Staples reveals winners of Tomorrow’s Workplace design competition

Staples reveals winners of Tomorrow’s Workplace design competition 0

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twc_-_runner_up_1According to the winning entries of the Tomorrow’s Workplace design competition from Staples Business Advantage and Metropolis magazine, in 2021 the workplace may include inflatable pods set up in urban parks, or young professionals working alongside active retirees in a setting that resembles a small town more than an office building. The contest was hosted by Staples Business Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, and architecture magazine Metropolis. “The massive corporate office tower, usually a glass box with central air pumped in, is turning into the dinosaur from the 20th century,” said Susan S. Szenasy, publisher and editor in chief, Metropolis. “Workplaces will become more multi-generational and multi-functional, fostering communities in the process. With the many changes in how and where we work, one thing is sure—today’s office is not your father’s or mother’s office.”

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The changing workplaces of Australia’s law firms; more in common with hotels than offices

The changing workplaces of Australia’s law firms; more in common with hotels than offices 0

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m11795_n10Features such as baristas, sky terraces and fine dining will continue a process of transformation at the workplaces of Australia’s leading law firms over the next few years, claims a study by Melbourne based architecture practice Bates Smart. The report claims that the legal workplaces of today are are already unrecognisable compared to what was considered typical yesterday, having more in common with a five star hotel than a traditional office. Bates Smart predicts an even greater shift towards flexibility, collaboration and hospitality from legal firms in the future with the publication of four key findings in its new whitepaper, The Legal Workplace 2020, The report analyses trends in over 135,000 sq. m. of legal practice workplaces and draws conclusions that are indicative of key trends for law firms and the wider market alike.

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London needs to adapt to the changing world of work, claims think tank

London needs to adapt to the changing world of work, claims think tank 0

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changing-world-of-workThink Tank New London Architecture (NLA) which creates a forum for debate on the built environment, has launched its findings and recommendations from its landmark WRK / LDN Insight study on work and workplaces in London. NLA calls on central government, the Mayor of London and other stakeholders in the capital to act to maintain the capital’s position as a preeminent commercial centre. The report claims that, as the digital economy continues to expand, new suppliers of workspace are rapidly emerging – from co-working providers to ‘fab labs’, makerspaces, incubators and innovation centres. The insight study concludes that the affordable business space that currently supports these industries is at risk. London needs new innovative mixed-use models of city planning to support these changes and adapt to the changing world of work.

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Gallery: BCO awards UK’s best workplace to university in Norwich

Gallery: BCO awards UK’s best workplace to university in Norwich 0

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enterprise-centre-interior-lobby-architype-darren-carter-morgan-sindall-1020x610Norwich’s The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia has been named as the Best of the Best workplace at the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) annual National Awards in London. The office was also recognised as the Best Corporate Workplace in the UK, joining a list of six other award winners recognised for excellence in office space. The BCO’s National Awards programme recognises top quality office design and functionality and sets the standard for excellence across the office sector in the UK.  The University of East Anglia’s The Enterprise Centre was praised by judges for showcasing low carbon and sustainable design at its best. Judges commented that the workplace offered a wide range of highly flexible accommodation with incubation and collaborative spaces for new and developing businesses in a building equipped to deliver for the 21st century.

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Construction firms still failing to seize opportunities offered by new technology

Construction firms still failing to seize opportunities offered by new technology 0

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constructionDespite substantial investment in new technology over recent years, the construction industry is struggling to realise the full benefits of key technologies including advanced data and analytics, mobility, automation and robotics. That’s the main finding from Building a technology advantage – Global Construction Survey 2016, the annual state-of-the-industry report from KPMG International. Of the 200-plus senior construction executives who took part in the survey, just 8 percent of their companies rank as “cutting edge technology visionaries,” while 64 percent of contractors and 73 percent of project owners rank as “industry followers” or “behind the curve” when it comes to technology. Two-thirds of survey respondents believe project risks are increasing. According to Armstrong, this is an industry ripe for disruption, yet less than 20 percent of respondents say they are aggressively disrupting their business models.

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Majority of Londoners support greater restrictions on new tall buildings

Majority of Londoners support greater restrictions on new tall buildings 0

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walkie-talkie-tower-bridgeMost Londoners think tall buildings should only be built in areas like the City and Canary Wharf, and that there should be limits on how high they can be, according to an IPSOS Mori survey carried out on behalf of the Skyline Campaign. The findings come after Westminster Council controversially gave the green light for a 30 storey tower to be built in Paddington, and show stark differences in the views of Londoners in the inner and outer boroughs about how this new generation of tall buildings is affecting the Capital. The survey of more than 500 Londoners finds almost half (49 percent) of residents of inner London boroughs think that the 270 tall buildings planned, proposed, or under construction in London is too many. This contrasts with 34 percent of people in outer boroughs who say the same. Latest data released after the research was conducted indicates more than 400 new tall buildings are planned, proposed or under construction.

