Architects' offices are different

Selgas Cano
© Selgas Cano offices/ Iwan Baan

There has been a lot of discussion and debate about the merits of open offices recently; (see Open offices for all; it is more flexible, adaptable and green). As an architect, I have never known anything but open offices. I have noted previously that where most businesses use have private offices, cube farms or office systems that promote privacy, architect's offices so often ignore the rules that they impose on others, and are in each others face, all the time.

Here is a round-up of architects offices we have shown in TreeHugger, some big and some very, very small.


Selgas Cano Offices: Hit or Miss?

You can usually tell a lot about an architect by the look of their office. Spanish firm Selgas Cano have built themselves a pretty spectacular office in Madrid, lost among the trees. It certainly is low impact, barely rising above the ground, nestled among the greenery; on the other hand, one gets to look but not touch as all that glass is sealed.

More: Selgas Cano Offices: Hit or Miss?

© Leigh Simpson for Architype Architects

Architype Architects' Hereford office is an adaptive reuse gem

I wrote in this morning's newsletter (what, you didn't see it? Sign up here!) "I think I would still be an architect instead of doing newsletters at six in the morning if I had worked in a place like this."

More: Architype Architects' Hereford office is an adaptive reuse gem

© Luke Clark Tyler

Manhattan Architect Lives & Works in 78 Sq. Ft Apartment (Video)

OK, I would go crazy in this live/work environment. Architect Luke Clark Tyler doesn't.

I don’t think living small is a challenge. So we can call it anything; a room, a hallway, a live-in-closet, but to me it’s just home.

More: Manhattan Architect Lives & Works in 78 Sq. Ft Apartment (Video)


Landscape Architect's Office Fits In A Trailer, Follows His Work

This makes so much sense, going where your work is. After all,

Design used to take up a lot of space, with big draughting boards, huge drawings and interns to do all the repetitive and boring stuff. The computer changed everything and reduced the space and staff required to almost nothing.

More: Landscape Architect's Office Fits In A Trailer, Follows His Work


Bsq. Office in a Shipping Container

Here is another way to take your office to the job site, as long as it is a big enough job that you can leave it there for a while; shipping containers are hard to move. Robert Boltman and his partner Alex Bartlett of Bsq. Landscape Design had it parked on a dead construction site for a while . There is nowhere to put these things;

The city is full of back lanes and roofs where small, creative designs could be installed, but they are not allowed. It is why so many of the small prefabs and tiny houses end up in the country. What a shame, and what a missed opportunity.

More: Bsq. Office in a Shipping Container

© Shinkenchiku-Sha

Architects' offices is built out of shipping containers

Other countries are more flexible.

Shipping containers are made to move. Daiken-met architects designed their own offices in Gifu, Japan, to do exactly that; They have a short term lease, and built the office as a temporary structure with no foundations.

More: Architects' offices is built out of shipping containers

© sculp(it)

Architects' Home and Office is Less Than Eight Feet Wide

This is not shipping container architecture, although it always described as that. In fact it is just a very narrow, very clever live/work architects office in Antwerp.

Four wooden floors between two existing walls, hanging in a steel skeleton, organize this house: downstairs for work, dining on 1st, relaxing on 2nd, sleeping on 3rd, and on the roof, go and enjoy the view.

and the wonderful bathtub.

More: Architects' Home and Office is Less Than Eight Feet Wide

© Perkins + Will

Perkins + Will Retrofits 25 Year Old Office Building to LEED Platinum

The interior represents the latest in workplace design, encouraging collaboration through office-wide wifi network access, computational nodes, collaborative benching-style workstations and multipurpose team rooms with transparent walls that can be easily reconfigured to incorporate the largest amount of input from all staff.

More: Perkins + Will Retrofits 25 Year Old Office Building to LEED Platinum

Read also: Why are architects offices so different? Why do they all go open plan and not complain, when everyone else does?

Tags: Architects | Work

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