Smart Design for Shared Spaces

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This story originally posted on buildings.com on May 2, 2019 by Janelle Penny.

A healthy work environment needs more than an ergonomically correct chair and a desk. Occupants thrive when they can move between private and shared spaces depending on their tasks.

But creating a shared space requires truly intentional design—approaching the project thoughtfully and building it to reflect the needs and wants of the people who will use it. Flexibility, a feeling of openness and ease of use are crucial.

“People naturally seek places that are welcoming and comfortable, where they can feel safe and at home,” explain Jamie Willemse, owner of Studio 7 Design and Allyson Strowbridge, owner and principal of ctrl+shift+space. “Providing a variety of spaces that are thoughtfully planned to offer a spectrum of flexibility and choice with some unique and unexpected elements, like an art mural, can encourage their use.”

Sightbox, Vision Care and Contact Lens Provider | Courtesy of Sally Painter.

Sightbox, Vision Care and Contact Lens Provider | Courtesy of Sally Painter.

“The design focused on developing a series of program uses resulting in a unique and playful sequence of experiences,” Willemse and Strowbridge say of the Sightbox project.

“Principles of well-being generated the application of color, texture, patterns and material, which contributed to an environment that is natural, vibrant and human-centered. Furnishings and other elements, like area rugs and throw pillows, were added to evoke a more comfortable residential feel and were placed into activity-based work settings to support the different teams and their need for access to comfortable shared collaboration spaces,” they continue.

This multipurpose space is used for gatherings, events, collaborative work and meetings. To the left is the entrance to the gym, with bike storage just beyond.

Claire Meyer