OZ Weighs in on Office Design Trends at CREJ Conference

Earlier this month, OZ Architecture’s Susan Kohuth spoke at the Colorado Real Estate Journal’s The Future of Office Space Conference at The Hyatt Regency Aurora. The panel of architects and designers focused on future trends of the evolving office environment.

The discussion centered on influences such as the changing perception towards collaboration and ongoing technology advancements. One topic Susan spoke to is activating spaces by removing physical and visual barriers. For the first phase of Trimble’s Westminster campus project, OZ integrated the café/lounge into the lobby allowing visitors and employees to connect over coffee or sit down for an impromptu huddle throughout the day. The second phase, to be complete Q4 2018, will feature a connecting pavilion to the new building. This will create a central gathering space, both indoor and outdoor, and provide a sense of connectivity between buildings.

Another evolution in workplace shows that flexibility no longer equates to moving workstations or offices. Flexibility now imbues a menu of postures, work tools and social versus private spaces. Creating a collaborative work environment is based on a culture that allows employees to connect, build bonds and forge trust. To determine this menu of spaces, the design team works closely with their clients to understand the cultural and business goals. This exploration leads to opportunities to enhance those with the design of the space. In a recently completed project for Zimmer Biomet, the community café takes advantage of the prime mountain views and an outdoor balcony. Community tables are at the hub of activity and booths with surrounds are set to the sides, providing a backdrop for privacy while keeping connectivity to the office beyond.

The key to successful design outcomes focuses on leading the client through a process; to identify their vision beyond the aesthetics of a space, looking for opportunities to enhance their work flow and outcome. The end result is a unique and creative design solution that allows the company’s employees to do their best work seamlessly in a new, inspiring space.