Fall of the wall

Almost every article in this month's magazine alludes to the fact that interior layouts are changing. Four years ago, office furniture company Vitra advocated the 'fall of the wall' and it seems that its wish is now being granted.

COMMENT, Design

Almost every article in this month's magazine alludes to the fact that interior layouts are changing. Four years ago, office furniture company Vitra advocated the 'fall of the wall' and it seems that its wish is now being granted.

Commercial and residential spaces are becoming intrinsically social places where communication and collaboration are the buzzwords.

In most offices in order to have any human interaction in the workplace, you have to surreptitiously stalk the water cooler or lurk by the coffee machine, but these furtive tactics at initiating conversations may become redundant. More and more companies are now dedicating specific spaces to their employees - well-being at work.

Formal boardrooms and severe lines of desks may soon be consigned to the office history handbooks as comfortable break-out rooms, or lounge-like common rooms are proving their worth in employee productivity levels and economic returns. While office designers are busy breaking the barriers down, their bathroom designer counterparts are working to the same brief. The Sieger brothers are advocating social bathrooms where the bather can still interact with the rest of the household, despite being neck-deep in water. I have expressed my doubts about this concept before, but I had to do an abrupt 360 on my views when HBA showed me its designs of a guestroom in a Doha hotel project where the bathroom is almost completely open to the rest of the bedroom and living area, and I must admit, it looks fantastic.

Space limitations in residential tower projects have often meant that living/ dining/ kitchen areas are rolled up into one large space with no discernible boundaries, but is the Sieger fantasy of having one room that does all viable? I intend to canvass opinion on this from my colleagues as I leave my computer for a while and stake out the water cooler...

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Sep 01, 2020