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D.C.’s most popular office design trends in 2017 and what to expect in 2018

Watch out for “retreat zones”

Alexander Court.
All images via Neoscape, courtesy of FOX Architects

This past year saw many new office buildings in Washington, D.C. along with the continued expansion of co-working spaces. For this new year, D.C. is estimated to add 1,185,000 square feet of office space, making it rank in eleventh place for U.S. cities with the most office space expected during this time frame. But what should we expect from these new buildings?

In an interview with FOX Architects Interior Design Director Marie Moutsos, Curbed DC learned about this past year’s biggest office design trends, and what the public should look forward to this year.

According to Moutsos, one of the biggest trends in 2017 was creating spaces away from the desk where workers can break off and relax.

“It’s about having the ability to get away from your desk ... Just getting away from one’s usual workspace can either bring focus or energy, depending on the specific task,” she said.

Alexander Court’s rooftop deck.

Examples of this can be seen in coffee bars or wine bars installed in offices. For FOX Architects, they incorporated amenities like these in their Class A office building, Alexander Court, located at 2001 K Street NW and 2000 L Street NW. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, this 800,000-square-foot building also offers a rooftop deck.

Other trends included a focus on flexible, multi-use spaces and open, collaborative spaces, which Moutsos said allows more contact with colleagues, which can lead to better communication. Here, it’s about designing spaces that are easily transformed, that can adapt to different components of an organization.

One new, uncommon amenity that took hold last year was the focus on bringing the outside in, providing some sort of access to the outdoors through green walls, a rooftop, or courtyard.

For this upcoming year, the big design trend to look forward to is what Moutsos describes as “retreat zones.” This goes back to the concept of live-work and areas designed for recharging oneself away from the desk.

Moutsos said, “With work styles continuing to change ... I think there will be this continued effort to push lounge-type spaces, living room-type spaces.”

D.C.’s offices are getting funkier, more modern [Curbed DC]