As businesses and offices begin the plan to change trajectory towards a new normal, they aim to take their design to the next level. Creating a welcoming and distraction-free environment for their team and ensuring the overall health and safety of their employee exceeds expectations means taking on a new standard of wellness and sustainability for their new office environment.
Developing a space that reduces acoustic sorrow, incorporates healing properties of natural and biophilic themes and promotes people feeling a little more at home will go a long way in making 2022 as “next to normal” as possible.
These 16 commercial office design solutions will help inspire and create a space that is modern, comfortable and emotionally pleasing to return to the workplace in.
1. Separate Workspaces for Health, Wellness, & Safety
“Cubicles” Featuring: SoftScreen® Alcazar by Arktura
Adding wall panels to create partitions between workspaces is more important than ever. As people return to the office, mitigating the spread of germs is a top priority — but the partitions don’t have to be clinical, ugly or boring.
For years, the open concept office design reigned supreme. But the pandemic created resistance to an open concept office, and had people racing to erect basic (unattractive) partition panels to mitigate the spread of germs. Now that some time has passed, however, it’s time to ditch the plexiglass panels for something that’s more aesthetically pleasing, while still creating the same level of comfort and protection.
SoftScreen® acoustic wall panels are covered in high-performance sound-attenuating Soft Sound® material, so that they reduce the impact of noise while at the same time reducing the spread of germs.
2. Create Dynamic Staggered Sound Reduction
“Confidential Office Space Reception Lounge” Gensler, DPR Construction, ©Gensler – Ryan Gobuty (Photographer), Featuring: SoundAngle® by Arktura
Dynamic commercial offices need dynamic commercial office designs. This need is met with our SoundAngle® ceiling system’s multi-directional design. Its Soft Sound® acoustical material, in combination with the angled design, drastically reduces sound reverberations and noise from any direction.
Available in a range of colors and finishes, this design element is as functional as it is beautiful. This design incorporates the acoustic multi-directional fins throughout the space, creating a sense of movement. The white Soft Sound® material ensures that it keeps the space bright and inviting, while also controlling any unwanted noise.
3. Make the Ceiling a Standout Design Element
“Mead Johnson” Chicago, IL, Partners by Design – CH, Tom Harris Architectural Photography, Featuring: Atmosphera® Custom Analog 3D by Arktura
Atmosphera® Custom Analog 3D
The ceiling — a space which is often overlooked — can enhance a design while also acting as a functional element. Intentional ceiling design is especially impactful in a small space where too much on the wall or floor would overcrowd the space.
In small spaces, such as hallways, many people will simply pass through without feeling any impact. Incorporating Atmosphera® Custom Analog 3D allows you to influence people’s movement through a space, as well as their impression and memory of it. Using the ceiling is a way to create an impact that lasts.
The subtle wave pattern of this commercial office design element is a nod to nature, and the soft tan stirs up images of sand dunes and undulating waves. This incorporation of a natural element, often referred to as biophilia, can have a soothing effect on employees as they continue to navigate an uncertain world by reducing stress levels and increasing comfort (and productivity).
4. Divide Multi-Functional Space Without Compromising Connection
“Open Office Conference Area” Featuring: SoftScreen® Trace by Arktura
Open concept offices and coworking spaces have seen a rise in popularity in recent years, but with increased popularity have also come increased issues. Among them are sound control in an open area and a need to separate spaces for different purposes.
SoftScreen® Trace solves both of these problems at once. Soft Sound® covered interconnected threads allow you to separate a space while also providing acoustic support.
This system also allows employees to maintain a visual connection, even within the boundaries of their space. After working from home for much of the last two years, many employees will find a sense of comfort when they’re able to see and connect with their coworkers — even if it’s from a distance.
5. Choose a Sophisticated Color Palette
“Open Office Space” Featuring: SoftGrid® Deca by Arktura
If there’s a more sophisticated color palette than black, white and grey, we don’t know what it is. This classic color combination integrates with SoftGrid® Deca acoustic ceiling modules to encourage focus and productivity within a calming environment. This commercial office design was able to integrate suspended globe lighting with the acoustic modules, creating a well-lit space that is conducive to employee comfort.
An advantage to using this system is its ability to create a complex pattern that can span a ceiling, but these modules can be used individually in smaller spaces that need a more simple design.
6. Data Stream Visual at Space Age Splendor
“Cyber Fusion” Derwood, MD, HOK – DC, Jason Flakes – Visual 14 Photography, Featuring: VaporSoft® Trail by Arktura
The availability of technology has an ever-increasing effect on productivity. Creating a commercial office design where technology is a priority will allow productivity to flourish. To tamper the effect of noise and reverberations, VaporSoft® Trail has the option of a Soft Sound® backer. This ceiling design creates excitement in the commercial office design and will help people get excited about returning to the office environment.
7. Tiered Seating With Textural Touches
“Tiered Seating Area” Featuring: Trace® Curved by Arktura
Time to ditch the conference room for tiered seating where everyone feels like they’re in a classroom. Cozy touches like cushions, comfy seats and house plants make large meetings a pleasure to attend.
In this alternative to the standard conference room, wood bench seating, plants and a green color scheme imbue the design with elements from nature that have a calming effect. To make the space even more user-friendly, Trace® Curved panels elevate the space and provide additional brightness with InLine lighting or backlighting.
