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Coolest office designs of 2011

Every year Inc. magazine runs a feature about the coolest office designs of the year..

I choose a few inspirational spaces to immortalize here on my Blog. If you don’t find something here that makes you go “Wow, why is my office so darn boring? Then you must already work at Google :)

This is one of my favorite Dentist’s office’s in Washington DC. It’s relaxing, and soothing (notice the tv screen in the ceiling?) and has subtle design features to calm the nervous- Nelly in the chair.

The ingenious green carpet installed on the wall was covered by a white board with circular patterns cut into it, revealing the earthy-green grass-like texture behind.

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HOK London is a super cool architectural firm that works hard to make its ‘green’ design LEED certified architecture look anything but boring.

In the center of their large office complex, they installed a park-like strip of grass to sink toes into during hectic work days.  After staring at blueprints and schematic drawings all day, I’m sure the architects here appreciate the connection with nature (and the beach chairs!)

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One of the trends in office design right now is adding Flexible use spaces, that can function well for impromptu meetings, or a change of scenery for workers confined to cubicles and offices most of the day.

This is one of my favorites (also HOK London)

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The slower economy has caused  businesses to make more efficient use from smaller footprints in their office space. Many times that ‘squeeze’ means that finding creative ways to divide space without making workers feel ‘penned in’ is extremely important.

In my own practice I’ve used flexible panels from Loftwall to create space dividers without blocking light flow.

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I really like this panel used by branding agency Studio 6. It goes to show that there really are solutions for tenants whose landlords require that no built-ins be attached to walls or ceilings. Plus, they branded the wall with their own creative logo…so cool!

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These are all great examples of how a little creativity and a fairly small budget (except for HOK London) can still deliver ‘wow effect’ and a connection to nature while at work.

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