Patrycja Grzybowska, Marketing Specialist
Contemporary societies aim to achieve symbiosis with nature, although the effects they achieve are different. The more people complain about climate changes, environmental pollution and poor air quality in everyday life, the more they are interested in ecological ideas.
The growing ecological awareness is the foundation of the increasingly popular concept called green economy. This global trend focuses on realising sustainable development in all its dimensions: environmental, economic and social. In this model, people cease to be users of the Earth and start participating in creating the reality responsibly.
Contact with nature is emphasised by biophilic design, which is a popular trend in designing spaces, including office interiors. According to this trend, the office space should be enriched with elements of nature which become an integral part of office buildings1. Green terraces, roofs and facades, indoor and outdoor gardens, as well as walls full of plants do not only have a decorative function.
‒ The use of elements of nature in space arrangement has a soothing effect on the human psyche. It allows for balancing the moments of intense work throughout the day with moments of rest and relaxation. Such offices contribute to reducing stress and increasing employee job satisfaction. Plants also help reduce air pollution, lower the level of noise and catch dust. Research shows that contact with greenery and sunlight has a positive impact on employees' creativity, improves their well-being by 15% and increases their productivity at work by 6%2 ‒ says Ewelina Solecka, Senior Workplace Research & Development Consultant at Nowy Styl Group.
All these aspects have a significant influence on employees whose awareness of what a well-arranged office should look like is constantly growing. According to research, 81% of employees from the SSC/BPO sector would like to see their future office or workstation first before signing a job contrac3. Employees start to understand that the office is a space which should support them in realising everyday duties, as well as increase their efficiency and creativity.
Other aspects that are important for offices arranged according to the biophilic design trend are: access to daylight and furniture which is characterised by warm colours and natural materials.
The spirit of biophilic design can also be experienced in the Office Inspiration Centre interiors. Contact with nature begins even before the entrance ‒ all visitors are led to the building by a picturesque path running among pergolas.
Architects ‒ Marek Dunikowski and Jarosław Kutniowski from the DDJM design studio managed to realise their vision that aimed to create a building matching the old growth forest, which was part of the former Fischer-Benis court and park complex.
The outdoor forest garden makes reference to the old growth forest with oaks and maples. The GAJDA landscape architecture studio, which was responsible for the garden's project, divided the green areas into a space filled with a composition of perennials and bushes, and a grass land. The whole plot is surrounded with a hedge.
Greenery is a hallmark of all the interiors designed by Joanna Zapała and Sebastian Wiśniewski, architects from Nowy Styl Group. The green plans (dracaena, Kentia and Areca palms, and Philodendron pertusem called monstera), which were carefully selected for the Office Inspiration Centre, are put in pots and arranged in the form of vertical gardens with an automatic irrigation system.
Aware of the influence lighting exerts on employees' productivity (for 77% of the surveyed people it is the most important efficiency factor4), we have applied luminaries that offer the possibility to control the colour temperature, from warm through neutral to blue. The luminaries automatically adjust the colour of the light to parameters of the natural light at the brightest time of the day.
Interiors of the Office Inspiration Centre are also expositions of the latest office solutions that fit into the biophilic design trend.
The freestanding walls from the Tepee furniture system ensure isolation and section off meeting and concentration zones visually. They are made of thermoformed felt, which is an eco-friendly material manufactured from recycled PET bottles.
The Levitate furniture system is characterised by a wide, yet untypical use of wood (legs, tops and many elements of the third storage level).
Names and the arrangement of meeting and concentration rooms also make reference to nature.
The MOUNTAIN concentration room with a mountain motif on the wall and a lamp which looks like a light cloud.
The FOREST room with a plant motif on the wall.
The OCEAN room that makes reference to the colours of water and oceans.
Green design, the feeling of freshness and bright space ‒ all these aspects allow every visitor to the Office Inspiration Centre to feel free and close to nature like never before in the office space.
 Hatalska N., Living buildings, Przyszłość biurowców do 2050, Skanska, p.16
 Human spaces. (2015). Biophilic Design in the Workplace
 Skanska JLL. (2015) BPO and Shared Service Centres: employees speak out on workplace. Office buildings attributes as a competitive advantage in the war for talent.
 "Impact of Office Design on Employees' Productivity" (in:) Journal of Public Affairs, Administration and Management; Vol. 3, No. 1, 2009
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