News from the world of office design

Cathy Hayward reports on the latest in office design, including new recycling bins, why teddy bears are having a say in furniture, and Lane4 moves to new office

If you go down to the office today… KI’s latest product inspired by teddy bears
KI has revealed its new Take5 lounge seating collection, inspired by mid-century styling and designed for today’s workspaces.

The collection’s single, two and three-seater sofas with low or high backs are complemented by ottomans, coffee tables and side tables.

Take5’s pillowed shapes and curved armrests are evocative of a teddy bear, instantly inviting the user to feel comfortable and relaxed.

The space beneath the armrests also acts as leg room, allowing the user to pivot to the side. The flat top of the armrests double as both a secondary seating surface and a worktop for notebooks or laptops. Each sofa can be fitted with power and USB modules.

Matching or contrasting upholstered high backs can be added to reduce distractions, increase a sense of privacy and for noise reduction.

Featuring a platform base and angled feet made from solid beech the collection complements KI’s EC4 range of workstations, tables and storage plinths.

Together, these elegant products help create a more domestic atmosphere in the corporate workspace.

Method Recycling bins unveiled in UK market
Method Recyling, the company behind the design-led recycling bins, is launching in the UK. The products, which have won several design awards in New Zealand, are already being used by a select few UK businesses including several architects practices.

The adaptable recycling stations, which feature containers for glass, organics, paper, landfill and mixed recycling, move or grow as a company’s needs change while the colours complement the office design. The company was founded by product and graphic designers, India and Steven Korner, so a strong visual design is central to the product’s vision.

Bins from Method Recycling have been specified by several UK architects practicesBins from Method Recycling have been specified by several UK architects practices

‘When we were selling bins, liners and recycling labels to businesses across New Zealand we would consistently see beautiful modern offices with unattractive recycling systems, or bins hidden away in cupboards,’ explains Steve Korner. ‘Employees were apathetic about recycling; internal company cultures were ignoring the issue of sustainability in the workplace. Our bins, which are visible and beautiful, act as an effective system of change.’

The UK launch follows seven years of research, design and development in New Zealand and Australia where the products grace the offices of organisations such as Xero, Canva and Sydney Cricket Ground.

Lane4 gets the winning edge with new office design
Award-winning management consultancy firm Lane4 has moved into its new Maidenhead office, designed and fit out by Morgan Lovell.

Lane4 is named after the fourth lane in swimming that is given to the fastest qualifier

The 1,580 sq m space in the TOR Building will allow Lane4 to continue to expand its services for clients. The business was set up by British Olympic gold medal swimmer Adrian Moorhouse and is named after the fourth lane in swimming given to the fastest qualifier.

Lane4 is named after the fourth lane in swimming that is given to the fastest qualifierLane4 is named after the fourth lane in swimming that is given to the fastest qualifier

The design by Morgan Lovell’s Bracknell office made the atrium kitchen and breakout area the heart of the new office, bringing everyone together in an informal and relaxing space. Sightlines across the atrium space have been carefully maintained with extensive use of glass achieving a view of the entire office from almost every seat. Biophillia was also used extensively throughout the fit-out; with moss walls, feature trees and plants.

The wrap is off on McDonald’s new global HQ in Chicago
McDonald’s has opened a new corporate headquarters in Chicago’s vibrant West Loop neighbourhood by unveiling the state-of-the-art building that had been covered in a 21m-tall and 143m-wide wrap dotted with Big Macs for the grand opening.

The move marks a return to Chicago where the company was headquartered from 1955 to 1971. In addition to the approximately 2,000 people based there, it will house the flagship Hamburger University (HU) location, providing state-of-the-art learning for the company’s employees and future leaders.

McDonald’s new global HQ in Chicago

Designed to maximise employee collaboration, the new headquarters features:

  • ‘Work neighbourhoods’ with open-floor plans that give employees the flexibility to pick the environment that best fits their needs any time of day and serve as a home base for departments. Neighbourhoods includes huddle rooms, communal tables, workstations, private phone rooms and personal lockers
  • A 700-person conference centre equipped with the latest technology, allowing for connectivity on a global scale
  • A Work Café on the sixth floor, the ultimate collaboration space for employees with stadium seating. It is designed to represent the colourful tube/tunnels in a PlayPlace, offers a McCafé serving barista-style coffee and Canadian pastries, and a tech bar for employees’ technological needs
  • Several outdoor terrace spaces and a ninth-floor fitness centre with picturesque views of Chicago.

The LEED certifiable building reflects McDonald’s commitment to sustainability. All waste produced in the test kitchens will be composted, and the building also features a green roof.

Throughout the building are nods to McDonald’s heritage including museum quality displays of Happy Meal toys, vintage memorabilia and a tribute wall to McDonald’s groundbreaking leaders, inventors and owner-operators.

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