Tag

office renovation

Coworking Space and Office Renovation for Startups

By | Blog, Renovation Resources

In the market for office renovation for startups, shared office space (named coworking space) can sometimes be the key to economical and innovative work environment in the entrepreneur’s office.  What are the keys to designing successful coworking space?  One company answers three questions in their designs.

  1.  “How can the design of a space encourage collaboration and innovation?”
  2.  “How is the community mapped and visually represented in the space?”
  3.  “How can the design of space promote autonomous behavior from its members?”

Not only does the space have to work for a single entrepreneur, it needs to be functional for a group of entrepreneurs working for different startups.  One of the keys to adapting to the needs of the employees is to allow an ever-evolving room for change in the space.

The key in coworking design is to build office space that influences behavior.  To encourage collaboration among workers, sometimes the space can be divided into work areas by merely adapting lighting and heights of ceilings to form ‘rooms’ in an open area.  Innovation can be encouraged by the changeable nature of the space.  For instance, one group might use a white wall as a projection screen, while another might want to post graphics on a wall.  Making the space ones own and innovating within the office environment can encourage creativity and establish ownership of space.

In conclusion, the most important key in coworking space is that entrepreneurs need to adapt space to their own needs.  While design is important to forming certain positive behavior trends in an office, the state of constant flux itself enables an innovative work environment.  According to the same design team,

…Openness provides room for members to take control of shaping and hosting their environment which in turn helps to engender a more collaborative and sharing culture within the space.

For more information on office design for startups, contact us.

Terrific reasons to hire interior designer or a design firm now

By | Blog, Renovation Resources

Many persons are unaware of it:  However the name of the game, nowadays, is transparency.  The proficient designer is very adept at bringing the concept of transparency into his or her client’s space–whether that space is residential or corporate.

The uniqueness of providing the client with transparency is the number one reason, persons are wise to make the choice of having a design team create and reorganize their respective spaces:  The idea of bringing the great out-of-doors inside, nowadays, appears rather literal.  The bringing of the outside environment, inside, makes the entire concept of design much more refined.

Residents and corporate personnel function with greater levels of efficiency and well-being when the great out-of-doors or beautiful landscapes are made part of the inside environment.  The space may have been once enclosed; however, is now opened up. The idea of hiring a designer, then, is so the corporate client or the residential consumer may make the best possible use of the idea of transparency.

Opacity and transparency is used in way of making a small space, whether residential or a work environment feel more spacious.  Transparency provides access to a larger space, such as a vineyard or woods that is not part of the inside arrangement.  In example, a wine country residential dweller is able to properly appreciate the mass acreage of his or her vineyard.  The owner of the space is a second generation wine maker.  The design applied makes sense:  since the element of bringing the great out-of-doors vineyard into his or her living arrangement is relative.  Producing wine is what the preceding residential dweller is all about:  a second generation winemaker.  This individual has a strong connection to his or her land and is an agricultural enthusiast.  The person is not a person that requires window coverings or window treatments.  He or she wishes to awaken each morning and look upon his or her vineyards.  A good designer partners with the proper persons and brings the vineyard into the winemaker’s inside space.

Aside from the out-of-doors thinking, an enhancement, used by knowledgeable designers, makes it possible for the end-user to appreciate various interesting items at turning points inside:  Items or art objects are placed at the end of a hallway or somewhere in-between.  The idea is to make the persons traveling by foot, to take notice and pause at these areas, appreciating the items on exhibit.  The slight pause, psychologically, causes the person to move forward down the hallway.  It creates the sense that there are items further along the pathway, causing that individual to feel intrigued.

The designer is well-aware of advances in various materials:  The knowledgeable designer is well-aware of material advances with respect to glass, fabrics and plastics.  The advanced materials allow designers to create something spectacular relative to the end-users inside environment.

There are certain states which limit how much artificial light is allowable in a space:  The designer is adept in making clever use of natural lighting.  He or she makes certain, the natural lighting is used properly, minimizing the natural light used and assuring that the consumer is afforded the proper level of privacy.

In summary, terrific reasons to hire a design expert include:

  • Rediscovery of the great out-of-doors or bringing the outside inside of the interior space;
  • Placing interesting objects in unexpected places, in order that the passer-by wishes to pause, and with a sense of inspiration, continues his or her journey to the point of destination.
  • The expert designer makes use of advanced materials, which he or she is fully aware, in order to create and intensify the elements associated with good design;
  • The qualified design team of today, additionally, makes the best use of natural light.  The preceding reason is yet another good reason to hire the services of an expert designer.  In other words, it is just not about painting a room, and finding the right furniture, it is so much more.

In order that the interested consumer gets the ball rolling, in order to find out his or her best, most unique design options; he or she is encouraged to contact us.

