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Page 28

High-Profile Focus: Interior Design, Workspace, and Corporate Facilities

28

October 2019

The Give and Take of Open Floorplans

by Kathryn Mease Open workspaces are a major topic of debate. The ‘pro’ column lists the merits of eliminating the hierarchy of offices, improved collaboration, and the financial benefit of reducing the number of square feet per person. Nay-sayers cite higher stress levels from distractions and noise, a significant increase in interruptions leading to reduced productivity, and a decrease in general job satisfaction. However, the need for these types of spaces is hard to deny. With companies focusing on lean processes and fiscal responsibility, it seems unlikely that we’ll return to the time of plentiful private offices. So, what if we lean into the swerve? If we’re headed in that direction out of necessity, can we make these spaces prosperous? I believe we can. Sure, we can read articles titled ‘Why It’s Time to Ditch Open Office Plans’ and throw in the towel. But, when people spend 90,000 hours of their life at work*, isn’t

Open lounge along main circulation spine / Photos by Nat Rea Photography

it our responsibility to make them better instead? Tecton Architects embraced this responsibility when approaching an office

View of conferencing and collaborative work areas

PAVERS BY IDEAL

expansion/consolidation project about three years ago for the Otis Service Center in Bloomfield, Conn. As we programmed and test fit the space, an open concept revealed itself as the best approach to achieving the client’s goals, which included the provision of a wide variety of meeting spaces. The space had existed for decades as a single-story building with a low ceiling and fluorescent lights. Within the scope of this renovation, both the call center and the more traditional workspaces would be dramatically expanded. Our working theory was that, for these

View of open work stations with small group areas

spaces to be successful, balance between what is taken from and what is given to the employees is essential. We know from the many articles warning us about removing private offices that noise and distractions must be avoided. Acoustics, then, must be a priority. With this in mind, we took a layered approach to acoustics. Where carpet was not appropriate, rubber sheet flooring lessens the noise of footfall. We removed the low, under-performing ceiling and sprayed the structure above with K-13

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, MA

Aqua-Bric® with Yankee Cobble Circle Pak

The Solution to Stormwater Runoff is Right Under Your Feet Aqua-Bric,® Eco-Stone,® Andover Collection™ & 5511™

Ideal permeable pavers offer built-in technology - the pavement and base act as a stormwater treatment system that reduces or eliminates runoff to mitigate pollutants and improve water quality. ■ ■ ■ ■

High-strength 8000 psi pavement ■ Doesn’t require annual vacuuming Freeze-thaw and snow-plow safe ■ Qualifies for LEED® credits ADA compliant - firm, stable, slip-resistant Cost competitive to conventional pavements

Ideal Concrete Block Co.

S I N C E 1 9 23

Waltham & Westford, MA www.PaversbyIdeal.com ■ info@IdealConcreteBlock.com

C A L L 1 - 8 0 0 - 2 4 - I D E A L F O R A P E R M E A B L E LU N C H & L E A R N

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making places memorable www.copley-wolff.com 617.654.9000

Profile for High-Profile

High-Profile: October 2019  

This is our annual Interiors, Workspace and Corporate Facilities issue! We also have a spotlight on the New England chapter of IIDA. This m...

High-Profile: October 2019  

This is our annual Interiors, Workspace and Corporate Facilities issue! We also have a spotlight on the New England chapter of IIDA. This m...

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