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We shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of form in our quest for function

We shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of form in our quest for function

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Tom Dixon Workplace DesignThe enduring struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through the design and management of workplaces carries more than a whiff of the Enlightenment, a period in which pure reason was seen by its proponenst as more than enough to convince the world of the ways in which we could improve the human condition. It’s a battle that was won in some ways but which continues to endure to this day, as you can tell from the very existence of the latter day evangelists of reason such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Yet one of the issues with arguments based on pure reason is that they leave gaps regarding abstract notions such as love and beauty. When it comes to workplace design the idea of beauty seems pretty important. Yet the very notion that an attractive workplace will make people happier and more productive seems to assume that we can agree on what is attractive in the first place.

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Government regulations will help global BIM market to grow by a fifth

Government regulations will help global BIM market to grow by a fifth 0

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BIMA new report from Allied Market Research claims that the worldwide market for Building Information Modelling will grow by over a fifth to hit $11.7 billion by 2022, driven primarily by legislation demanding that all construction work should apply BIM. The World Building Information Modelling (BIM) Market report, claims that its growth projections are based on increasing demand from the construction industry, in turn based on new government regulations mandating the use of BIM, a booming property sector in Asia and growing awareness of the benefits of BIM. Construction industries will continue to be the leading consumers of BIM, constituting nearly 63 percent of the global market by 2022. The report concludes that ‘BIM has emerged as an ideal alternative to traditional CAD software, owing to its suitability over a variety of operational issues such as cost management, handling raw data and information and alignment of processes’.

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Seven workplace stories we like and think you should read this week

Seven workplace stories we like and think you should read this week 0

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UBM_London+ workplace1 The next big thing in office design is not what you think but is certainly a sign of the times, according to a story in Inc; it is bullet proof office screens. 2 An exhibition in London offers up spectral images of abandoned buildings from the Soviet era. 3 We’ve been saying for a while that Millennials don’t exist as a separate species, but perhaps not as powerfully as Adam Conover does in this talk delivered, ironically, at a conference focused on marketing to Millennials 4 Maybe the UK Government has finally discovered that an awful lot of people live outside London as it announces the creation of three large civil service ‘hubs’ in Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester. 5 Philip Tidd of Gensler powerfully offers up an inconvenient truth for the UK workplace. 6 More evidence that the Brexit vote was largely a general protest vote rather than a specifically anti-EU vote from the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. 7 A letter to the FT from construction industry leaders urges the UK to maintain its role as a leader in tackling climate change.

Office work not as bad as smoking + New age of reason + Productivity gap

Office work not as bad as smoking + New age of reason + Productivity gap 0

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Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s Newsletter; Mark Eltringham suggests reading the source material behind the latest sitting is the new smoking guff; and celebrates a new age of reason in workplace design. New evidence that giving employees more control over workplace design is the most important contributing factor to their wellbeing; businesses ready to embrace the workplace robot; and the UK economy still to address productivity and digital skills gaps. Third of parents struggle to find childcare across the summer holidays; retaining ‘passporting’ rights to the single market vital for the City during Brexit negotiations; rising over 50s population of workers suffer discrimination; and researchers confirm the imminent demise of the ‘nearly useless’ desk phone. Download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Gensler publishes latest US and UK Workplace Surveys for 2016

Gensler publishes latest US and UK Workplace Surveys for 2016 0

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WorkplaceGensler has announced the results of its Workplace Survey 2016 for both the UK and the US. Key claims of the UK report based on a study of 1,210 respondents include that the UK workforce seems to be divided into ‘haves and have-nots’, with mid and lower-tier workers confined to poor quality environments, 67 per cent of the workforce feel drained due to their office environment at the end of each day and that ‘innovators’ spend just 3.5 days of the working week in the office, highlighting the need for greater flexibility. Meanwhile, the key finding of the US study of 4,000 respondents is that a statistical link between the quality and functional make-up of the workplace and the level of innovation employees ascribe to their organisation, and found that a workplace that prioritises both individual and group work creates ‘an ecosystem of innovation’ across organisations and is a crucial predictor of how innovative an employee sees their company to be.

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Skyscrapers in London will be hardest hit by new business rates

Skyscrapers in London will be hardest hit by new business rates 0

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Citi Tower at Canary WharfAs we reported yesterday there are plans afoot to surround the ‘Walkie Talkie’ winner of last year’s Carbuncle Cup with other tall building. However for organisations interested in occupying a London skyscraper it’s worth noting that according to Colliers, businesses in London’s twenty tallest skyscrapers can expect to pay an extra £50 million under forthcoming major changes to business rates. In a data analysis published recently, Colliers has assessed the likely effects of forthcoming business rates changes – floor-by-floor – on the occupiers of London’s twenty tallest buildings. Overall, firms will need to cough up an extra £50m as business rates bills go from £194m to £243m over the next three years. And the infamous ‘Walkie Talkie’ at 20 Fenchurch Street, and now fully occupied – will see the largest increase with office occupiers and luxury rooftop restaurants faced with a business rates bill of over £19m by 2019, an increase of £5.1m compared with current levels.

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