The Psychological Benefits of High Ceilings: 5 Office Interiors That Boost Productivity

Sydney Franklin Sydney Franklin

Imagine the experience of entering a stubby, brutalist building with claustrophobically low ceilings and dim lighting. Then, envision a pair of 10-foot glass doors opening to a skylit atrium with scarcely a barrier between the ground and the sky.

The biological need for humans to work, live, and play in large spaces alludes to our desire for freedom and connectivity with nature, or the open world. The built environment takes us away from the outdoors, providing shelter at the expense of seemingly limitless open spaces. Fastco. Design reports on the new (but unsurprising) finding that buildings with high ceilings are conducive to the well-being of their inhabitants, even if the rooms have little to no natural light.

High ceilings spark interest not only in spatial exploration, but creative research. That’s why it’s imperative that commercial structures and business interiors feel spacious like luxurious living rooms. These five interior office spaces embody the scientific knowledge that higher ceilings are better for health, improve brain connectivity, and feel more beautiful all around.

Heavybit Industries by IwamotoScott Architecture

This San-Fransisco-based industrial office space houses a curated community for cloud software designers inside a reclaimed warehouse. The design includes meeting lounges, standing bars, presentation stages, conference rooms and window benches. The three-story building is mapped with an open-floor plan to allow fluidity between the spaces, informal meetings and access to daylight via all façades. Software designers who spend the day determining the logistics of the digital stratosphere need a physical space for innovative work.

Global Brands Group by Spacesmith

This concrete-clad 100,000-square-foot space makes up a entire floor of the Empire State Building. Complete with 25 showrooms, designer work areas, pattern-making rooms, model-fitting rooms, offices, and lounges, the design imparts an industrial feel to fashion. Exposed pipes, bricks and ductwork promote a loft-like atmosphere where artistic expression can thrive comfortably.

LYCS Architecture Office by LYCS Architecture

An architecture firm needs a home-space that heightens creativity and inspires ideas for new design. This renovation of a tower penthouse in Hangzhou, China, combines the contrasting feel of an abandoned storage space and a new office. The minimalistic design and white color scheme allow for uninhibited imagination. The simpler, the better. The taller, the stronger.

Federation of Korean Industries by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

This 50-story tower in Seoul includes several indoor gardens and atrium spaces complete with natural elements including wood and native plants. These public gathering areas spark energy in the interior workspace while the floor-to-ceiling windows of the award-winning exterior wall bring natural light and exclusive views of the city.

BBC New Broadcasting House by HOK

The new London-based BBC headquarters houses nearly 6,000 employees in a collaborative open-plan working environment where one of the world’s most televised workplaces showcases their ingenuity. The design includes a live-broadcasting facility, one of the world’s largest newsrooms, and a media café where the public can engage with the inner workings of the BBC. This new plan allows transparency between the different departments of the company and the outside world that it covers.

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