Industrial Office Design

There was a time when the cubicle office was the in-thing. Then came the open-plan office. Today, a number of firms are adopting industrial office design, which in a way is an extension of the open-plan design. Take Google, Twitter, and Capital One. Here is a description of the characteristics of an office with an industrial look:

High ceilings

Industrial office design retails high ceilings with clerestory windows on one of the shorter sides. Some have a saw-tooth roofline with glazed skylights. You shouldn’t expect drop ceilings with fluorescent lights.

Multi-storey lobby areas

If you are looking for a place to hold impromptu meetings, it should be in the expansive multi-storey lounge lobby areas. You will also find private meeting areas and offices with large translucent or clear glass panels. After all, this type of office is open-plan in nature.

Industrial-age materials

In implementing the industrial office design, it is vital that features such as brick walls, heavy metal doors & fixtures, and wooden rafters & joists ought to be maintained. For the floors, you might want to use high-gloss hardwood. That would involve refinishing the original floors or use distresses and recycled alternatives. But that doesn’t rule out polished, natural finish concrete floors.

Industrial furniture

Nothing works well with this kind of design like industrial furniture. Think of using heavy-duty metal workstations and desks made of stainless steel or welded steel. Treat these with a protective clear coat to keep the underlying metal and welds visible. The work surfaces could be made of over-sized hardwood planks. Whatever you do, maintain an authentic factory aesthetic.


Exposed utilities

Most places where they have used industrial office design have gaping conduit tubes and HVAC ductwork held by cables from the ceiling. Expect to see exposed plumbing lines as well as visible wall-mounted electrical conduits.

Half-wall partitions

Different work zones are defined using plasterboard or drywall surfaces. The dividing walls don’t go all the way to the ceiling. The point is to allow air to circulate even as it maintains the open-office design.

Solid-colour wall painting

Solid, flat colours are used to paint the plasterboard surfaces. Take white, black, and grey. The essence is to create a contrast with the highly-textured brick walls and gloss hardwood stores. You would hardly find any graphic decorations in this type of office. Occasionally large super-graphics such as corporate logos might be used.

Metal staircases

They look the same way as external fire escapes or factory staircases fashioned from open grid metal grates or welded steel plates. Metal tubes or cable stays are used to make stair rails and balcony guards. That ensures that consistency is maintained especially when it comes to using metals.

Bespoke design lighting

Industrial office design is almost synonymous with bespoke lighting. Expect creative designs including over-sized chandeliers made of recycled materials. Apart from the light, they have the jewel-like details of bright metals like the elegant aluminium and brass.

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