When it comes to workspace, interior design is important. But have you thought how the outside of a building can influence the success of its occupiers? In this article we’re looking at corporate outdoor spaces and how to make the most every cubic centimetre.
First impressions matter
Business is all about lasting impressions. So who do you need to impress and why?
New customers? Existing clients? Staff and colleagues? Suppliers? Investors?
The outside of your premises matters just as much as the inside. What do you see as you approach the building? If the first impression is of a severe, stark or slightly unloved building you’re already off on the wrong foot.
Granted, it’s not always possible to make big changes to the fabric of a building. But there are things you can do to make a more favourable impact.
Greet your guests with greenery
Little touches of green speak loudly. Depending on where you are and the infrastructure you have, you could consider some planters, trees, window boxes, green wall panels or trailing plants to highlight the good points of the buildings and take the eye away from the more functional parts.
The VIP entrance to the SSE Arena at Wembley. Designed and built by Hels Angels
Drawing attention to the branding
Productive spaces outdoors
Most business premises have an indoor meeting room – but why sit in a stuffy room on a lovely day? Why not take your coffee outdoors and soak up some healthy vitamin D while you talk.
It’s surprising what you can do with some low maintenance artificial planting solutions.
Convert a terrace or a flat roof into a meeting zone. So many roofs are wasted space but before you start designing, check with a structural engineer that the building can cope with any extra loading.
You will need to ensure safe access (no climbing through windows!) and of course install safety barriers. After that, find seating, flooring and decorative features that reflect your brand image.
Artificial grass is a lightweight flooring solution that instantly lifts the look and feel of a space without causing problems with loading.
London’s Canary Wharf and this roof terrace is being transformed with artificial grass – just add furniture for an really useful outdoor space
If it’s a bit blustery, install a wind break – glass balustrades are great, but so are artificial green wall panels. Pop in some seating, lighting and a planter or two with some decorative low maintenance plants and you will have an inspirational space for brainstorming which doubles as a calming place for more difficult conversations.
Making better use of roof space at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
Faux foliage needs virtually no maintenance, but more importantly, it doesn’t rely on heavy topsoil. Thus there is less loading on the building and no possibility of root damage.
Stress busting escape zones
Mental health should be a high priority for any modern business. They physical and mental stress of a high pressure environment can easily lead to lower productivity and more sickness days.
An outdoor retreat is one way of helping colleagues to de-stress during the day. Make a lovely place to eat lunch or enjoy a 10 minute coffee break. You could even introduce some endorphin raising fitness or games equipment
A brilliant use of outdoor space at this office complex. The living green wall cools the building and the outdoor space whilst the artificial turf supplies an all weather surface that never gets muddy.
Created by Scotscape
Improving the view from indoors
Even if you have no accessible outdoor space, there may be opportunities to give everyone inside the building a much better view from the window.
How about a green wall or a green roof? – so much more attractive than bare bricks or bitumen. Window boxes are great – and if you’re not particularly green fingered, using faux flowers and foliage will give you all of the visual elements with none of the work.
A view from above – this rather uninspiring basement lightwell is given a facelift to improve the view from inside the building.
Need some ideas for making more of your outdoor spaces?
Talk to the Green Envee Design team about bespoke solutions to reflect your brand image