Commercial architecture trends come and go, but there are certain elements of commercial design that persist for decades. In the past, office buildings were purely functional and not much thought was given to anything else, like how the design impacted the mental and emotional state of employees.
But we’ve seen a shift over the last few years towards interior well being and green architecture, and we expect this shift is here to stay. In this article we’ll explain how commercial architects are designing for successful user experiences, how you can improve interior environments with green spaces, and sustainable green material options. If this interests you can always call Leeb Architecture for a more detailed conversation about what is possible in your space.
Designing for successful user experiences
A successful user experience means that the architect has taken into account all of a person’s senses, and has given careful consideration to how their surroundings will impact them. This includes accommodations for disabilities and ensuring everyone is able to do their jobs.
Think back to commercial office spaces of the 80’s and 90’s, and you’re probably picturing drab, colorless rows of cubicles with harsh overhead fluorescent lighting. Now, modern office buildings incorporate bright colors, spaces for people to take mental health breaks and rest, and full accommodations for staff with disabilities.
Improving interior environments with green spaces
We’re seeing green spaces and elements of nature incorporated in more commercial office spaces. We associate green with lush natural surroundings, and green spaces make us feel relaxed and tranquil.
When considering a green space in your office build-out plans, consider your budget and what your goals are for a greener office. Are you looking for a “wow” factor in reception? Do you want a living green wall to liven up a long hallway or transition? Or do you want to go big and build a rooftop garden or a courtyard. Or perhaps you appreciate the secondary effects of green design and how it can subliminally work to reduce the stress many of us feel when being at the office all day. Green, or nature inspired spaces are a great way to help employees regain a sense of calm and balance and feel an escape when they need one, without leaving the office. Here’s just a few ways a firm like Leeb-Architecture can help you reconceive the green in your office redesign.
One of the hottest trends right now has to be the inclusion of large, living plants covering entire walls or walkway’s. These green walls are designed in such a way as to present both a stunning visual, as well as a nature inspired look for your office. Despite being alive, the wall construction and plants chosen are designed to be both stunning, and low maintenance. They are used to make a statement in your reception area, or in hallways connecting departments, or right in an open office area to break up or partition the layout while creating a homey, welcoming feeling in the area. Many different types of plants can be used depending on your aesthetics and tolerance for maintenance but when done right, they are all stunning.
Incorporating plants indoors generally
While green walls are generally, well, green, Indoor plants or planters can be any color you want! As long as you have the light and someone to water them, there’s nothing like the plant called Croton, it has beautiful foliage in shades of pink, orange, yellow, and green. It really is a multi-colored plant that is easy to take care of. Another plant to bring a splash of color into the office is Red Anthurium. The plant has green leaves with bright red waxy flowers, the plus side is that it blooms all year! Look for plants that are colorful sure, but not crazy difficult to keep alive. Snake plants also known as mother in laws tongue, come in many variations of green and require very little maintenance and low lighting. Cactus plants or succulents are a great choice because they present a very different look and many have beautiful flowers, while they are incredibly hard to kill.
Splurge for an outdoor or rooftop Garden.
One of our favorite things to do is incorporate modern design elements into an outdoor green space. These spaces often have multiple uses: to each lunch in nature, to be a
teaming area away from a conference room, or just a place to go to clear your head during the workday. Leeb architecture can design outdoor teaming spaces incorporating stonework, swings, tables, gazebo’s and garden area’s. Using natural separators like stone walls, hedges or trees, is both beautiful and functional in a multiple use outdoor space. Studies have shown that employees love these area’s.
What’s the ROI on Going Green?
If the beauty, creativity, and aesthetics of green spaces haven’t got you excited yet, then consider that in 2022, just getting employees to come to work is a not a given anymore. Today’s younger workers prefer virtual work at home arrangements and they change jobs at the drop of a hat.
Plants are beneficial for our mood, they make the air cleaner, and they have many aesthetic benefits as well – walking into a space that is decorated with greenery instantly draws our attention to its beauty. Incorporating plants throughout your office building is a great way to soften harsh corporate interiors and make people forget they are at “work.” The ROI of a green aesthetic is simply based on your commitment to your employees and wanting them to love coming to work.
That’s better for them, and better ultimately, for your bottom line.
If you’d like to learn more about incorporating interior wellbeing and green architecture into your commercial design projects, or if you have any questions, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.