One chance to make a good first impression: Office lobbies see a revamp
September 10, 2018
September 10, 2018
How office lobby design is taking a page from hospitality to cater to the future of work
Do you remember the last office lobby you visited? Chances are you don’t. Once intended as an area you simply pass through to reach your destination, office lobby design traditionally centered on creating a non-descript polished, professional space focused on purpose and function.
Fast forward to today, where mobile and wireless technology allows us to work from virtually anywhere. Where impromptu and, even, planned meetings can be just as productive in a coffee shop as in a conference room.
Our flexible workstyles have inspired a new approach to office lobby design. Office lobbies are no longer just a place to pass through; savvy building owners are focused on using them to create a sense of place. Taking a page from the hospitality sector, office lobbies are now being designed as a setting to linger, connect, and recharge. With a goal of establishing a unique sense of identity, my team has been focused on designing workplace lobby spaces that are memorable and encourage a welcoming sense of hospitality.
Office lobbies are no longer just a place to pass through; savvy building owners are focused on using them to create a sense of place.
Remember the first time you stepped into the lobby of your boutique hotel while on vacation? That sense of welcome, individuality, and attention to detail can now also be found in workplace lobbies. By utilizing all of an occupant’s senses, through interesting visual cues, textures, and even smells, a lobby can become a destination all on its own.
Particularly in my hometown of Boston, where rising new office construction has created a renewed focus from owners of existing office properties on maintaining a unique sense of identity and modernity, the office lobby can play an powerful role in the value of a property and its respective neighborhood. Especially as tenants view their “office” as extending beyond the walls of their leased space, occupier lease decisions can be impacted by the quality of such shared areas as the lobby, fitness area, and adjacent outdoor areas.
My team has repositioned several office lobbies to meet these new demands. Some key design elements to consider when creating the lobby of the future include:
While lobby redesign is often focused on the interior, it’s also important to build an authentic connection with the neighborhood immediately outside a building’s door. With work occurring beyond the four walls of an office (or building for that matter), there’s a great opportunity to bring that level of hospitality outdoors as an extension of the lobby through seating, planters, and a welcoming façade. Not to mention the fact that these elements also serve to better connect a property to a community and help enhance a local streetscape.