You spend a massive proportion of your life there, so it goes without saying that where you work really matters. Gone are the days when offices had to be beige and grey boxes where workers were kept captive from nine to five. Modern offices can be playful, cool, stylish and – dare we even say it – fun. That’s right, fun. At work of all places.
So, if your workstation is currently a mess of papers, sandwich packets and unwatered plants this post is for you. Or perhaps you’re seeking some inspiration to help set up the perfect home office. Whatever your motivation, this collection of beautiful and exciting work spaces should get your creativity flowing. So put down that bog-standard office-supplies catalog and start getting inventive with your work space – here’s how you do it.
Eccentric and user-friendly are just two words that you could use to describe Google’s Zurich HQ. It currently houses over 300 employees and features plenty of touches of brilliance in the shape of fireman’s poles, Swiss chalet meeting rooms and cable car work stations, as can be seen here.
The White Mountain Data Centre, Stockholm
This incredible office space, for The White Mountain Data Centre, is one of the most unique and exciting work spaces we’ve ever seen. The space has been hewn out of solid rock 100 feet below street level in Stockholm and was originally intended to be a nuclear bunker. The shelter was refurbished by Albert France Lanord Architects.
Three Rings Design Inc, San Francisco
The online games developer Three Rings Design Inc have taken Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as their office inspiration. They’ve used Victorian art and furniture along with seafaring memorabilia and technology to create a genuinely thrilling and imagination-fueling environment.
Famous across the world, the Pixar offices in Emeryville are a magical playground for its employees. Games rooms, work pods, living rooms, garden sheds; if it’s quirky, cool and totally unexpected you’ll probably find it somewhere on the sprawling Pixar campus.
Atelier Tenjinyama, Japan
Seamlessly blurring the boundaries between indoors and out is the elegant offices for Atelier Tenjinyama. Think transparent walls, dirt floors, glass ceilings and floor to roof windows that open up the space and let the natural elements flood in.
The Hub, Madrid
These offices have been through several different guises. They used to be a garden, then they were a railway station, then a garage, before finally being converted into the HQ for The Hub. The site had been untouched since the 1940s and the talented architects at ch+qs made it their mission to leave as much of the original features in place. The result is airy, light and effortlessly elegant.
Comvert’s Bastard Store, Milan
Comvert manufacture clothing and accessories for skateboarders so their offices are appropriately cool. They’re based in a renovated theatre in central Milan with custom designed interiors to reflect the tastes, habits and work patterns of their employees. The building features impressive marble floors, curved staircases and a graffitied courtyard complete with an obligatory enormous skating bowl.
Red Bull, London
The Red Bull HQ is the brainchild of the quirky designers at Jump Studios. The focus is clearly on fun, with a huge slide that runs through the centre of the building sitting playfully next to a sleek floating staircase.
AOL Ventures, New York City
Sitting on a prime spot of real estate on Broadway, the Keegan Vance Forte-designed head office for AOL Ventures is a bright, airy space filled with vintage billiard tables, old-fashioned oriental rugs and cool exposed brick-work.
Square, San Francisco
Square is a mobile payments start-up based in San Francisco. Their offices are an obsessively clean space with sharp lines, muted tones and strong industrial aesthetics.
Completed in 2011, the Vienna office is one of Microsoft’s newest ventures. Its got themed conference rooms – including one that’s been decked-out like a hunting lodge – and a huge reception area with a feature green wall, shown here.
Urban Outfitters, Philadelphia
Urban Outfitter’s $100 million dollar offices are housed in four expansive, decommissioned buildings by the Delaware River on the site of a disused Navy Yard. They’ve won several awards for innovation in adaptive design and showcase a clever style that reflects the heritage of the buildings.
A homely log cabin makes a welcoming and personality-filled workspace for this Portland-based creative agency.
Group8, the designers behind this brilliant office, took a massive industrial warehouse and filled it with 16 shipping containers to create conference rooms and meeting spaces. An appropriate and stylish homage to the company’s roots.
Google, New York City
This time Google are working their interior-decor magic in New York City. There’s a soundproofed room filled with electric guitars and a drum kit; there’s a life-size NYC street mural. We want to work there.
Wonder Factory, New York City
Rooms at the Wonder Factory are a multi-sensory delight with colour-themed decor, antique furnishings and incredible views of the Empire State Building.
AirBnB, San Francisco
AirBnB is a website that offers affordable and unusual accommodation alternatives to staying in a hotel. Their HQ is suitably unique too; conference rooms have been designed to resemble some of the sites more quirky listings, right down to the minutest of detail.
Google, Tel Aviv
And coming full circle, we’re back with Google, this time at their new Tel Aviv offices. Opened in 2012 and covering an epic 8,000 square metres, each of its seven floors have been styled around a different theme including culture and heritage, joy and optimism, friends and family and humour and fun. That’s right, fun. At work of all places. Whatever next?