What will it look like? Who will it cater for? And will the market hold up? We asked a few people who should know to peer into their crystal balls …
Mike Slade, chief executive, developer Helical Bar
My concern is that with the weight of money in the market, investors will end up speculatively financing more office space than the market can sustain, especially in the City. Do we have the economic growth coming to support all of this? The answer is probably not.
Peter Gallagher, head of agency in the north-west at Dunlop Haywards
People are less concerned with how buildings look and there is more emphasis now on how buildings actually perform for their users.
Ken Shuttleworth, founder, Make Architects
Social and environmental change will shape the office of the future in remarkable ways. The full-length glass facades will be a thing of the past as we adapt to climate change. High-efficiency facades designed for low heat loss and zero heat gain will mean smaller windows. More solid walls will lead to more creatively landscaped internal environments. Inside, the office will increasingly be designed as a social hub. Work and play areas will be designed in contrast to each other and we’ll see more of the kinds of games areas and sofas once the preserve of advertising agencies.
Thanks to wifi, offices in city centres will have less need for meeting rooms. The office will use the city as an extension of itself in a network of places.
Owen O’Neill, director of lending at Anglo Irish Bank in Dublin
The office of the future will be about meeting people’s needs. Most people are more concerned if there is a crèche to leave their children than about the size of their workstation or height of their building.
Chris Nisbet, chairman of Albany Assets
Ours will be the office of the future. We're going to step it up a bit so it is like a boutique hotel.
Gerald Ronson, Heron International
If you’re making a sizeable investment in a building today, you’ve got to look at the next 10 to 20 years and create something that is totally state-of-the-art, and has total flexibility in its services. Everything has to be thought of – the location, access to staff, furnishing, fit out and facilities management – so the product has the flexibility to cope with change.
Skyline May 2006
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The office of the future