8. Partition Spaces With Style
“Corporate Headquarters” Los Angeles, LA, AECOM, Featuring: A Fin Wall System by Arktura
Fin Wall Systems
When separate spaces are needed, a traditional wall isn’t always the best option. However, a Fin Wall system can act as a focal point while also defining separate spaces and enhancing a company’s branding in the design and color choices with Solutions Studio®.
This system is perfect for separating areas that serve different functions. For instance, this Fin Wall incorporates a countertop that complements the adjacent kitchen, and the bold color helps to define the space, making it a standout feature.
9. Combine Form and Performance for a Dynamic Result
“160 W Santa Clara” San Jose, CA, ESI, Tkach Photography & Design Inc., Featuring: Vapor® Graphic Perf® by Arktura
Vapor® Graphic Perf®
More than ever, designs are combining form and function to create unique spaces that are as functional as they are beautiful. This design features Vapor® Graphic Perf®, combining stunning wall tiles with integrated lighting to brighten this building’s entrance. The varying light colors add a sense of soft movement and tranquility to this beautiful entry.
10. Reach New Heights With Vibrant Colors
“Sentry” New York, NY, MBID, Featuring: Atmosphera® Adaptive Lotus by Arktura
Atmosphera® Custom Lotus
Never a wallflower, Atmosphera® Lotus can be powder-coated in a variety of colors that will spark interest and conversation. Integrating bold colors into a design with these steel ceiling panels makes a statement that won’t soon be forgotten. This vibrant commercial office design idea creates a space that is exciting — you can almost feel the energy radiating from it.
11. Combine Acoustic Trellis + Baffle Beams
“Open Corporate Lobby” Featuring SoftSpan® & SoundBar® Connectivity by Arktura
New updates to our SoftSpan® and SoundBar® acoustic systems now allow interconnectivity of the two systems: SoftSpan® & SoundBar® Connectivity. This innovative combination allows architects and designers to generate new configurations and creative layouts.
With SoundBar® and SoftSpan® linking together, ultimate acoustic and light performance are produced and can make for the perfect office environment. Whether you are working on a new design or a retrofit project, these products can help take the design to new levels.
12. Mask a Ceiling With Style
“Confidential Client” Houston, TX, HOK – Houston, G. Lyon Photography Inc., Featuring: SoftGrid® Switch by Arktura
When it comes to acoustic ceiling design, drop ceiling panels were the go-to for many years for concealing infrastructure in the ceiling and controlling sound throughout a space. Luckily, today’s options offer a stylish solution that makes the ceiling a design element in and of itself.
By using the intricate web of SoftGrid® Switch, you can conceal ceiling elements such as ductwork, wires and plumbing — and still access them easily when needed — while adding acoustic support to the room and creating an exciting ceiling-scape. Made with Soft Sound® material available in many colors and finishes — including wood textures — these panels are seamlessly connected to span the whole space and absorb sound to create a comfortable acoustic environment.
13. Design Open Space with Feature Design Elements
“Starz” Santa Monica, CA, HLW – LA, Kim Rodgers Photography, Featuring: Vapor® Trail by Arktura
Modern design has trended towards using large open spaces and creating a variety of designated spaces within them. In this design, lighting and ceiling panels are used to define spaces without physically separating them. The reception desk is clearly defined by the use of Vapor® Trail and its integrated lighting backer to guide people to exactly where they need to be — all they have to do is follow the trail.
14. Specify InLine Lighting for Integration + Illumination
“Open Office” Featuring: Trace® Slide by Arktura
Light fixtures can define a space, so integrating InLine lighting adds an element of individuality to a commercial office design. Shown here with Trace® Slide powder-coated aluminum torsion spring panels, the InLine lighting enhances the panels’ pattern. You can customize the space even further by adding acoustic comfort with high-performance Soft Sound® backers in a wide range of colors.
Creating a well-lit space is paramount to employee comfort and productivity. But there’s no reason that this functional element has to be mundane. Custom light fixtures put a final, one-of-a-kind touch on a design — working with Solutions Studio® to create fully custom feature lighting ensures that your design is 100% unique to your business.
15. Experience the Design
“GATX” Chicago, IL, Partners by Design – CH, Tom Harris Architectural Photography, Featuring: Graphic Perf® Custom Photoreal Interior by Arktura
Graphic Perf® Custom Photoreal Interior
Traveling through this hallway surrounded by Graphic Perf® Custom Photoreal Interior wall panels isn’t just a walk from one place to another — it’s an experience. Our proprietary software tools translate your image into a pattern of holes that are sized and distributed to reproduce your image onto the wall.
Our ability to incorporate custom graphics, designs and images allows you to tailor the design to your company, creating a true one-of-a-kind experience.
Re-Imagine Your Commercial Office Design
While things are slowly returning to normal, 2022 still has lots of question marks when it comes to the future of the office. But upgrading your commercial office design will help ease the transition back to in-person work and create a space where employees will feel comfortable coming to the office.
With our collection of ceiling and wall panel systems, you’ll find the perfect product for your design needs. And by integrating other elements, such as lighting from our Solutions Studio®, you can create a fully customized office that’s ready for a new year.
Create your own design to enhance your commercial office space today. Contact our design specialists at Arktura to get started!