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Spotlight: Workspace
Genre-busting office projects to the latest in sit/stand desks, and much more, Azure charts out the workplace of the future.
figure3 Designs a Toronto Office as Flexible as its Tenant
1/6
4 Adjustable-Height Desks that “Stand Up” to Sedentary Work
2/6
An Oregon Office by JHL Design Combines Industrial Drama and Home Comforts
3/6
4 New Conference Tables Bring Flair to the Meeting Room
4/6
Keep it Down: 4 Solutions for Respite from the Open Office
5/6
Wilkhahn’s Dynamic (and Stylish) Office Chairs Move With the Spine
6/6
Spotlight: Workspace

When it began looking for a new showroom just over two years ago, Canadian contract furniture manufacturer Inscape had a good sense of what it wanted: an agile and adaptable space that could serve not only as a showroom for its furniture and systems and as an office for its employees, but also as an education space and events venue. In short, Inscape wanted a place that reflected the current working culture and its own ability to change with the times. In business since 1888, the brand – which still manufactures out of a factory just an hour north of Toronto – has seen first-hand how technology and changing social attitudes have transformed the office landscape. Plus, Inscape was aiming to better showcase its products in a site that...

C9 Desk by Watson

Decidedly Scandinavian in design, the C9 desk conceals a four-motor spindle lifting mechanism within its minimalist steel frame. Six styles of undermount storage cubes are on offer, along with privacy screens that can frame some or all of the work surface. Part of the larger C9 collection, the individual desks can be linked together via a powered rail system to create non-linear work stations equipped with lighting, planter boxes and team tables. 

Sit-Stand Workbench by Benchmark

Part of the Sage collection by David Rockwell, the Sit-Stand Workbench takes inspiration from drafting tables. Divided by cork and felt privacy panels that double as pinboards, its dual work surfaces are lifted and...

Sophisticated, intimate and more than a little homey isn’t typically how tech-industry offices are described, but that’s exactly what JHL Design, of Portland, Oregon, achieved when it converted the penthouse of a 1927 building into a functioning workspace.

Having served myriad uses in its lifetime, the 371-square-metre space is defined by its pitched concrete walls (it’s situated under a mansard roofline) and exposed columns. When those walls – which had been painted multiple times and covered by drywall over the years – were stripped down to their rawest state, the residual staining and pockmarking offered a dramatic finish that Holly Freres, JHL’s principal, opted to work with rather than eliminate.

The original...

MoreThanFive by Coalesse 

Michael Young devised this work table as a weighty counterpart to his LessThanFive carbon fibre chair. The slender cast iron base is topped by translucent glass, which shows off its materiality. Tabletop formats include rectangular, round and square, and the base can be clear coated or painted. 

Column by Union Wood Co.

Handmade in Vancouver, Column can be specified with a round or oval top – the curved edges make it comfortable no matter where one is seated. The base pillars are offered in four metallic (or custom) shades, and the surface in various woods with multiple finishes. 

Structure by Allsteel

A mix-and-match portfolio, Structure offers different base styles,...

Avion by Stylecraft

This system of walls, tables and seating can be configured to build a variety of scenarios for solo or group work. Sofa options include one-, two- and three-seaters, while upholstered walls in differing heights suit a range of privacy needs. Power sources and USB charging can be integrated. 

Outline Highback Panel by Muuto

A new complement to Anderssen & Voll’s Outline sofas, the Highback Panel transforms the seating into an acoustic and spatial shelter for a focused spot to work. The upholstered divider is easily affixed to the sofa’s walls with powder-coated metal brackets and screws. 

Banqs by Teknion

Responding to the needs of multi-purpose settings such as co-working...

Today’s office is more dynamic than ever – yet sitting is still the default for most people most of the time. And while a corresponding push for more residential-style furnishings is elevating the modern office’s appearance, it often comes at the cost of ergonomics. Musculoskeletal ailments are still the number one cause of absenteeism, according to a 2018 report by German healthcare insurer DAK, and “75 per cent of all employees have a backache at least once a year.”

As we learn more about the effects of long-term sitting, it has become clear that “correct” posture is a fallacy. No position is healthy when held for several hours a day. Movement while sitting, including easy-to-use sit–stand options, is one way to break up long periods of sitting. And as Wilkhahn is proving, this new understanding doesn’t have to be at odds with good-looking office furniture.

To reconcile the goals of better ergonomics and aesthetic appeal, Wilkhahn has introduced the AT 187 range of task chairs, a family comprising five models of different back heights, including a counter stool and a highly adjustable chair for sit–stand applications. 

At the heart of each chair is Wilkhahn’s patented Trimension – a kinematics system, developed with researchers from Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln, that enables three-dimensional movement of the seat pan and back, mobilizing the hips and activating back muscles.

The same self-balancing system that supports a sitter as they shift around – while still maintaining their centre of gravity – allows the chair to automatically adapt to the weight of different sitters, making it ideal for boardrooms and hot desking. For chairs assigned to a dedicated user, Trimension can be finely tuned to one of 10 different calibrations.

AT’s instant adaptability means sitters can lean, reach and pivot, shifting positions and reducing the strain of sitting for long periods – which in turn lowers muscle stiffness, backache and joint pain and improves well-being and concentration. Three case studies have borne this out, including a 12-week study in which a group using chairs in Wilkhahn’s free-2-move family reported better concentration and demonstrated higher speed and accuracy than a control group.

The same automatic adjustment that makes AT easy to use also reduces the need for visible control mechanisms, resulting in a cleaner, more refined look. Crossover points have been meticulously modelled to give the final product a seamless appearance.

AT 187 can also be specified with different backrest, frame and upholstery options – including a wide selection of fabrics and colours, even leather – to blend into any environment. The range also marries with Wilkhahn’s other table and conference chair models for a unified look throughout the office.

This content was published by Azure on behalf of Wilkhahn.