The Next Level of DC Offices
A rooftop deck, fitness center and open floor plates just don’t move the needle like they used to for prospective office tenants, and developers and architects are working to find bigger and better amenities to entice future clients. That’s why we’re excited to host our annual DC State of Office event on Sept. 16 at 7:30am at 440 First St NW.
DFS Construction principal Mac Forsyth says the craziest new amenity he’s working on is a basketball court on the roof of 1776 Eye St NW, a Rockrose building. “Everybody’s looking for something that stands out,” says Mac, who will be a panelist at State of Office. “If I’m looking at this building or another one across the street, they’re basically the same, except this one has a basketball court.” That's the same principle WC Smith operates by, putting the above court in its 2M Street apartment building. It’s all aimed at office tenants who want to attract Millennials. Mac tells us these amenities are designed with the younger audience in mind. It’s a chain reaction: from owner to developer, to architect, to tenant, to Millennial worker. It puts everyone at the whim of the preferences of young professionals.
Building amenities tell only part of the story. The office spaces themselves are just as important to lure the yuppies among us. A study released by office designer Knoll earlier this summer says the more flexible office space is, the better. “Organizations need more high-quality, adaptable space that caters to a wider variety of workers,” the report states. It also discusses Office 3.0. Office 1.0 was analog and filled with stacks of paper. Office 2.0 was about technology focusing on computing and the Internet. Office 3.0, the report contends, “takes account of the possibilities and benefits of the current generation of technology and the flexibility being demanded by corporations, and exploits them to create a people-centered, productive space.” You don’t need arcades, like Google’s Toronto office, above, but you don’t not need arcades, either.
Gensler managing director Jeff Barber (whom we snapped last year) says “one size fits none” when it comes to the modern office. Gensler, one of the biggest architecture firms in the world, has a few principles it adheres to when designing offices these days, including “ubiquitous, integrated technology,” using “beta” or unfinished spaces in balance with fully built-out office and to establish “neighborhoods” for different styles of work. To learn more, please join us for our DC State of Office on Sept. 16 at 440 First St NW. Sign up here!