Pop-Up Office Touches Most Adaptive Reuse Bases

You have to hand it to the folks at Canada’s Dubbeldam Architecture + Design. They sure know green building red meat when they see it, and they served up an irresistible adaptive reuse morsel at the Interior Design Show 2013 (IDS13) with the concept “Pop-Up Office” space.

To begin with, 1) they use a modular, customizable design; 2) they crammed a lot of cleverly designed furniture into a tiny space; 3) they found a new way to reuse wood from old pallets; and 4) they based the whole unit on the skeleton of a used shipping container. If they had managed to make the prototype on a 3D printer, the designers could have reached Green Building Trend Nirvana.

Dubbeldam Architecture turned heads at the Toronto Interior Design Show with its modular and trendy Pop-Up Office. Image by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design via Designboom.

Dubbeldam Architecture turned heads at the Toronto Interior Design Show with its modular and trendy Pop-Up Office. Image by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design via Designboom.

The Pop-Up Office display, as described in a Designboom photo spread, was part of the IDS13 exhibit on containerized office design, presented by Toronto-based Steel Space, which provides a wide range of temporary pavilions based on shipping containers.

Dubbeldam’s design uses a series of four wooden modules — “focus,” “collaborate,” “lounge” and “refuel” — that can be artfully rearranged to meet the needs of the user. The curved wood is bent into various shapes to form benches, tables, shelves and workstations, appearing to be part of the walls, ceiling and floor all at the same time. To reconfigure the unit, vertical slabs of the wooden furniture can be removed, like slices in a giant layer cake, and put back in a different order.

The sleek, curved wood comes from recycled pallets and can be customized to suit the needs of each client. Image by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design via Designboom.

The sleek, curved wood comes from recycled pallets and can be customized to suit the needs of each client. Image by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design via Designboom.

“The working environment is no longer static,” said the designers on the Dubbeldam site. “Mobility, adaptability and flexibility are the new key elements of the modern office.” The notoriously splintery pallet wood, they added, has been vigorously sanded smooth “where the body comes in contact with the wood and left rough where it does not.”

In addition to the large movable sections, the Pop-Up Offices can be customized further with modular shelves that can be inserted into slots between wall boards. The units are also light enough to be transported for any type of short-time use, from music festivals to startup companies to disaster relief deployments, the company said.

Randy Woods is a Seattle-based writer and editor with 20+ years of experience in the business publishing world. A former managing editor of Seattle Business, iSixSigma, Claims and Waste Age magazines, he has covered topics that include newspaper publishing, entrepreneurism, green businesses, insurance, environmental protection and garbage hauling (yes, really). He also contributes to the Career Center Blog for The Seattle Times and edits a photography magazine called PhotoMedia. When not working, he likes to hide out in Seattle movie theaters and attend film festivals—even on sunny days.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gschoenfeldt Gary Schoenfeldt

      Get serious. Where are the ergonomics? Esthetically, it has less appeal than a shack used for ice fishing. At best this is an innovative use for firewood.