According to New York-based architecture firm Juhyunkim Architecture PC, the workplace of the future is a park. “To transform the workplace into more public and social space, we believe the park provides the perfect clues,” the designers write in a submission to “Space Forward,” an ideas competition sponsored by 1407 Broadway, a Manhattan workspace.
Architects Ju-Hyun Kim and Euno Cho propose taking the open-office plan to the next level and turning it into a grassy field. “Traditionally, the park, which is an inviting and comfortable place, seemed to be located at the opposite side of the spectrum from the office, which feels restricted and confined,” they write. The “open, borderless workplace” would be lined with outdoor cafe tables instead of cubicles. In the vein of hot desking, workers would choose to sit wherever they want each morning, and would rearrange themselves according to current projects or teams, or based on whether they want to sit or stand. Several glass-encased conference rooms would provide more traditional meeting spaces.
Making work into a walk in the park is an intriguing concept. Workers could certainly benefit from a little more green space and natural light. But is it feasible? The designers concede that this kind of office environment would require some special design considerations, such as a solar lighting system. But where you’ll charge your laptop in the grass, they don’t specify. And the fact is, a lot of workers hate open office plans and hot-desking setups. Also, sitting on a park bench eight-plus hours a day doesn’t sound super comfy.