Who doesn’t love working from home? Farmers, that’s who. Also, anyone whose workplace is featured in “Total Office Design,” a showcase of the world’s most extraordinary workspaces.
Salt mines these are not.
The book describes each project’s history and approach. Key architectural players are profiled. Nearly 500 photos detail the myriad structures, fixtures and amenities. And chairs–busloads of chairs.
What’s that? Your office door is an old cattle chute? We’ve all worked in repurposed space–the odd converted mansion or revamped warehouse. By contrast, most of Zumstein and Parton’s selections are built from scratch, designed to the grommet to meet workplace needs.
For Madrid’s Selgas Canos Studio, this means a semi-subterranean Plexi and fiberglass tube plopped in the woods. Berlin fashion source Platoon puts their Seoul workforce in a cubic metal pop up (“transient adaptable office”). Meanwhile, employees of Lorigenhof in Buchs, Switzerland, sit happily inside an old feed mill. My reaction to each involved drool on the page. Does form follow function? Discuss.
Fact: of the book’s 50 offices, 12 are in the UK. Opinion: Spanish architecture is way beyond rad. But wherever’s clever–it’s easy to dream of working in any of these spaces. In by dawn. Solving and creating. Motoring home in the Snaab.
Why go such lengths for the sake of a workplace? The authors themselves state it best: “We may be living in austere times, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun where we work.” I offer my adaptation: Have fun reading this book, wherever you work.
Remember: comment on this post (leave a way we can get in touch with you) for a chance to win a copy of this book! Find all the info and rules of book week here.
Generously helping out this week with book reviews, like the one above, is the witty, talented and much-appreciated Daniel Mennega, who lives and writes in Austin, Texas.