Given workplace mobility trends, broadening employee and corporate interest in sustainability, in conjunction with growing economic pressure on businesses, the vision for the office building of the future in North America is no longer a new building. Instead the future lies in existing structures that have been adapted beyond recognition, beyond a use dedicated solely to traditional office work. These buildings will be forever known as the “Hackable Buildings”.
Capable of fully delivering on the universal planning flexibility inherent in their standardized floorplates and interior design logic, these buildings will evolve culturally and physically thru smaller, pioneering interventions, transforming these large monolithicoffice blocks and the 9-5, corporate hive mentality into hybridized buildings that promote creativity and a willingness to respond to changing work modes of the 21st century worker and the lifestyles of the 21st century urban dweller. By projecting a willingness to design a diverse mix of uses and modifications into former office buildings, these neutral structures will develop a level of specificity that supersedes image through their ability to serve future generations of workers accustomed to constant motion, and to an urban lifestyle ever more in flux.
Using the power of speculation, the team first researched precedent and the metrics that led to the office building of today. Coupled with observations on the increasing conversion rates of existing office buildings to other uses, we confirmed suspicions that the planametric logics which have driven the market to a predictable, repetitive office building prototype actually have applicability to a plethora of uses beyond the office function. Recognizing the effect of density and mobility on the shrinking workplace, the question of what is to be done with the ensuing empty space became the basis for our proposal.
Based on a catalog of small, pioneering interventions developed by Gensler for the Hackable Building proposal, the team speculated on how these interventions would transform to 2 separate buildings – 1.) J. Edgar Hoover (FBI) Building, Washington, D.C. and 2.) Union Bank Tower, Los Angeles, CA
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Project Name: HACKABLE BUILDINGS – A response to NAIOP’s 2012 call for ideas competition “The Office Building of the Future in North America”
Project Team: Carrie Morrison, Chris Rhoads, Christine Barber, Colette Smith, Darcey Thomson, Duncan Lyons, Heidi Konieczka, James Schrader, Jeff Barber, Jessica Griese, John Adams, Li Wen, Raffael Scasserra, Rob Jernigan, Ruben Smudde, Shawn Gehle, Tam Thien Tran
For additional information contact: Shawn Gehle, Gensler Los Angeles