21 May Dividing Spaces: Walls Optional?
Open spaces in the work place have become the new normal of office design and for good reason. It encourages greater communication and collaboration, improving efficiency. Yet there is still a need to divide spaces so that areas can be clearly defined and serve specific purposes. A well thought out floor plan won’t just clear the slate into an open expanse for the sake of a trend. And since there are many choices of materials on the market today, the options are vast. An example of this is that traditional walled partitions are becoming less popular and alternatively office designers are now using alternative materials to create dividers to define spaces like nature inspired bamboo walls with shrubbery, metal display cabinets and/or acoustic panels.
Ironically, this trend provides more privacy than we would initially think. As sections of an office space can be defined by the design and installation of partial walls or even movable glass partitions, the staff has more choice and flexibility. Moreover, soft furnishings and acoustic dampening materials can provide areas that lessen the noise coming to and from a dedicated alcove.