We make it a point, to provide our clients with transparency; function, and aesthetically pleasing environments.  It is, nowadays, very beneficial to embrace the idea of: hire interior designer.

Designing the Office Renovation for Startups

By | Blog, Renovation Resources

When engaging in office renovation for startups, different factors come in to play than in other fields of design.  Not only does the startup sector come with different needs in office space, it also demands an entirely different business model.  Success in this sector relies on meeting demands in both of these area.  According to one design company,

“The industry standard is to take almost every client over budget … (our) whole idea is that when you’re not working on commission, your incentive is to get the best deal for your client.”

A pricing model that lets businesses know what they are paying for and holds to a contract’s time and rate guarantees presents an attractive option for startups.  Because their design space can be so novel, a transparent contract becomes almost necessary to acquiring startup business.

The design for a startup can be almost oppositional to a traditional work space.  Often times, designs try to mimic a home-like environment in order to encourage employees to spend as much time at work as possible.  This doesn’t necessarily focus on the traditional types of work space such as desks and office units, instead incorporating relaxing environments.  It’s not atypical to see a design incorporate couches, rest space, and music rooms into the structure of an office.

In terms of work space, designs usually take into account the group work nature of the modern startup.  Meeting and breakout rooms form the bones of the office, but can also be accompanied by large living-type rooms and drink bars for socializing.  The latest craze is inserting hidden rooms behind bookcases or closets for resting.

In the competition for the most qualified employees, office design can swing the weight in the favor of ‘cool’ office space.  Combined with a straightforward pricing model, design companies have the key to recruiting the modern startup.

To learn more about designing for startups, contact us.

How to Estimate Office Renovation Costs

By | Blog, Renovation Resources

One of the largest mistake building owners make is underestimating the renovation costs for their home, office, restaurant, or store. This can lead to very sticky situations, as once you’ve started a renovation project it’s difficult to stop, and it can be even more problematic to have decided to buy a house because you underestimated the renovation costs, only to get an accurate estimate and realize you’re in the hole for thousands of dollars.

If you’re planning on making renovations (or buying a building with the intention of renovating), make sure you can accurately estimate how much those renovations will cost. This includes both materials and labor, as well as intangibles such as not being able to use the room you’re renovating. If you’re doing renovations yourself, labor doesn’t cost you financially, but it still has the opportunity cost of taking up your time and energy. Additionally, doing renovations is a very physical process, and doing it yourself will make you fatigued and sore. Always have a 10-15% contingency to cover extra materials or additional variation work during the construction.

When estimating the cost of materials, make sure to account for things like missed items and breakage. And don’t just use the least expensive products in your calculations; figure out which materials you will actually use and price accordingly.

When estimating the cost of labor, get multiple quotes and check up on the contractors’ reputations. Some contractors will charge less but have a history of lower quality work, or billing for addition variation changes to cover the initial low cost. Hiring skilled, experienced contractors is essential to the success of your renovations. It is worth investing a little bit of extra money on reputable and experienced contractor teams, so you don’t need to stress out over the other items.

For example, an office renovation in Hong Kong can cost HK$510 per square feet and up. A 2,000 square feet space can range from HK$1,020,000 (at $510/sqft) to HK$1.92M (at $960/sqft).

Office Renovation Budget*

Economy

(in HK$)

Mid-Range

(in HK$)

Upscale

(in HK$)

General Construction
carpets, floor finishes, wall finishes, ceiling finishes, partitions, window blinds
180 240 300
System Furniture
desks, chairs, filing cabinets, conference tables
160 250 400
M&E Services
electrical, a/v equipment, fire protection, a/c, plumbing
140 170 210
MISC
management fees, security deposits
30 40 50
 Total cost per square foot 510 700 960+

This article is meant to provide a guide to what to watch out for if you are considering renovations. If you keep this advice in mind, you’re much less likely to run into unexpected costs and much more likely for your renovations to be successful.

Contact us for more information about renovation costs.

*The total budget may vary depending on requirements, such as the number of employees, conference rooms, manager rooms, etc.

4 Ways Office Design Can Increase Productivity

By | Blog, Renovation Resources

Whether you’re starting from scratch or refurbishing your current office, creating a professional, functional and comfortable space will project the right image to your clients and increase overall productivity.

Studies show that comfort and productivity are interrelated, and most experts agree that almost every office can benefit from a few changes in layout and organization. Consider some of the following ways you can improve the comfort level of your office to increase the productivity of the staff.

Create a comfortable environment

Strive to make your office a healthy and comfortable workplace. Use ergonomic furniture and accessories, proper lighting, and a functional design to minimize discomfort and distraction and help you and your employees work more productively.

Encourage employees to customize their workstations with accessories that help them work comfortably – keyboard trays, anti-glare screens, task lighting and footrests – and to adjust their chairs to the proper height and angle. You can even hire an ergonomic expert to consult with each worker individually. A quick evaluation will determine what each employee needs to do to avoid repetitive-stress injuries.

