Return to the office or not? As organizations and their employees contemplate this post-pandemic dilemma, one can only hope that while offices were empty, much was accomplished to improve them. Humans being humans, we will always function better in a pleasant environment, in an environment that respects our contribution and values us as people. In a workplace that does not put us into cubicles, pens or boxes like cattle of chickens.
We have written much about offices in our two decades of existence and spotted many excellent examples. While we know that a super-cool environment is not an option for all, so much more can be done without breaking the bank or going overboard. We bet there is a lot that could be done in YOUR office, if only you decided to make it happen. So, now, if ever, is the time to refuse bad offices and to contribute to creating better work environments.
Amsterdam-based Framework Studio created an office for a family business that is based on an idea that many can adopt and adapt: an office that looks more like a home or an art gallery than an office.
On the second floor of an early 1900s building in the city centre, the 220-square-metre (2,368 sq.ft) space consists of four offices and a meeting room. The gorgeous original wooden floors were restored and they, together with the new French oak wood panelling throughout, link the rooms visually to each other.
The client is a young art collector, so it was natural that the spaces would be accented with art and distinctive hand-picked pieces of furniture and furnishings, something the design studio’s multinational teams are known for. We have, for example, written about the home Framework Studio owner Thomas Geerlings created for his own family in Amsterdam. Singular pieces of art and furniture accent it as well.
In this exceptional office, abstract plaster sculptures by Dutch artist Florian Tomballe are juxtaposed among vintage furniture pieces and abstract wall art by artists such as Lucas Hardonk.
Compact, white arm chairs designed in 1968 by the late Italian designer, artist and musician Luciano Frigerio create an intimate seating group with the tiny DC516 side table by Vincenzo De Cotiis
Another vignette is created by a Pierre Jeanneret King chair set next to a Poltrona Frau Trust desk topped by the alabaster Lampe Athéna table lamp designed in 2012 by Hervé van der Streaten.
Another angular Pierre Jeanneret chair flanks an elongated lozenge-shaped custom brass desk from the New York-based Patrick Parrish Gallery in front of the stunning Glustin Luminaires Creation brass floor lamp with an alabaster globe by Galerie Glustin in Paris. Tuija Seipell
Photography by Kasia Gatkowska