The office to come

Everyone seems to agree that in the future work in the office will not vanish, but will alternate with remote work. The enlightened viewpoints of leading architecture firms and their designers: Alessandro Adamo of Lombardini 22 and the brand DEGW, Francesco Conserva of Open Project, Park Associati and Massimo Roj of Progetto CMR

Progetto CMR headquarters, Milan - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
Progetto CMR headquarters, Milan - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna

This is a moment of reflection for the designers of offices, such as Lombardini 22 and DEGW, Open Project, Park Associati and Progetto CMR. They are developing a vision of the future of workspace, sharing various aspects. The pandemic has changed many things, including our ways of working, and designers are addressing this flux with different solutions, always relying on all their experience and their typical ability to see beyond, understanding that the main ingredient of transformation is flexibility.

Designing hybrid spaces

Progetto CMR headquarters, Milan - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
Progetto CMR headquarters, Milan – Photo © Andrea Martiradonna

Alessandro Adamo, Partner of Lombardini22 and Director of DEGW, talks about the coexistence of home and office work: “While we have seen that it is possible to work without going to the office, we have also understood how important it is to have a physical and symbolic space in which to gather. I am thinking about an immersive, empathic and reconfigurable office, a sort of technological set design in constant movement, where individuals can feel at ease. The key word is still flexibility: offices are multitasking and versatile places, simultaneously serving multiple functions.”

Bonfiglioli, Bologna
Bonfiglioli, Bologna

The central role of human beings in workspace is an indispensable condition for Francesco Conserva of Open Project: “The fundamental objective of the offices we are building today for tomorrow is to put the employee experience at the center, focusing on the quality of spaces and creating a fluid, hybrid environment that rapidly adapts to changes. The new offices will increasingly resemble domestic spaces, because they will have a more social function: lounge areas with armchairs and wired tables, flash meeting spaces on foot and flexible products that are easy to move and recombine for operative workstations, adapting to various requirements of comfort and user needs. The materials of these products will play an important role: they have to be easy to sanitize, and sustainable.”

Allen & Overy office, Milan - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
Allen & Overy office, Milan – Photo © Andrea Martiradonna

Also for Park Associati, the workspace has to become ‘liquid’: “We do not think that smart working will prevail over office work, but we are seeing an interesting development of workplaces as spaces capable of changing over time, and during the course of the day. Products will be needed that respond to needs for flexibility, such as modular solutions. Transparency and privacy can coexist in workspaces thanks to high-tech materials.”

Progetto CMR headquarters, Milan - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
Progetto CMR headquarters, Milan – Photo © Andrea Martiradonna

Massimo Roj, CEO of the design firm Progetto CMR, talks about how he sees the office of the future: “There will be what I call external work centers, a format we are imagining as a place of aggregation, also based on productive specializations and forms of expertise, be they artisanal or digital-technological. I believe co-working can become a point of aggregation of people working in neighborhoods. From working space to living place, this is the transformation in progress. Work has to become smart, as do its spaces and furnishings.”

When change takes form

JTI office
Agos office
Agos office
EY office, Rome
Facile.it office
JTI office
Agos office
Agos office
EY office, Rome
Facile.it office
previous arrow
next arrow
 

Delving deeper, the designers of the four studios illustrate the products that will bring definition to the workspaces they design. The firm Lombardini22 and DEGW is thinking about advanced solutions for acoustics, lighting and ergonomics found on the market today, and used in projects like the offices of JTI, Agos, EY in Rome and Facile.it. They are convinced that companies are working well on the essential themes of comfort and personal wellbeing.

Bonfiglioli, Bologna
Bonfiglioli, Bologna
Bonfiglioli, Bologna
Bonfiglioli, Bologna
Bonfiglioli, Bologna
Bonfiglioli, Bologna
Bonfiglioli, Bologna
Bonfiglioli, Bologna
previous arrow
next arrow
 

The design of workspace, according to Open Project, is connected first of all to continuous dialogue with those who spend time in the facilities, with the company, its employees, its managers and visitors, as in the Evo Bonfiglioli Riduttori project in the province of Bologna. All this is interpreted by outstanding sector companies, ready to respond to the needs of clients: Pedrali, Fantoni, Forum Progetti, Paolo Castelli, Billiani, Estel, TecnoZumtobel and Davide Groppi, just to name a few.

Allen & Overy office, Milan - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
Allen & Overy office, Milan – Photo © Andrea Martiradonna

Technical lighting choices are a very important factor for wellbeing in the workplace, in the projects of Park Associati. Together with 3F Filippi, they have recently developed a lighting system applied in the international law offices of Allen & Overy in Milan. The system is called 3F HD and stems from the desire for innovation in office lighting, a true necessity given the growing demand for energy savings, visual comfort and LEED and WELL certifications.

Progetto CMR headquarters, Milan - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
Huawei showroom - Photo © Paolo Riolzi
Prima Assicurazione office - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
Munich Re office - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
Progetto CMR headquarters, Milan - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
Huawei showroom - Photo © Paolo Riolzi
Prima Assicurazione office - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
Munich Re office - Photo © Andrea Martiradonna
previous arrow
next arrow
 

Progetto CMR, thinking about figure workspaces, and those recently completed such as the Progetto CMR headquarters, the Huawei showroom, the offices of Prima Assicurazione and those of Munich Re, talk about many products of their own design, such as the Be. 1 system of Frezza and Seventy Seven by CUF Milano, Privée, the line of chairs and sofas with sound-absorbing canopies produced by Ares Line, and Phonewalk designed for Citterio; the Fly_Air seating for lounge areas by Poltrona Frau Group (Lifestyle Design) and the Lead executive chairs produced by Las Mobili. Revo is a system of tables for the office designed for Manerba, to respond to all new needs of domestic spaces in a very versatile way, while Eggboard is a system of sound-absorbing lighting fixtures designed by Artemide.