Condé Nast's new office moves away from individualism

Condé Nast's new office moves away from individualism

Like most things, office design is subject to changes in trends, society and ways of living. Whether it's the location, layout or aesthetic touches, offices needs to adapt with the times if they are to be as productive as possible.

In one of the most talked about office relocations of recent times, media company Condé Nast recently moved its headquarters from Times Square to the World Trade Centre, occupying floors 20 to 44 and taking up a total of 1.2 million square feet, The New York Times reported.

Earlier this month, the first few hundred employees moved into the skyscraper, bringing with them thousands of crates filled with files, photos and books from the previous office. By February 2015, the entire 3,400 strong staff of 18 publications will have made the move downtown.

Condé Nast moved to the Times Square office back in 1999, when glossy magazines were enjoying a highpoint. This meant no expense was spared in the office design; a famous architect was drafted in to design the cafeteria, with glass panels brought in from Italy, red leather banquettes and birch wood flooring. What's more, editors were assigned generous personal budgets to hire their own architects and designers for their corner offices.

But times have changed, with the new digital era and companies being more cost-conscious than ever - and this shift is reflected in the new offices. No big-name architect was drafted in, and the open floor plan encourages greater interaction. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the key design element will be the impressive views.

Condé Nast CEO Charles Townsend told the publication that the new space is "at least 15% more efficient, which means a great deal of open space […] This is an evolutionary step away from 4 Times Square, where there was still a great deal of individualism expressed."

Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair, joked: "They took away my lap pool, which really upset me. Other than that, we'll have computers, pencils and good lights."

Do you think other offices will follow this trend for communal working and less individualism?

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