Public Realm: Redesigning the Urban Office

Areeba Bawani

The Future of Work


Jono Sturt + Clement Blanchet


Public space in the urban environment has so often become leftover space created after we in-fill the blocks of the urban grid, an afterthought at times. Public spaces are often underutilized spaces, havens for the nomads, and empty spaces that are there for the sake of appearance. There is a harsh boundary between the closed building and the open space, which results in devoiding people of the urban/public life. This isolation is extremely evident in office environments, where many people spend a majority of their daytime.

With the ever-increasing role of information technology, diffusing global networks and the increase in flexibility of labour, the role of the workplace has seemingly eroded. However, this digitalization has simultaneously triggered corporations and architects to rethink the importance and benefits of the work space and thus to reinvent the office. The new work space can be envisioned as an outward-looking and transversal actor; work, play, leisure and culture can be all brought together in the search for dynamic creativity.

This thesis unfolds a strategy that is thought out to ‘erase’ the borders between private and public spaces as well as authorizing a network of urban spaces. The development of civic and cultural spaces provides a platform for a symbiotic relationship between the office and public space. This symbiosis would allow to open the office to the public, making it an extension of the public urban area. This also applies to the open streets, squares, and connections going into the office area and thereby creating a new opportunity for a synergy between the city and campus. Thus, the project aims to draw the urban life into the heart of the office, at the same time the office would unfold its potential out into the city by introducing a smooth transitional urban space as well as a spatially coherent transition in urban spaces.