Improve your layout

Take a look at where employees sit and the location of the office equipment. Consider ways to improve the overall flow of your office. Put printers, fax machines and other shared equipment in areas that are easy to access, and seat work teams or departments together in shared areas or cubicles. Try to open spaces and align desks, so it’s easy to move around the office.

Use mobile furniture

Adjustable and mobile furniture is a good option for growing businesses with limited space; you can easily reconfigure cubicles and workstations and rearrange your office to accommodate growth, partition departments, or separate equipment areas and other noisy parts of the office.

Control noise levels

Consider using panel systems, carpeting, and ceiling tiles to absorb sound and provide privacy. To reduce auditory distractions, put fax machines, copiers and other noisy office equipment in a separate area surrounded by cubicle walls or partition walls. Try to keep nosier employees, such as customer service representatives or salespeople, who spend a lot of time on the phone, away from those who require quiet work spaces.

If you need help with any aspect of office design or layout, consult a professional. They can help you select furniture and assist you with space planning, lighting, interior construction, fire and building codes, and other office design issues.

Nike Office Design Feature Vibrant Colors

By | Blog, Renovation Resources

Neutral colors and sedate decor have their place, color is king when it comes to Nike office design. Recently, we had the opportunity to design the conference room facilities at Nike’s Hong Kong office.

You can’t have Nike without its brand-recognizing orange, or without the Nike illustrations that are so much a part of its heritage. As explained in a recent news feature in the South China Morning Post, in addition to those inspirations, our other inspiration for the conference room design was the Google workspace — that is, a playful area where people want to come to work. We wanted to provide a casual atmosphere in which creativity and a sort of social productivity were fostered. Pops of color, including orange, were important to the project, as was the vision of movement and athleticism.

openuu-nike-conf-04

Nike: Conference in Hong Kong by openUU

The conference facilities feature a lounge area with custom furniture that is easy to move. Conference rooms are separated from each other with movable partitions. There is a group area which is designated by a blackboard, brightly colored seating, and a bright Astroturf wall. The space was tied together both by the ability to link the rooms together into larger, shared quarters, as well as by the sports theme throughout.

dezeen_Nike-Canteen-by-Uxus-1

Nike Canteen by UXUS Design

 

Bright colors are also important in the design of the Nike Canteen, in the Netherlands, where designers UXUS created a sports pub-inspired space that wove Nike orange, bright red, and yellow throughout. The Canteen design also features logos, graphics, and even the favorite lunch choices of world class athletes were used as decoration. The project tied together seemingly different elements in order to meet the various needs of workers: cozy spaces for solitude, vast tables for group projects.

Nike-London-Rosie-Lee

Nike London Office by Rosie Lee

You won’t see plain white walls at Nike’s London office either. Instead, you’ll find those founder-inspired hand-drawn illustrations, pictures of sports celebrities, and inspiring quotes. The three-floored design, completed by the Rosie Lee Agency, provides a cohesive, playful tone complete with bright orange, red, and blue contrasts.

Color is a great way to set the tone for a space as well as to honor a brand and its founder. What are your office’s true colors? For more information on office design, contact us.

Warehouse Design: Making a Large Space Feel Welcoming

By | Blog, Renovation Resources

warehouse-design-large-spaceWhen considering a functional warehouse design, a number of factors come into play. What is the space going to be used for? How can it be transformed into something that is convenient and comfortable to both the occupants and their visitors? How can a large, empty space be made to feel welcoming?

Here are a few examples of different types of warehouses (from the news as well as our portfolio) along with explanations as to why they work.

Heavybit Industries – San Francisco, California, US

According to a report in Architectural Record, when faced with the dilemma of how to convert a warehouse into a communal space for cloud developers in 2012, CEO James Lindenbaum of Heavybit Industries enlisted the help of IwamotoScott Architecture. Like the name, Lindenbaum wanted a building that looked heavy and serious on the outside, in order to show the world that cloud development is a real thing.

image-heavybit-industries-iwamotoscott-architecture

Heavybit Industries by IwamotoScott Architecture. Photo by Bruce Damonte

Starting with a large open space on the ground level that was totally disconnected from the upper floors, the architects were able to divide that space into a common room with platform seating, as well as a conference room, kitchen, and a bike storage area that was defined by its refined wood wall. Upstairs, walls were removed to create open work stations. Sliding polycarbonate doors let in light. On the top level, breakout space was created using industrial rope and electrical conduit to maintain the heavy image, while providing space between the strands.

