Five of the best workplaces in the world We're evangelical about the power of a properly-outfitted workspace, but when it comes to issues like this, a picture paints a thousand words. In this guide, we've scoured the internet to find some of the best workspaces from around the world and the rationale behind their outlandish designs and the unique styles of working these enable.
1. Dropbox One tech company that seems to have the work-fun balance just right is Dropbox, a cloud storage company based in San Francisco’s China Basin. From office scooters to cosy sofas, an on-site gym and tuckshop, the tech giant has got the right idea when it comes to keeping its employees happy.
(Photo credit: Bruce Damonte) “The primary challenge of this design was to continue the charged and collaborative newsroom feel of the company’s former open office space, while planning for projected growth that could more than quadruple staff.” – Architects Geremia Design
2. Selgas Cano Architecture Office The symbiosis of nature and workspace has been central to the design concept of this architecture office, set in the midst of the woodlands. Designed with glass walls that allow employees to feel as if they are working in the forest, this is a truly inspiring environment for a creative team. It’s been said that being around nature makes for happier, more relaxed employees and a more productive workplace. “Every relation with architecture I’ve had was a relation with nature.” - José Selgas
3. The Googleplex An infamously stunning place to work, the office of search giant Google has long been a thought leader in the design of office space. The offices in the heart of Silicon Valley and in Google offices around the world focus on the importance of the working environment on productivity.
“Google was cubicle land when we started designing offices for them. In our design practice we are fundamentally trying to address psychological issues. “One of the reasons I really like workplaces and interiors is that the impact on humanity is much more powerful than dealing with inert architectural shells, or the decorative outside dress of a building - which frankly is what most architects do." – Clive Wilkinson, designer.
4. Hyves (The Dutch Facebook) The Dutch social media offering Hyves has one of the brightest offices we’ve seen. The pop of colour in every room against a sleek white background makes for a bright and happy modern space, which oozes fun and is inspired by the young workforce and concept.
“The website of Hyves is very colorful, with orange and blue and Hyves is a very fresh young company, therefore we chose fresh colours.” Sadly, the company couldn't compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter, with its service being officially discontinued as of 2013.
5. Bahnhof AB A former anti-atomic Cold War bunker, this office is out-of-this-world, literally. Designed to be resilient under all circumstances including that of potential nuclear warfare, this chamber provided a challenging space within which to do business. Architects used the natural features of the rock to craft the ideal space for a technology company’s server centre and offices that could be easily mistaken for a Bond villain's lair.
“The client is an internet provider and the rock shelter hosts server halls and offices. The starting point of the project was to consider the rock as a living organism. The humans try to acclimate themselves to this foreign world and bring the ‘best' elements from earth: light, plants, water and technology.” – Architects Albert France-Lanord.
Your turn What would your ideal workspace be if money was no object? If you've got any ideas, or other flamboyant workplaces to share – be sure to leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter. We always love to hear from you. And if you're looking to kit out your workspace in a style that suits your company to a tee, take a look at some of the fantastic projects we've carried out now.