The commercial office building has come to a crossroads. Gone are the days of stark, marble lobbies that solely serve as circulation. It is time to say hello to warm, welcoming spaces that invite you to sit down, relax, and stay awhile.
“People are looking for an experience,” says Thomas Corrado, senior designer at Hickok Cole Architects. “They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They crave human interaction in today’s digital world and are looking for a place that gives a sense of purpose to their every day. People want to be somewhere with a sense of character, identity and authenticity.”
So, how do we elevate and expand a person’s experience through design? What does this new office building look like?
We engage. Taking cues from the hospitality world, lobbies are now places to inhabit rather than pass-through. The space is designed with soft seating and moments of repose. Curated building environments and generous amenity areas facilitate collisions among peers and increase that human interaction for which people come to work.
Today lobbies offer variety and flexibility. Tenants are all over the map in terms of the type of spaces they want and need throughout the day. Real estate is expensive. Building in a wide range of working environments such as touchdown areas, creative meeting rooms, communal tables and Skype rooms help support these demands. Multi-function spaces are a necessity and the ability to easily transform one to another is a must.
We connect. Physically and visually, we connect the user to their building and their community through circulation, views and materials.
We use genuine, true materials that evoke that sense of purpose. Thomas’ current project, a commercial office building renovation, uses a palette of brick, wood and metal as inspiration. These materials have a tactile quality that is authentic, tangible, and one that people respond to well. The design is contemporary and has clean lines yet retains a softness that is approachable and reflective of the people, program and experience.
We elevate. This new category of a warm, commercial office building elevates the experience of the workplace through design. It is a place you want to be. We are excited about these crossroads, and we invite you to follow us along its path.