Local architect Grant Hinds highlights some of the key architectural issues that must be addressed when designing commercial office buildings.
Commercial architecture is used by a large percentage of the population on a daily basis. If you work in an office building you experience architectural design regularly. But how many of us stop and consider the impact office and commercial design is having on our day to day lives?
Most people take their work environment for granted, until the air-conditioning system falters or sunlight through the window makes it hard to see a computer screen, yet careful consideration of how your business interacts with the built form has the potential to contribute to employee well-being and serve as a foundation for your company’s future growth.
From the building’s setting within its master plan right the way down to the fit out, good commercial design and services infrastructure are critical to the smooth running of a business. This is why collaboration between key consultants at the beginning of a project to get the design right is fundamental to achieving the best outcome for future tenants. Architecture is just one piece of the puzzle.
An architect has two main objectives when designing a building and when met, these objectives play a vital role in ensuring occupant comfort and building flexibility.
- Maximise the placement of the building on the site to create a strong sense of address and presentation. A good architect will leverage the building orientation to minimise heat load on the façade and capitalise on prevailing breezes.
- Ensuring the building is fit for purpose – for an office building this means connectivity throughout the floorplate, minimising the number of columns which constrain tenancy design, ensuring each point on the floor has access to natural light, positioning and layout of the amenities and foyer and the divisibility of the floor (to respond to the requirements of multiple tenants).
Architecture should communicate the ethos and priorities of a business. Much like personal presentation is a reflection of an individual, architecture can, and should, be a reflection of the business it houses.