Outdoor spaces in company buildings, but… why?
Several companies have opted to include indoor gardens in their buildings, or to create pleasant outdoor spaces in their surroundings, but… why?!
This is due to the fact that providing better life quality for workers may improve their health, and consequently their commitment and productivity.
Somewhat like Gottfried Schatz used to say in regards to the Novartis pharmaceutical campus: The best ideas do not come from the closed and secured environments with which many of us deal daily, they come from scribbles on a restaurant’s tablecloth or small talk during a coffee break.
This is why several companies, like Spotify or Google, have chosen to invest in their exterior spaces, creating pleasant areas for working, socializing, resting, passing through or just simply beautiful office views.
These spaces allow, on one hand, for relaxation during breaks, and on the other hand for work on a different setting, in an inspired and stimulating place.
The Novartis campus, for instance, has proven to be a success, thanks to its exterior space, which makes it more appealing to workers.
But there are several examples in various sizes, such as the Novartis campus in Basel, where one may find different scales, from small squares, patios and terraces, and parks that look extremely natural. They’re the projects of landscape artists like VOGT or Peter Walker and Partners.
The Floorworks project, in Geneva, which is the entrance garden to the company SPG, ends up being a square that’s open to the general public, drawing the attention passers-by to its exuberant autumn colours, its green walls with a great variety of foliage, and even the steam that it emanates very now and then…
The SEB Bank & Pension’s City Dune is another success case in Copenhagen, in that it rehabilitated an area of the port, making it a very lively public space for citizens and company employees.
As difficult as it may seem to quantify the value added to this type of space, there are several examples that show it, and which several studies have confirmed. These projects make companies more appealing to workers and ensure more visibility.
No to mention the numerous environmental benefits, namely in what concerns temperature regulation…
Have you imagined working outdoors at every chance you get, or simply taking a walk during a lunch break while chatting with your co-workers? Inspiring, isn’t it?
Amália Souto de Miranda