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Companies are increasingly adopting domestic elements to make the office less ‘office-like’. But what if, instead of providing a sense of familiarity and relaxation to the workplace, the office became a place of inspiration, excitement, and entertainment, where employees were proud to show it off?

This Post Modern, Art Deco inspired Office building boasts an extremely colourful and grand atrium lobby. It flaunts ornate geometric design and incorporates marble, glass, and stainless steel into its material palette. The office interiors utilize sightlines into this animated space while integrating similar design elements into office interiors.

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Belfast is one of many cities with a growing demand for office space, but like most cities with an extensive past, it is filled with heritage protected architecture.  The future of office space is largely dependent on the revitalization and reuse of these existing buildings.

This project focuses on the Bank of Ireland building, located in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast, a Listed Art-Deco building that has been derelict for 15 years. By itself, the building functions poorly for contemporary office configuration and sizes. To address this, a building addition, outward and upwards, can be created. For an addition, even to a Listed Building, the most important factor to the design should be incorporating long lasting, high-quality construction materials and methods. As a result of merging contemporary systems and materials with existing levels and datums, a Post-Modern building envelope emerged.

This specific addition was calculated by matching current floor plate sizes throughout the City of Belfast. However, the floor plate sizes do consider an Activity Based Working Office scheme; a trend that pairs well with the revitalization of Listed Buildings. The success of Activity Based Working relies considerably on a vibrant urban environment as people generally want to work and live near shops, restaurants, recreational areas, and accessible transit all within walking distance. Fittingly, Listed Buildings are most often found in the core of cities due to this being where their presence is most culturally significant.

Activity Based Working, however, is more widely recognized for its functional planning approach to agile working; where employees’ experiences and productivity increase, while operating costs decrease due to the sharing and diversity of a work setting that is designed to support different kinds of activities. The project implements this pedagogy of work into the existing Listed Building and addition however, it also challenges the use of casual aesthetics; a design style common in Activity Based Working projects, that is sometimes referred to as ‘Resimercial’ elements of design.

Companies are increasingly adopting domestic elements to make the office less ‘office-like’. But what if, instead of providing a sense of familiarity and relaxation to the workplace, the office became a place of inspiration, excitement, and entertainment, where employees were proud to show it off? Perhaps these components can be found in the vernacular essence of the Listed Building in which this office exists. For this project, the workplace aesthetic was a symptom of the Listed Building’s Art Deco complexion.

This Post Modern, Art Deco inspired Activity Based Working Office building boasts an extremely colourful and grand atrium lobby. It flaunts ornate geometric design and incorporates marble, glass, and stainless steel into its material palette. The office interiors utilize sightlines into this animated space while integrating similar design elements into Activity Based Working components and furniture.

The future of office workplace is seen through the combination of heritage building revitalization with tweaked aesthetics of the Activity Based Working pedagogy.

Brent Haynes - POMO DECO ABWO
Project Details

Date: September 26, 2020


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