The Top 25 Most Popular Offices of 2017

It is that time again for our annual look back at what people were interested in throughout the past year: The Top 25 Most Popular Offices of 2017.

Past lists: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012

With new yearly records in site traffic as well as an increase in the number of projects on the site up to nearly 3,500 offices by some 1,000 architecture and design firms, 2017 has proven to be another exceptional year.

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Architecture Research Office Coats Calvin Klein’s NYC Flagship in Taxicab Yellow

The year was 1995. When the Calvin Klein Collection unveiled its New York flagship, it was the ne plus ultra of minimalism: The John Pawson design, a rational procession of natural light and limestone, reaffirmed that less can be more. But what once seemed admirably restrained had come to look, well, timid. And Calvin Klein’s new creative director, Raf Simons, rarely holds back.

After his Calvin Klein 205W39 line had debuted last fall, the 26,000-square-foot, two-story emporium needed a change before the collection hit the racks. “We had three months to figure out what we could do quickly with impact and integrity,” Stephen Cassell says. Fortunately, his team was already in place: He, along with Architecture Research Office co-principal Adam Yarinsky and artist Sterling Ruby, had just renovated the brand’s New York showroom.

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Designing for staff efficiency

Interior design strategies that help hospital staff to provide timely and high-quality care

The way a hospital is designed can improve staff efficiency in many ways, such as minimizing steps required, and reducing fatigue and stress. Certain design components, such as standardized rooms and floor plans, can result in greater efficiency.

Standardized room design provides a consistent manner in which to deliver care. The orientation of staff to the patient and to other elements in the room, such as the hand-washing sink and supplies, are the same from room to room. “This approach reduces time spent searching for supplies and equipment,” says Jocelyn Stroupe, CHID, EDAC, IIDA, ASID, principal and director of health interiors, CannonDesign, Chicago. “Staff are familiar with the room’s organization and can focus more time on caring for the patient.”

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Want to Design the Perfect Office? Ask Your Employees for Advice.

Sendero’s office in Dallas has been designed from the ground up to meet employee needs. The private workspaces, lounge space, cafe and library are a product of visioning and brainstorming sessions with numerous staff members. The result is an environment that accommodates a range of work styles.

No longer a decision made solely by the C-suite, office design now more than ever falls into the hands of employees.

For the employer, an engaged staff means business growth and employee retention. Employee engagement continues to be a challenge for businesses, according to a Deloitte report, with 48% of senior leadership surveyed citing it as very important.

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Kimball’s “fiXt” Tables Offer Options with a polished urban aesthetic

As manufacturers (and Work Design Editors alike) gear up for this year’s Neocon, we are starting to notice that design teams have been busy working on new product offerings that will work well in the changing workplace environment. As our offices become more casual and a variety of spaces are required, the furnishings that designers specify are changing as well. Kimball has come up with a sweet suite of work, meeting, occasional tables, bookcases, bench and stool seating with a refined take on the industrial look utilizing a creative mix of material and finishes.

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ActiveCampaign’s Employee-Centric HQ in Chicago

See how this Chicago tech company who quadrupled their staff in less than two years, created a warm, energetic space to support it’s rapid growth. Hint: it involves 57 small conference rooms.

In less than two years, marketing software company ActiveCampaign quadrupled its staff, becoming a buzzworthy name in the tech industry and one of the fastest growing companies in Chicago. CEO & Founder Jason VandeBoom envisioned a new office that was truly employee-centric; with flexible open workspace, social meeting areas, and quiet work rooms; giving employees options on how and where to work.

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For Slack's Vancouver Office, Leckie Studio Updates Industrial Warehouse for Modern Work

In the early 1900’s, an eight-block district of Vancouver was the region’s center of warehousing activity. A century later, Leckie Studio Architecture + Design looked to that history when designing an office for software company Slack, housed in a 1911 former warehouse. “We were inspired by the industrial character of the building,” principal Michael Leckie says.

Exposed brick, steel partitions, and wooden beams show the site’s influence, but the office is organized for today’s workforce. There are no private offices. A double-height space with stepped seating is for meetings and presentations. Break-out areas are perfect for collaborative work. And custom meeting rooms are on wheels, so they can be moved from place to place within the office.

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MindClick Leads the Charge Towards Sustainable Hospitality Design

There’s no question that global climate change and environmental degradation have a huge impact on design today. Interior designers are increasingly focused on supporting healthy interiors and the environment, but it can get complicated when there are myriad product options. Now, thanks to a partnership between Marriott and MindClick, designers working in the hospitality sector have a resource to grow their knowledge of today's design best practices and network with suppliers creating the products of tomorrow.

