There’s a blog completely dedicated to photos of old Pizza Hut restaurants that have been converted into new retail shops. It’s a humorous blog due to so many old Pizza Hut restaurants having the same generic design, complete with the distinct, red, hut-like roof. No matter what these former Pizza Hut locations have been converted to, anyone passing by can tell it was once a Pizza Hut.
The transition from one office space design to another is quite the challenge. The office needs of one business doesn’t necessarily match another. But as the open office space design trend continues its popularity, companies are less focused on moving into an existing office space layouts than it is finding large space that can be transformed.
For companies that have money in the bank, but don’t have quite the funds to build an Apple-like space campus, the option of converting an old industrial warehouse into chic office space is an increasingly popular choice.
Why Converting Warehouses Into Offices Is Popular
Old industrial warehouses are en vogue due to several reasons. First of all, they’re available. As American manufacturing gets squeezed and more production is moving away, these large facilities sit, unused. Eventually these opportunities will run out, so just because you see an abandoned warehouse now doesn’t mean it’s going to be like that for long.
Secondly, the price can be lower per square foot than if you were to remodel a conventional office building. But beware, a potential drawback with warehouse offices is the added cost for infrastructure to run high-speed internet. Make sure you take this into consideration when determining if a warehouse is the best choice for your next office.
Finally, a big reason why warehouses are becoming more popular is due to the versatility these spaces offer new tenants. The floor plans can easily be modified due to their large, open spaces. The high ceilings give new tenants options for creating multi-levels or just having a greater sense of space.
If you’re looking at converting an existing industrial warehouse into your own office space design, here’s a few examples that you can draw creative inspiration from.
Freshbooks is a Toronto-based cloud accounting software company. In early 2015, the team moved its nearly 200 employees into a 43,000 square foot office space, which used the home of Planet Storage.
Freshbooks follows the open and “moveable” work space. The office space design was built around the concept of the “Three C’s” - connectedness, collaboration, and collision.
To promote serendipitous ideas and conversations, the space lacks separation among teams and offers lots of furniture that’s easily movable to accommodate free flowing thought.
TBWA Chiat Day Office
The Los Angeles offices of one of the world’s most famous creative ad agencies are built in a space that used to be a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. Now this industrial space is home to the team that has created memorable ad campaigns for companies like Nissan, Adidas, and Gatorade.
In the heart of the massive 100,000 square foot office space is what the team calls, “Central Park.” In between offices, conference rooms, and open work spaces sits a replica park. The park even has the sound of crickets chirping. Central Park helps ignite creativity and brings the outdoors to teams as they work long, ad agency hours.
Cuningham Group Office
The Cuningham Group is an architecture firm located in Culver City, California. The Culver City area is known within Los Angeles as a hotbed for companies that are looking to convert warehouses into office space.
The offices of an architecture firm can be just as much of a sales pitch as their actual presentation. The Cuningham Group wanted its office to reflect its firm commitment to sustainability, creativity, and collaboration.
In an effort to achieve a Gold LEED certification, the office space design kept natural light a high priority. The walls are lined with large, glass windows and the ceilings have four built in skylights to let in as much natural light as possible.
GitHub is a software startup that offers tools to development teams. GitHub’s collaboration, code review, and code management tools are used by development teams across the globe. The company started out as a bootstrapped company, with employees coding in spots like bars, coffee shops, and home offices. It has since raised venture capital at a $2 billion valuation.
With its growing user base and millions of venture money, GitHub has converted a massive 55,000 square foot space into its headquarters.
Githubbers don’t have assigned workspaces, giving them the freedom to move about. To accommodate this free flowing culture and pay homage to its humble beginnings, the GitHub office space design incorporates spaces like a bar, cafe, library, park, speakeasy, a museum, or a “coder cave” for employees to work from.
The creative opportunities old industrial warehouses offer young companies are endless. The wide open space and high ceilings can accommodate even the grandiose of office space design visions. What are some of your favorite offices that were once old warehouses?