The Office Living Room

The Office Living Room

Sarah Coffey
Dec 2, 2009

We've been noticing a lot of corporate office spaces designed to feel like homes, so when we came across a pitch from Vitra about incorporating "living areas" into contemporary offices, it struck a chord.

Advances in mobile technology have freed up workers to conduct business from a variety of settings, but there's still a deep need for people to have face-to-face time for collaboration. Vitra argues for a Net 'n' Nest approach that provides open areas for teamwork alongside semi-enclosed spaces for individual or one-on-one work.

The Bouroullec Brothers' Highback Alcove Sofa shows up again and again in the Vitra photos as a piece of furniture that encloses personal space within a larger office area. It creates an environment that's more casual than an average corporate office, but more formal than a home.

Lounges and reception areas have been part of corporate office design for a long time. (Just imagine Don Draper's digs or Bert Cooper's office.) The difference here is that living areas aren't confined to reception spaces or executive offices. Rather, they're interspersed into semi-public spaces, where employees can use them for meeting and working.

What do you think? Is Vitra's Net 'n' Nest approach part of a new wave in office design, or is it just repackaging the same old corporate space?

• Read the full pitch from Vitra, "The Efficient Office," here.

Photos: Vitra

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