short- and medium-term (5-20 years, 20-50 years)
”A modern office building is a fluid and dynamic space which is constantly adapting both to the needs of a particular employee and companies.”
Nature which surrounds us constitutes an inspiration for the Adaptability & Flexibility scenario. It is assumed that the buildings are going to be able to grow and develop (e.g. by using organic materials which have their own systems of cells enabling their division and growth) similarly to plants or trees, while also breathing or cleaning the air. Thus, the buildings will be functioning similarly to live tissue of a bigger organism such as a city. Their use is also going to change and expand, whereas the space will be able to serve diverse functions, depending both on employees' needs as well as the time of day or year.
Despite there being no solutions yet, which would make building alive or enable them to grow, the number of designs and phrases which appeared in works in the field of speculative design shows that this is one of the most popular topics. Currently, the Adaptability & Flexibility scenario is carried out rather in the form of modular and multi-functional nature of buildings which become flexible, malleable and they adjust to companies and employees as well as their individual needs.
A modern office building according to the scenario is thus a fluid and dynamic space which is constantly adapting both to the needs of a particular employee and companies. Tenants are the ones who co-create and transform it. They are able to interact with the space and adjust it to themselves (through the layout of furniture, movable walls, individual settings of intensity of lighting or air conditioning). An office building becomes a living place which is constantly changing.
BUILDINGS OF THE FUTURE
Modular City Battery
Authors of the design: Joanna Kania, Karina Kiersztyn, Faculty of Architecture, Gdańsk University of Technology
The office building comprises fully autonomous mobile modules. The modules which move using specially designed drones can change their location many times. Additionally, the building has a system of subdermal chips which serve numerous functions, such as an access key and they enable automatic adjustment of environmental conditions to individual user's needs.
Interchange Office Building
Authors of the design: Donata Żygowska, Kamila Wisz, Faculty of Architecture, Gdańsk University of Technology
The Interchange office building is a building for office, service, recreational purposes and acts as a transport hub. It is characterised by the use of renewable energy sources and compatibility of solutions used in its design (solar modules built into road surface, the south wall and the roof of the building, a heat pump, water energy).
Authors of the design: Michalina Frątczak, Anna Chwil, Faculty of Architecture, Gdańsk University of Technology
NeutroMicroPlastic is a facility which is 90% under water and acts as a sea and ocean water treatment station capturing microplastic particles, whereas the remaining 10% is located above the water level. That part is intended for office workers. The idea and form of the office building were inspired by sea oak (fucus vesiculosus), in particular the way it expands. The building regenerates itself, i.e. it rebuilds itself on an ongoing basis using 3D printers which have been built-in the structure and it even expands using neutralised microplastic and graphene particles.
Author of the design: Maciej Rogało, Faculty of Architecture, Gdańsk University of Technology
The building operates as a live tissue of a larger organism. The metamaterial used in the façade allows the entire facility to blend in with its surroundings; despite its strong form, the new architecture is not aggressive nor dominating. Graphene screens turn the building into a large projector; The artistic expression of the building is vivid, and it is changing all the time. Fixed external forms are filled with varying items, which ensures great functional flexibility of internal space.
The Warehouse, Airbnb, Dublin (Ireland)
The design of Airbnb headquarters in Dublin is based on the neighbourhood principle. The space was designed to help develop cooperation, interactions and a sense of community. The building offered a chance for the team to develop flexible workplace philosophy (belong anywhere). Single desks were replaced by large, central tables. The stairways constitute the main shaft in the office—they not only serve as connectors between individual floors—they are also a workstation or space for meetings for almost 400 people.
Menlo Park, Facebook, San Francisco (USA)
Facebook's headquarters building in Menlo Park (near San Francisco) is the largest open office in the world. It accommodates 2,800 employees. The enormous space is divided according to functions so that temporary teams working on joint projects can be created in the easiest and the quickest way. The large and empty space has been diversified with a large number of partitions, resting areas and comfortable sofas, to ensure employees' comfort.