Many people found themselves working from home during the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps not surprisingly, many workers actually find themselves preferring to work from home, given the improved work-life balance and flexibility that remote work can provide — not to mention a greater reduction in carbon emissions when there are fewer daily commutes. Working from home makes a lot of sense, especially since it seems that telecommuting doesn’t affect productivity.
Of course, from now on, there may be some details that need to be ironed out. For example, in a mixed world that combines personal work in the office with work from home, how can companies ensure that employees have the optimal setup at home and whether we will still need new office buildings in this mixed future.
We’ve learned some important design lessons over the past couple of years, and having a dedicated workspace and flexibility at home might be at the top of the list. Designers like London-based architecture studio Boano Prišmontas show how pre-made design can elevate a home office into something integrated and multi-purpose.
Having recently launched My Room In The Garden (shown earlier here), its digitally-ready home office line last year, Boano Prišmontas has now completed one version of the modular system, called Dot House, at the north end of town.
As explained by the designers, versatility is key to this 161 square foot (15 square meter) unit:
Conceived as a multifunctional and flexible unit, [the Dot House] Provides an extra unique space to work, relax, watch a movie, read or play video games. The Dot House is primarily used as a study and entertainment room, consisting of a bathroom and kitchenette to provide a small inhabitable, independent and self-contained space that can be used for visiting, family members and guests.
The exterior of the garden desk is covered with corrugated boards made of black fiber cement. According to the design team, this material was chosen as the client preferred a low-maintenance alternative to charred wood (also known as shou sugi ban).
Most of the Dot House was prefabricated in the Boano Prismontas workshop in London, before being transported and assembled within a day on site. Quick setup was facilitated by the use of a plywood structure with pre-cut holes that made installation of wiring and plumbing much faster, while all structural units were packed with rigid insulation to make the structure more energy efficient.
There are two main areas within this small office, a main room dedicated to work, play and sleep, and another enclosed area is the bathroom.
A large set of sliding glass doors not only help to let in plenty of natural light but also help to visually connect the interior of the Dot House with the rest of the garden outside, as well as the main residence.
Modular furnishings include a compact foldable desk that offers charging for devices, plus room for a printer and ample floor-to-ceiling storage. The lights are powered by motion sensors, to prevent wasting electricity, while the structure is heated by an underfloor system controlled by a heat sensor.
Above the desk is a built-in retractable display for movie nights, meetings or video games.
Many interior walls feature adjustable pegboard panels, which allow occupants to add shelves, or other storage forms, as needed.
The comfortable green sofa seen here can be not only a great place to work on a laptop, but can also be turned into a bed for guests.
The wood used here is plywood boards for the walls, birch FSC plywood for the exposed ceiling, and durable concrete tiles for the floor.
Behind a sliding door, we find the bathroom, which includes a beautiful shower, built-in sink, skylight and toilet. The walls here are made of terrazzo tiles, with an eye-catching pattern that adds some visual interest to the space.
As a multifunctional project aiming not only to function as a home office but also as an entertainment and guest room, one can see why such additional versatile spaces as the Dot House are gaining traction in an increasingly hybridized world.
To find out more, visit My Room In The Garden and Boano Prišmontas.