October 21, 2020
Could a quirky office compound, designed by a quirky architectural practice for a co-working office operator famous for its quirky buildings offer a template for post-pandemic office design? The hordes of ex-office workers sick of endless Zoom meetings at home would probably hope so. And where better to locate the office of the future than in Los Angeles, where space is plentiful, the weather is ideal for year-round al fresco living and where creativity is fuelled by the presence of Hollywood?
Designed by Spanish architectural studio Selgascano, Second Home Hollywood is a rather unusual office development. It sits on a 90,800 square feet plot, at the corner of which is an existing neo-classical building designed by Paul Williams in 1964. This now serves as the main entrance to the campus as well as hosting co-working hotdesks, a cafe and event spaces.
The rest of the plot, above a vast underground carpark, is home to 60 oval pods in four different shapes and sizes. Each pod contains a standalone office, perfect for creating your socially-distanced workplace bubble. Getting to work is a breeze. Instead of cramped lifts and soulless corridors you get to take a meandering path through a garden filled with over 10,000 plants, under the crisp Californian sun.
Once inside, your office pod is flooded with light, thanks to the glass curtain walls; and also flooded with fresh air, thanks to the multiple openings for natural cross ventilation and the hospital-grade MERV-13 filters in the air conditioning system. The built-in desks are made of white Corian, a non-porous material which is not only hyper hygienic but also beautifully smooth and joint-free, complementing the curvaceous shape of the pod perfectly. As the planters outside the pods reach up to desk height, working at your desk really feels like you are surrounded by nature.
The roofs of the pods are painted an optimistic shade of yellow. From far above, the complex stands out like a small patch of daffodils amongst the grey, concrete jungle that is Los Angeles; giving hope that, thanks to creativity and good design, the city will bounce back after the pandemic.
Add some lush greenery indoors with potted plants such the Sansevieria plant from Grace & Thorn. For those without green fingers a great alternative is to apply wild, botanical wallpaper such as the Lush Succulents wallpaper from Mind The Gap. Failing that, a beautiful vase such as the Echasse vase from Menu would surely inspire some green adventures.
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Campers and glampers might disagree on what is luxury and what is essential, but they share a common desire to be as close to nature as possible. Casey Brown Architecture have created a self-contained tiny house which does this beautifully.
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