and visitor/delivery points, quantified.
Detailed Design Stage At this stage we have a thorough ‘buildability’ review…are there any practical limitations that will inhibit the design? Do Building Regs and Planning/Landlord approvals present any barriers? Will noise disturbance and air handling be an issue? Alongside these, the design scheme will be taking shape from the standpoint of human and corporate factors…how will the new design perform in terms of the working environment, how will it meet staff expectations, and will the scheme be the catalyst for business change that can be so important?
Design Presentation Running in tandem, our office designers will be considering the office interior appearance…the use of colour, texture and finishes, fixtures and furnishings…so that we can present a concept that is both appealing and practical, and reflects the business internally and externally. The whole process comes together in the form of space plans, elevation drawings, design visuals and finishes boards. Brochures and case studies are used to support particular features, and the objective is to impart an understanding of a new office interior.
Trends in Office Design
Our office design trends page lists many of the most well-known trends in office interiors. Its good to be up to speed with the concepts and to understand if they offer any advantages to your organisation. From the standpoint of formulating an office design our advice is to think carefully about the concepts being right for your people. A classic example is providing high-back booth sofas in the open plan, because they look great, when the reality is some departments just want to work at desks. No one thought to ask people if they actually wanted the latest breakout design idea.
On the flip side some trends are universally popular. Softening the density of open plan spaces using broken plan design ideas is usually well received by everyone.
Best Practice for Office Designs
A basic principle should be applied for as much of the interior design as possible. Flexibility. In our experience most office fit-outs, particularly in London, will see small changes in the first year. In the period after this the drive for change will gather pace as the business changes. Building flexibility into the design scheme helps to keep the original value of the office fit-out. What’s more a responsive office interior will make changes easier to achieve, at lower cost, and with less disruption.
Too often we come across organisations who’ve implemented great design schemes but haven’t thought about the rules of engagement. Explaining how a space or zone is to be used, suggesting ideas for new ways of working, is crucial to success. Office design ideas gain consensus in the client-designer interactions but often get installed without passing on the knowledge of why they were adopted. Mini workshops to explain the thinking behind design features can be a wonderful post-occupancy exercise. Think of the office a bit like new software. No one would use new software without knowing at least something about what it does and the latest features.
It sounds involved, but with our experience, knowledge and understanding Fusion Office Design can readily create an office design that will deliver all your expectations. Contact Fusion for a free design consultation or click here to see more about office design by Fusion