The exterior design of an office is really just as important as the interior. A building’s exterior envelope can play a big role in how clients view the business (and first impressions are everything), improve functionality of space and even lower overall maintenance costs for the building.
Office buildings tend to have high energy consumption compared to other industry buildings, primarily through HVAC systems and electricity. Renovating an office exterior not only gives the building a fresh new look that extends a better invitation to those outside, but it also is a chance to improve insulative abilities by taking advantage of superior materials, like modified wood.
Here are six building design ideas that can easily be adopted into either the renovation of a current or construction of a new office building.
1. Modern asymmetrical roof adds height to small buildings
(The Brokery, by Studio Ma, photo by Bill Timmerman)
Vaulted ceilings make a small office interior look bigger, but from the outside it can end up looking comically tall. A trick to making a compact office look larger and remain visually balanced is, ironically, an asymmetrical roof. The office shown here has a very modern appeal thanks to the slanted metal roof, complete with matching metal pillars that extend to ground level. The cladding of the building is horizontally-placed Kebony modified wood, which works perfectly for a rustic-meets-industrial design.
2. Unique staggered window placement gives character
(Moholt 50|50, by MDH Arkitekter)
Expansive windows that extend to every corner of a wall is a common trend that can be seen a lot in buildings everywhere. And while they do bring plenty of natural light to a space, what was once fun and new has now become a bit overdone. Instead show some creativity with untraditional window placement. This particular building is actually student housing, but is a perfect example of how simply staggering window placement can create an inventive and stunning exterior.
3. Natural wood harmonizes with an unexpected bold facade
(Urban Hospice, by NORD Architects Copenhagen, photo by Adam Mork)
Bold siding is a surefire way of making an office building stand out. Metal and wood are the ultimate juxtaposition that always seem to work incredibly well with one another. The featured building here is an urban hospice center that understands this idea and serves as an incredible example of how a completely unexpected siding makes an otherwise simple building structure very memorable. The striking gold metal siding is reflective and gives a fun, contemporary feel. Pairing it with modified wood trim, decking and planters, gives an earthiness to the glamour - a very bold design statement that worked wonderfully together.
4. Bring the comfort of the indoors outside
(YETI Corporate Office, by TBG Partners, photo by Fine Focus Photography)
The exterior design of a building can also include functional space that helps expand the overall use of your property. While most offices have break rooms and meeting areas, creating those same spaces outdoors can breathe fresh new life into the workplace. With large shade structures, a small manicured lawn, and plenty of seating variety, the outdoor area of this corporate office makes a big impression on employees and clients alike.
5. Encourage business interest by offering public space
(Google Fiber Office, by Grimshaw Architects)
Another approach to your building’s exterior that encourages and attracts people to your business is creating an outdoor space that’s open to the public as well as employees. Creating an area where passersby can stop and sit is a great way to entice them to consider whatever services your business offers. This area can also function as an outdoor break room for staff. The above space is simply designed, with modified wood decking and furnishings, making it more durable for the varied use it will encounter.
6. Add color to metal and wood with a touch of stained glass
(Helle School, by Borve & Borchsenius)
As has been discussed, metal and wood work together, they just do. Like this building for instance, that uses modified wood with aluminum and steel accents. But what really brings this design to another level is the addition of stained glass windows. What was once an outdated element, has been revived with simplicity in mind and gives this building new life.
There are limitless ideas of how to design a stunning and durable exterior. Although not all of the featured buildings are offices, they show how different elements of architecture can be adapted for use in office building design. One congruent feature you’ll see in all of our examples is Kebony modified wood; displaying its versatility and ability to transform any ordinary office building into something extraordinary and work talking about.