The way we work is evolving and, as a consequence, where we work is also undergoing changes. With today’s technology allowing us to clock in just about anywhere, walls have come down and flexibility reigns. But is that always a good thing?
In the June issue of Azure, we look at why privacy zones are prevailing in our increasingly nomadic work environment. Once touted as the key to successful collaboration, open-plan office schemes are being re-evaluated as research suggests that many people find a walls-free arrangement more of a hindrance than a benefit. In The Return to Privacy, Toronto writer Dawn Calleja explores how spaces for solitude matter just as much (if not more) as collaborative breakout zones.
Moving from theory to practice, we showcase three diverse spaces that address workers’ needs in well-designed ways. In Eindhoven, Atelier van Berlo spearheaded the transformation of a sprawling former boiler house into a cutting-edge multi-tenant hub for creatives. In the retail realm, X+Living removes boundaries between customers and researchers with a futuristic shopping/research boutique in Shanghai. And in New Westminster, B.C., architect Randy Bens achieves the ultimate work-life balance with a converted shipping container turned backyard office.
Plus, Canada’s precedent-setting contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale puts Indigenous architecture front and centre, Amazon’s virtual Amazon is unveiled in Seattle, the best lighting from Light + Building is evaluated and more.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
Once a dreary 1990s-era cafeteria in Seville, Casaplata restaurant by Madrid architects Cristina Domínguez Lucas and Fernando Hernández-Gil mixes colour and concrete to dramatic effect.
Shanghai’s 100architects bring life and imagination to a lacklustre retail plaza with a vibrant kids’ playspace atop PVC sport flooring.
In a post-Cambridge Analytica world, we ask: how smart is it to construct smart neighbourhoods, especially if we have to give up all our data?