“Why does a person actually want to come into an office? Why do they need an office at all?”
These are the questions that Vered Gindi, Lead Architect of Microsoft’s new Herzliya campus in Israel, set out to answer four years ago when she started to design it. Her questions proved timely.
When the technology giant commissioned its new 46,000-square-metre state-of-the-art facility, it could scarcely have imagined the extent to which a global pandemic could throw into question the very idea of a physical office. Indeed, some tech firms have given employees the option of working from home forever.
As companies plan hybrid home-and-office futures, and some consider the estimated 30% that could be saved on real-estate costs by downsizing, the Herzliya campus shows one way that offices can reinvent themselves – and find new meaning.
Here are the three key design principles that have shaped the building.
1. A ‘flexible grid’
In 2020, employers across the world worked hard to reshape office buildings to create social distancing space between desks. By contrast, the new Herzliya campus starts with flexibility engineered in, using a system called a ‘flexible grid’.
“Over your 100 square metres, you can have flexibility to organize and personalize your space,” says Oren Yerushalmi Rosenbaum, senior portfolio