The Chassis Building, with it's proposed adaptable floor plate, is a brilliant innovation and to meet the workplace expectations, changes have to be made in the environments that we create. Not only the physical attributes but also to align with the evolving ways of working, with agile working practices, new technology etc.
New technology and methods of construction and engineering, must mean that it is achievable to deliver such a concept. Affordability is key these days but where there is a demand for such innovative environments and high rent-able values such as in major conurbations, this should not be a barrier. Elsewhere it is doubtful that it would be a success, but maybe time will tell.
The proposal is novel for the workplace, but it has been proposed before with the original concept of Rogers and Piano's Centre Pompidou in Paris, which was for a truly flexible container in which all interior spaces could be rearranged at will and exterior elements could be clipped on and off over the life span of the building. Sadly this was not delivered internally because the cost was prohibitive, but it would be enlightening if the concept is realised in the Chassis Building and to examine the reality of the concept.
15 years ago, offices were designed like factories: a long corridor with two wings that held rooms. Now employees care about their environment, and health and well-being are critical. Whilst the new kind of offering might be common in London, Swanke director Tom Alexander’s way of achieving it is not. Floors and walls can be added/removed in the Chassis Building, double-height spaces being easily transformed into a second storey. Alexander said companies' needs typically change about every two to five years as they mature and sometimes contract. The Chassis Building takes inspiration from many places with huge interior atria: several concepts from education facilities, such as platforms, pods and one-on-one learning spaces, are re-purposed for the modern work environment. The result is a fresh take on the modern office. How we learn is bespoke and working should be as well.