Jestico + Whiles completes key new learning centre for the University of Cambridge
A new building that offers co-working and social spaces, the West Hub marks the start of the transformation of the West Cambridge Site into a centre for innovation.
Architecture and design firm Gensler has unveiled its annual Design Forecast publication, setting out predictions and solutions for future design challenges.
The 2022 Forecast focuses on design strategies that will define the future of the human experience for the coming years, informed by research, data and projects from across Gensler’s global portfolio. Standout points include:
Regeneration and reuse will be high on the agenda in a response to climate change – making more efficient use of existing spaces, materials and products, as well as reducing waste and carbon emissions. Socially and environmentally responsible office buildings will become both easier to finance and easier to lease to tenants, who are increasingly demanding workplaces that support the health and wellbeing of occupants and the planet.
The realisation that COVID will be an ongoing global health battle is prompting a long-term expectation and demand for heightened hygiene protocols and wellness safeguards, with smarter, more hygienic products given a competitive edge. Outdoor spaces will remain important across workplace, hospitality and cultural venues, “including areas equipped with mechanical systems, such as radiant heating and cooling to support meetings, focus space and more.”
The impacts of the pandemic, shifting working patterns and increased mental health awareness have caused a change in how we understand wellbeing – where previously wellness considerations were a ‘nice-to-have’, they are now a necessity. “Now is the time to put wellness-based design strategies into action,” says Gensler.
While workers still place a lot of value in physical workplaces for social interaction, collaboration and mentorship, the impact of COVID has created an opportunity to rethink the workplace, to create an experience that can attract – and retain – people, whether that’s through new technologies or new types of spaces. Designing the most sought-after experiences for people in built environments increasingly means integrating digital experiences into physical spaces. Office buildings should be contributing to their surrounding neighbourhoods, even when tenants are not present. “By integrating their ground floors into the community, office buildings will become anchors of the 20-minute city,” the report suggests.
Read the full report at gensler.com
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