Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Secret Life of Buildings.

 ‘The Secret Life of Buildings’ is a new TV. series that I’ve started watching on Channel 4.  It discusses how the design of an interior space can directly affect a person’s mood, health and their productivity in the work place. Through experiments undertaken throughout the programme it shows how important interior design is and how bad design can have adverse effects.

I found episode 2 particularly interesting as it was about the environments we work in which links back to my last project ‘SEPA Urban Hub’.  The episode looked at the type of buildings I researched when starting the project and looked into the types of workplaces where people perform best. My discoveries were similar to those found in the programme that employees work well in flexible open spaces. The office should offer many different ways to work, whether it is privately at a desk, in separate rooms allocated for group meetings or in an informal laid back environment. I tried to incorporate these different zones in my design for the ‘SEPA Hub’  by creating movable desks which were suitable for group work or working alone, having bright and airy meeting rooms where group discussions were encouraged and a canteen with relaxed seating to chill out or meet up with colleagues.

The ‘Interpolis Tilburg’ building in The Netherlands is an excellent example of designing to meet the requirements of the buildings user. It has a different area to suit the type of work being carried out and the type of mood the employee is in. The interiors stimulate the employee with its wide variety of textures and colours.









In contrast the Swiss Re. Headquarters in London (the building which is nicknamed the ‘Gherkin’) looks beautiful and interesting from the outside but doesn’t really take into account personal needs within the office space. Employees there said the best part of working in the building is the impressive views.




I definitely recommend watching ‘The Secret Life of Buildings’ if you’re interested in finding out the best ways to design for people or even if you just want to see some beautiful interior spaces and buildings. Check it out on channel4.com.  

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