With the increasing demand to account for every square metre of space in the modern office, we developed a proposal that allows the workspace to become more than simply seating and desking. Our proposal reinvigorates the bland, open-plan office and allows spaces that inspire while also promoting innovation and ecology.
FLIP takes the conventional office kitchen and quite literally flips it on its head, creating a new interactive datum on the ceiling. The ceiling zone, which is typically used to house services, becomes a zone that gives back to the end-users with a controlled presence. FLIP allows the kitchen to be fully suspended from the ceiling plane and is accessible by the ever-changing office landscape below. Unlike the conventional static kitchen, which is normally buried in the core of office blocks or sometimes left to tenants to provide, it also wastes valuable rentable working space. With occupying prices at a premium, FLIP can provide a solution.
FLIP uses a modular kitchen system, fixed to a dynamic track in the ceiling with different office zones in its trajectory, to dock, stop and operate. FLIP uses kitchen components and adopts a pull-down approach, making it user-friendly and completely accessible to all. This radical but not unrealistic intervention can integrate smart kitchens into the work environment, creating new spatial crossovers currently unenvisaged by interior designers and architects alike.
The larger the floor plate, the more opportunity for tenants to avoid creating multiple kitchen locations and instead ensure that breakout, meeting, workspace and kitchen spaces all overlap into one rather than at a single, central point. FLIP follows a route around the office throughout the day, interacting with different landscapes. In the morning, FLIP will hover over a landscape that is designed to wake us, and the light and bright environment is packed with fresh produce that can be picked from the growing ability of the gantry. It supports office wellbeing by promoting exercise and ensures staff feel good about themselves.
At lunchtime FLIP moves to a new location and with it a new spatial environment: a more open space that allows a larger gathering, to promote comradery and the sharing of ideas. At mid-afternoon it would travel to a quieter zone for breakouts and 4pm tea and biscuits, which involves a private clustered pod. At the end of the day, FLIP would dock, charge, replenish and empty its waste, preparing it for another day.
Docking at set points isn’t just coordinated according to the time of day. Employing artificial intelligence, FLIP will quickly learn when to set off to the next dock and when to wait a little longer because there’s always someone who’s late for their much-needed morning coffee. FLIP simply learns humanistic routines and allows for this by reacting to the needs of the office throughout the social rhythms of the day.