The Marriott Sustainability Assessment Program, or MSAP, was originally born out of an idea to simplify the confusion that exists around the various certifications and eco-labels that can be applied to products, explains MindClick CEO Joanna Abrams. It was also intended to give specifiers a base on which they can compare products and manufacturers. The outcome was a rigorous metric that assesses the environmental impact of products throughout their lifecycles.

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A New York City-Based FinTech Company Gets a Scalable, Contemporary Office Space

Knotel creates a scalable, contemporary space in NYC for a rapidly growing FinTech company

When Stash Investments LLC, a FinTech company, outgrew its former space, it tasked Knotel with the challenge of creating a scalable space that reflected its culture and branding. With splashes of color throughout, the office exhibits a contemporary design with color-coded rooms that incorporate unique decor and patterns, showing off the company’s quirky, lighthearted spirit. Plus, it’s flexible: knowing Stash’s scalability needs, Knotel filled empty areas with lounges and standing desks that allow employees to escape their desks with unconventional working spaces.

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Hotels design functioning gardens to cater to new trends

As guests demand fresher food that has been sourced locally (not to mention organically), hotels across the country are creating gardens and small farms to grow herbs and vegetables, and to even keep bees for honey. Best of all, even urban hotels are putting their rooftops to use and growing some basics for the kitchens below.

Creating these gardens and farms and making them—literally—fruitful can be more challenging than simply planting some seeds, as chefs and food-and-beverage teams often learn through experience.

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At the ready: spec suites make hard-to-rent office space more attractive

Filling a need for startups looking for quick move-ins.

The office vacancy rate in the U.S., which stood at 12.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017, is expected to decline to around 12% over the next two years. But there are still areas of the country where vacancy rates continue to rise, leaving brokers and property managers with office spaces that, for a variety of reasons, just don't inspire renters.

Enter spec suites: ready-to-move-in offices that a growing number of owners are building out and brokers are marketing. These have become increasingly popular in certain markets, especially those where startup companies are in need of quick move-in or co-working solutions with shorter lease commitments.

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How to Make Sure People Won’t Hate Your New Open Office Plan

Organizations are rushing to implement open office spaces in hopes of retaining talent, encouraging cross-functional collaboration, enhancing exposure to different kinds of expertise, and accelerating creativity and innovation. Sometimes this works, but often it doesn’t. In our research, we discovered that success with open offices may have as much to do with how people feel about the space — something called place identity — as with the space itself.  When place identity is higher, employees report more engagement in their work, more communication with their peers, and a stronger connection to the company. Our study uncovers three things that leaders can do to increase place identity when moving to open office spaces.

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Three Contemporary Airport Lounges that Soar Above the Rest

From a rainbow-coloured refuge filled with Normann Copenhagen furniture to a light-dappled “quiet room,” these airport lounges have exceptionally strong design factors.

Let’s face it: Flying today is a far cry from the halcyon days when men in suits and women in frocks sauntered through space-age airports onto wide bodies with enough leg room to tango. That’s why modern airport lounges – those hushed islands of calm between the security checks and the cramped confines of coach class – are less luxuries than sanity savers for those who have access to them.

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What Hotels Can Learn About Hospitality Decor from Airbnb

The hotel market has become increasingly competitive—thanks in large part to the home rental service Airbnb. Thankfully, there are several things hotels can learn about hospitality decor from Airbnb that will help them attract more guests—and stay competitive.

Make guests feel like home.

One of the main reasons guests choose to stay with an Airbnb rental is that it makes them feel like home. Offering more than just a coffee maker, most Airbnb’s come equipped with full kitchens for guests that prefer to cook, and refrigerators that can be used to store restaurant leftovers. Just because guests are traveling doesn’t mean they want to eat every meal out on the town. Having a place to heat up or prepare meals makes travel much more economical for your visitors. Invest in custom kitchen furniture and appliances so guests can make themselves at home.

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How Can Commercial Office Design Impact Your Business?

Is it Time for a Commercial Fit Out or Refurb?

On average your employees spend more waking hours at the office than anywhere else, so it’s important that your workplace is both welcoming and stimulating.

Without the right fit out your colleagues are bound to feel a bit unproductive. But by identifying the problems and discovering the solution, you’re closer than ever to developing a dream commercial space.

Let’s take a look at some of the problems and solutions…

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Ten Tips for Improving Posture and Ergonomics

Over time, poor posture may be caused by habits from everyday activities such as sitting in office chairs, staring at the computer, cradling a cell phone, carrying a purse over same shoulder, driving, prolonged standing, caring for small children, or even sleeping.

See Office Chair, Posture, and Driving Ergonomics

Poor posture can easily become second nature, causing and aggravating episodes of back and neck pain and damaging spinal structures. Fortunately, the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are completely within one's ability to control and are not difficult to change.

See How Poor Posture Causes Neck Pain

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