The advent of technology has reformed almost everything, and the office architecture is not left behind. Offices have existed for over a century now but have you wondered how they looked before? How has the architecture of the offices evolved over the years?
Well, we will be discussing just that in this article, so buckle down and let’s get started!
The Office Architecture Evolution
The way we work and the place where we work have all changed over the years. It is not the same anymore. Technology has transformed the way our offices look today. They are cleaner, spacious and modern all at the same time. Let us walk you through the timeline of the office architecture.
First Office Designs
The first traces of offices were found to be in Rome. However, it was not until the 18th century that a dedicated place for work was created.
It was under the British Empire that the first office was built in London in 1726. The building was called the Old Admiralty Office. It was the result of the expansion of the British Empire overseas.
The design was somewhat the typical British architecture of that time. The building had big windows and central open space.
The next office construction was again in London in 1729, called the East India House.
Open-plan offices and the first Skyscraper
The 20th century saw the adaptation of open-plan offices, i.e., the offices where employees sat facing each other.
At the same time, there was a surge in skyscraper buildings designed to accommodate offices of various companies. It was mainly due to the access to electricity and air conditioning systems.
It was when the concept of private cabins came into the picture.
Burolandschaft is a German concept which means office landscape. It was the term given to how the offices looked in the early 1960s.
These offices were characterized by improved human interaction and a sense of bonding. This design was more about promoting collaboration among the employees and not about rigidity anymore.
It was during this time that employees of the same managerial level began to sit together as teams.
The Action Offices
These offices were an improved version of Burolandschaft. The design provided the employees with different work settings and allowed freedom of movement.
The Cubicle Design
The late 1960s saw a surge in the number of women in the offices. As more and more women became a part of this traditionally male-dominated place, changes were required.
As a result, the cubicles that covered the employee from the three sides were introduced and gave an added sense of privacy.
Soon this design also evolved, and these cubicles were arranged in the form of rows or columns. This design was termed the cubicle farm.
The Offices Today
The offices today are reforming slowly. Employees are no longer expected to sit all day long on their desks; they have various options to choose from.
The offices today are more about mobility and a sense of belonging. There is added leisure and comfort in the offices these days, which affects the overall aura.
Now, it is more about the employees and their needs which was not the case before.
Offices have completely changed over the years now. The place which was perceived as monotonous and boring is now seen as cool or fun.
Hence, the office design is ever-evolving, and it is quite difficult to predict how these places will look in a few decades!