Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Office design perspectives

What are the vital factors that distinguish the designing for production centres and research wings?

From the day Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built the Johnson's wax factory, office building spaces are seen with a different terminology.

Though the work culture has changed over a period of time, from custom-made products to large-scale production, it is now followed with customisation too. So, it is development and research all the way.

Research and development are very important, though the number of scientists and research scholars has dwindled.

The production of goods, be it software cars or fast moving consumer goods, has increased and so has the production department.


These production departments need upgradation every year with good economics that help the speedy working of the production line, in turn helping the R and D department look into newer perspectives.

A production and R and D building combination is an example of a unique campus which facilitates production like a factory campus and provides educational facility like an institutional campus.

So, the character of the campus should reflect the strength of a factory building by means of a strong brick and mortar form, and also bring in an institutional character of a college building with lots of landscape and terrace areas.

Though production units may differ in the way they produce the finished goods, the sequencing is similar in most office buildings.

Easy movement

The main entries need to be multi-focal to enhance easy movement, allowing the spaces accessed by the visitors to lead to the lounge. The entries to be used only by the office staff have to be separate.
Car parking area can be cordoned off with a green buffer and there can be a quick change-room close to the space.

It has to be planned conceptually, since production facilities have the tendency to grow in size. There has to be enough room for future expansion, either horizontally or vertically.

The R & D block needs to have a good support library and maximum sterile atmosphere. This will definitely go a long way in helping the staff members do their creative working effectively.

The proximity to the quality control department and the production wing is important as well.

A noise buffer in the form of landscape or a blank wall is important. This buffering is critical when the blocks are close by and have a high noise index.


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