Gensler LA was one of the finalists of the NAIOP 12 Ideas Competition, offering up a truly compelling vision of the future of office buildings.
Their thinking is something like the following:
- We’ve gone through many generations of office buildings in the U.S., and most of the older forms — from the 1800s and the early 1900s — have been repurposed for other uses already, like residential and commercial.
- It costs a great deal of money and takes a long time to build new “type A” office towers.
- Businesses are moving to an increasingly mobile workforce, so as much as 90 percent of office space might be freed up in the future.
So what is the office building of the future? The answer is hacking existing “type A” office buildings and adding new features(like hotels, retail, schools, health clubs) and new vertical transportation (external elevators, escalators). Some conventional office will still be there, but more of the modern open, multi-use space is also likely.
This is a culture shift, they argue, much more than a real estate strategy. And the result is anti-modernist, where everything is envisioned as brand new; this is more of a Blade Runner style, where the new is layered on top, or integrated into the established, older strata of the city.
Check out the video:
Apparently, Gensler is moving ahead with an actual hackable project in LA: Latitude 34.
From Jack Skelly, The Hackable Building: From Corporate to Cool for Tech Tenants
“Gensler is hacking the office complex of Latitude 34 in Playa Vista on the Los Angeles’ west side. First on the hacking list is to create individual addresses for businesses, where the current design funnels all tenants through a single common lobby.
‘This is what you find in warehouse re-uses, where you park nearby and walk up to your front door,’ says White. ‘Second on the list is to create a sense of scale missing from monolithic office buildings. The idea is to break down the scale of the façade to make it feel like separate row houses.’
Gensler will also reconfigure the volume of space within the buildings, punching through floors to create two connecting floors rather than requiring tenants to occupy horizontally.
The renovation will create a more dynamic life for the building. Rendering courtesy Gensler.
Nothing was sacred, says White. ‘Every new material had to bring authenticity to the experience, bring a depth, texture, and warmth to the space. There must be access to fresh air. Active architecture, where stairs replace the elevator as the primary circulation spine.’
The hacking is on a fast track. Gensler’s re-created Latitude 34 is set to open by the end of this year.”