WORKFORCE series

A Better Place to Work

a+t 43

ISSN 1132-6409

ISBN 978-84-617-1519-0

English/Español

160 Pages

Printed version: 25.00 €

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The contemporary workplace has derived from successive compression/decompression. First there was the hierarchical Taylorist office. Then came the rational well-lit well-organized office with individual cubicles which allocated each employee the exact amount of air they needed to breathe. Later there was a return to the open landscape office, with free layouts, shrouded in vegetation, which was the forerunner of the de-materialization of the workplace.

Today we are in a far more fluid state which envisages the specialization of space and brand expression. Diversity and identity. The workplace should encompass, not only the two basic tasks already known - individual and group work - but also tasks involving learning and socializing.

A Better Place to Work is the first volume of the WORKFORCE series, dedicated to the design of workspaces.

 

ARTICLES
JAVIER MOZAS

"...The contemporary workplace has derived from successive compression/de­compression. First there was the hierarchical Taylorist office, lacking in sufficient hygiene requirements and with strict hours, which absorbed the private life of the worker. Then came the rational well-lit well-organized office with individual cubicles which allocated each employee the exact amount of air they needed to breathe. Later there was a return to the open landscape office, with free layouts, shrouded in vegetation, which was the forerunner of the de-materialization of the workplace.
Today we are in a far more fluid state which envisages the specialization of space and brand expression. Diversity and identity. The workplace should encompass, not only the two basic tasks already known –individual and group work– but also tasks involving learning and socializing. On the other hand, the brand has come to form part of the programme and its core values should be omnipresent throughout the space..."

 

 

CARUSO ST JOHN ARCHITECTS

"The office has existed in one form or another throughout history as an administrative adjunct to the centralised power of the state. The Palazzo Uffizi in Florence of the Medici or the Bank of England are notable examples. The first commercial offices appeared in the northern industrial cities of the United States in the late nineteenth Century. With the invention of the telegraph and telephone, offices could be situated away from the home or factory and control could be retained over production and distribution to distant markets. New technologies such as electric lighting, the typewriter and the use of calculating machines allowed large amounts of information to be accumulated and processed faster and more efficiently than before. The concentration of wealth in the new corporations required an ever-greater proportion of an increasingly literate population to work in the ‘white collar factories’.
In Chicago, the mid-western hub of the American rail network, technologies such as the steel frame and elevator enabled office buildings to be constructed higher
than previously possible to generate maximum income from the site. These were
the first speculative office buildings and generally followed the traditional layout
of separate rooms opening into corridors. The floor plan would then be stacked
to generate the greatest income from the site —this profit-driven logic came to
define the skylines of Chicago and New York by the early twentieth Century.
The American architect Louis Sullivan was a pioneer in his study of the formal
articulation of the tall commercial building or ‘skyscraper’; his delicate naturalist
ornamentation and bold forms expressed his own mystical vision of a new and
vital democracy based on industrialisation..."

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