Introduction to Office Interior Designing
The office, where we spend the most significant portion of our working lives in our work places, which is the reason that one should always be very careful about the functionality décor of the working space. Our work space, where we spend at least half our walking time, six days a week, is as important a part of our lives as our homes. The working conditions and the environment in the offices directly affect the way people interact with the family and friends at the end of the day. These also have an influence on our productivity, mental well-being and general health.

»   Planning a office
»   Ceilings
»   Lighting
»   Flooring

Planning the office
To plan an office effectively, the designer should have a thorough understanding of the functional and aesthetic requirements of the client, followed by an in-depth evaluation of the possibilities and constraints of the given space, including columns, beams, existing plumbing and so on. An office should ideally have enough space not merely to seat its employees, but to locate ancillary and support services, from the stately boardroom to the humble pantry, as well as for circulation between these areas, with adequate access to stairs and fire escapes. When planning a given space, it is important to conceive a long term master plan, keeping in mind planned growth and future requirements, even if the intention is only to implement part of the plan now and execute the rest as needs and funds arise. The master plan would ensure that what is installed now will not have to be dismantled or relocated when new developments take place. This would help eliminate unnecessary wastage of material and labor.

It is well to remember that ceilings, like any other surface, reflect light and sound, and contribute significantly to the lighting and acoustic qualities of a space.
  • Suspended ceilings are available in different materials, and increasingly, acoustic tiles and panels are becoming standard, especially in open offices and where no special ceiling treatment is required. It is usually made of non-combustible which prevents sound waves being reflected back into the room.
  • Holes for recessed lights can be cut out wherever required.
  • Plaster or gypsum board is harder and reflects more sounds then it absorbs.
  • Exposed structural ceiling are sometimes used to create a hi-tech image, as a stylistic alternative to the typical office interior.

Good lighting is crucial for effective work, besides which, lighting accounts for a considerable part of the energy consumed in an office. Therefore, two basic elements which the designer must keep in mind are the cost and the efficiency of lighting. On the other hand, it is lighting which makes design come alive and it should be exploited accordingly. It can create a warm, inviting and dramatic interior, or result in a cold and monotonous office.
  • One effective use of the standard bulb is as a wall wash, which tends to imbue the whole space with incandescence and makes the room warm and friendly.
  • Incandescent down lights, halogens included, can complement fluorescents and can be used to highlight specific objects, such as desks, plants, paintings, objects, etc.
  • To reduce eye strain and fatigue, high contrasts should be avoided. Use of job oriented, task lights can be practical, if complemented by general lighting.
  • Suspended or pendant lights can serve a dual function in this regard, and while providing overall illumination, can be lowered to concentrate on a given space.
  • A system of selective switching and operational control area wise, or where possible even desk wise, can help restrict usage and operating costs of lighting to only as and when required.

Office flooring is subjected to more wear and tear than any other surface in the room, and it is therefore imperative that it be hardy and resilient.
  • Flooring materials vary greatly. Hard flooring, such as stone, granite, marble, kota, etc. Wood, cement, terrazzo, ceramic tiles, are usually noisier.
  • Soft coverings such as vinyl or carpeting, but they are hardier.
  • Choice of flooring material will depend on the function of a given area and its requirements where durability, appearance, cost and maintenance are concerned.
  • Flooring can be used as a design tool not only in an obvious choice of material and color , but to demarcate departments , private/public areas and circulation paths , by a selective use of different hues and surfaces.
    Thus, planning the ideal offices large and small, opulent and Spartan, the professionals can help make the complicated thing, simple to understand and to work out.

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