Osage Open – Kwun Tong, Hong Kong

In an industrial area of Hong Kong, we sought to create a useful indoor/ outdoor art gallery space for our client, Osage Gallery. We played on the existing concrete textures of the warehouse, incorporating it into the design through the use of a large drifting wooden box that can either be used as a unique art piece all on its own, or a functional element as a step in the gallery.

osage-gallery-105

Osage Open by openUU.

The passageway was created to provide a fluid connection from the inside to the outside. With the exception of the wooden box, the inside area of this facility features spare white walls and plentiful lighting, ensuring that the focal point of the interior is the art, itself.

Residential Warehouse Conversion – Abbotsford, Victoria, Australia

With converting a commercial warehouse to a residential space, an emphasis was place not only on preserving the original industrial aspects, but also how to transform them into a cozy area. Warm hardwoods were placed alongside existing brick walls. Brightly colored rugs and accents — along with both natural and provided light — add coziness to concrete-floors and high, industrial beams.

warehouse-conversion-in-melbourne-7All three levels of this home — one of several converted warehouses listed and staged by the prestigious realty firm RT Edgar — provide unique features. A courtyard next to the bedroom and study on one floor, an open-plan living and dining space on the next, a master bedroom that takes advantage of the city views on the next.

Warehouses give you ample space for design. The challenge, then, becomes making that space something that feels warm and inviting. For more information on warehouse design or to talk to us about your next project, contact us.

How to Hire an Interior Designer for your Office Renovation

By | Blog, Renovation Resources

blog-hire-designer-office-renovationAre you preparing for an office move or renovation? You know that your office space must create a professional first impression and that hiring an interior designer can help you choose a look that is perfect for your business. So where do you start? Here are some practical tips that will help you hire an interior designer for your office.

Understand what an interior designer will do for you.

Setting clear expectations will help you find the right interior designer for your office project. How much involvement would you like to have in the design process? What does your vision of a perfect office entail? The right designer will spend time with you, discussing the needs of your office and putting together a detailed plan that incorporates these essentials.

The designer will also consider your plans for growth, ensuring that your office can expand with your business. A skilled interior designer listens to your ideas, gains a true understanding of your business and presents options that are customized to meet your expectations. The right interior designer will make your vision a reality in a way that meets your budget and aesthetic expectations.

Set your budget.

It’s imperative that you know how much you’ll have to invest in the project. The right interior designer will help you understand your project costs and plan for additional unexpected expenses. Having a good feel for the numbers going into the project will ensure that you find the right fit. Professional interior designers will help you manage your costs and will use their networks to find you savings.

View their portfolio.

One of the best ways to get a feel for the abilities and style of an interior designer is to view their portfolio. Taking a look at their website is a good start, but taking things a step further and reading reviews and reaching out to former clients can help you make an informed decision.

Once you have a candidate in mind, agree on a schedule and fee that works for both of you. The interior designer will work with you to scope out the work and create a contract that is clear and concise.

If you are ready to move forward with your office project, contact us to discuss the design process.

5 Ideas for a Successful Office Renovation

By | Blog, Renovation Resources

blog-5-ideas-office-renovationWhether you’re just moving into an office or your current one is in need of some upkeep, executing a successful office renovation can be tricky business. The good news is that with some forethought and planning, everything can run smoothly and you can enjoy your newly renovated office in a short amount of time.

Here are 5 ideas to help make the process easier:

  1. Clear goals: While your main reason for renovating might be “this office is just too ugly,” you’re going to need to dig deeper when it comes to defining your goals for renovation. Are you renovating the space for you and your employees? Or are you trying to make the space more comfortable for clients? Is your main reason for renovation cosmetic or are their structural changes that need to be made? All of these factors need to be identified ahead of time so that you can create a realistic budget. Make sure everyone involved in the renovation is on the same page when it comes to goal-setting.
  2. Think long-term: You’ve identified your current goals for the renovation, but what is your long-term plan? Do you anticipate staying in this office space for 5 or more years? Does the current renovation give you room to grow as your business grows? If not, will you be able to recoup some of the costs from the renovation?
  3. High-ball your budget: There’s nothing worse in a renovation than coming across an unexpected expense along the way. To make things easier when the expected unexpected comes up, set aside a contingency of 10 percent so that your whole project doesn’t become undone.
  4. Timing: An office renovation is unique in that it impacts a large group of people. You’ll want to make sure your renovation isn’t timed during your office’s busiest season, and you also want to make sure that contractors will be available to get the work done quickly so the project doesn’t drag on longer than necessary.
  5. Identify wants versus needs: It’s tempting to go all-out during a renovation and spring for extras like aerodynamic office chairs or the premier top-of-the-line copier. However, it’s important to stay focused during your renovation and only spend money on things you need, not things you want. You can add in extras like expensive chairs later, once you have enough money to cover those extra costs.

Our design team can help you choose a design for your office renovation that matches your goals and budget. For more information on how we can help, contact us today!