Raw rooms


After decades of shiny floors and polished surfaces, there are now a multitude of offices that are going in the opposite direction. But is raw aesthetics here to stay?

A survey conducted by Kinnarps in the spring showed that only one in four are completely satisfied with the working environment at work. But what is an inspirational environment that works?
"The survey strengthens our conviction that customised working environments, which take the individual into account, are the best possible option," says Elisabeth Slunge, Brand, Range, Design Director at Kinnarps.

One office trend that has become popular, especially in the U.S., deals with the return of raw aesthetics.  Premises that remind us of old factory environments with worn-down, frayed cement floors, exposed pipes and ventilation shafts and lead windows.

According to Marc Kushner, founder and CEO of Architizer, a social network for architects and interior designers in the U.S., the trend is easy to explain.
"Employees want to feel that they are actually constructing something from scratch.  That they are involved in something which is bigger than themselves. Old hierarchies become invisible in raw spaces, and something new can emerge.

Jason Freedman from the San Francisco-based office 42 Floors which lists available office space on their site confirms the trend and explains how attractive, lavish offices are now being knocked to the ground to be replaced by raw, industrial offices which are in demand.
The o+a architect studio, which is the brainchild behind Microsoft's campus in Washington, the actual hub for innovation at the company, has done its homework well. Here, heavy garage doors open up to reveal the all-hands, raw areas in the premises. All to create a sense of starting afresh and a pioneering spirit.