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Work is Beautiful: 10 Amazing Offices Around the World

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It’s a sad truth, but most of us spend our work days in terribly uninspiring environments.  Those fluorescent panels, cookie cutter cubicles and motivational posters may be soulless, but design sensibility often carries a premium that is slashed from the bottom line of Big Business.  There are some progressive companies, however, who push the envelope of design to provide their employees with a truly invigorating work environment.  To celebrate the office as a place where work can be beautiful, here are 10 of the most amazing office spaces in the world.

Bastard Store and Office by Studiometrico

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The Bastard Store and design office in Milan, Italy is truly a skateboarder’s dream.  It features a street level retail outlet, a balcony design office overlooking the shop and the “Bastard Bowl”, a full-size indoor skate park spanning 600 square feet and raised 18 feet above the floor level.  The design for the Bastard Store was created by Studiometrico, an Italian architecture firm that selected the location and developed the project from planning to completion.  The client, Comvert S.r.l. (parent company of Bastard and ElectricVisual), now owns one of the most amazing offices in the world, a dream work place for any skateboarder.

Bastard Store and Office Gallery

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TBWA Hakuhodo Offices

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The TBWA Hakuhodo ad agency wanted their office to communicate something to both its employees and clients: “we think differently”.  TBWA Hakuhodo teamed up with Klein Dytham Architecture to give form to this message, creating one of the most beautiful, playful and relaxing office environments in the world.  Klein Dytham selected the location within an amusement complex in downtown Tokyo.  Once a bowling alley itself, the office’s building still operates a bowling alley, a golf driving range and other entertainment functions above and below the office.  The office itself is just as fun as anything else in the building, a tree and grass-lined environment with warm hardwood floors, indirect lighting and an open space that promotes casual living and community.

TBWA Hakuhodo Offices Gallery

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Penthouse Office by Benthem Crouwel Architects

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This strange, curved-ended structure stands 18 feet above the roof of the Las Palmas building in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, overlooking the river below.  The Penthouse Office was designed by Bentham Crouwel Architects to provide a modern extension of the original building below it.  Inside, smooth white walls and wooden furnishings provide structure to the office, while its glass wall facing the river is the building’s primary focus.  The views are picturesque, the mood is bright and productive, and the building itself adds to the mystique of the Rotterdam skyline.

Penthouse Office Gallery

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Selgas Cano Architecture Office

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An architecture firm’s talent is best measured by the design of their own office.  The Selgas Cano Architecture office, just outside of Madrid, Spain, is fully immersed in the natural environment around it.  This white and glass-walled tubular structure makes the nature around the office its true focal point, bringing in the falling Autumn leaves, the Spring flowers and the seasons in between.  Photographed here by Iwan Baan, one can get a clear sense of what working in such an amazing environment must feel like.

Selgas Cano Architecture Office Gallery

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Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

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If you’re doing business with the Republic of Slovenia, you might want to try and swing a visit to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.  The CCIS building features a panoramic garden on its roof level as designed by Sadar Vuga Architects, giving this national business organization the vibrant, natural touch of plant life.  The sprawling, organically-inspired white framework of the garden makes this work space imaginative and exciting, providing inspiration to its inhabitants.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia Gallery

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North Advertising by Skylab Architecture

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Amongst the more conservative offices on this list is the home base of North Advertising by Skylab Architecture.  The most notable element of this clean, classy work environment is its second level meeting room that juts out over the office floor.  It provides a clear view into the work space below, which itself is styled to the nines.  An olive-tiled floor spans the full reach of the office, while natural wood paneling provides an accent to the otherwise black and white walls throughout.  Skylab’s greatest success here is the subtle use of color to set the mood in a refined business environment.

North Advertising by Skylab Architecture Gallery

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Manchester Square Interior by SHH

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The goal of the Manchester Square office interior by SHH was to feel more like a gentleman’s club than an office.  Built into a rehabbed Georgian townhouse on London’s west end, this office spans five stories in the main building and two in the coach house to its rear.  The furnishings are conservative contemporary, where modern touches merge with the Victorian elements of the original structure.  It’s work, play and relaxation all in one, the type of environment where you wouldn’t mind spending your work days and your Friday night as well…

Manchester Square Interior by SHH Gallery

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Medina Turgul Office by Erginoglu & Calislar Architects

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Erginoglu & Calislar Architects selected this stone-walled salt barn for the office of Medina Turgul DDB.  E&C rehabbed the aging building and maintained its picturesque stone walls, giving this ad agency a classical flair.  This 11,100 square foot building features exposed duct work, black steel beams as accents, glass dividers and a large-reaching central table for meetings and community work.  This office is a prime example of successfully merging the modern with the medieval.

Medina Turgul Office Gallery

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Long Barn Studio Nicolas Tye Architects

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As mentioned above, the talent of an architect is measured by the design of their own office.  Such is true with the Long Barn Studio by Nicolas Tye Architects, which was built as an expression of this architect’s ideology.  The long barn studio was designed to sit humbly against the rolling hill woodland in central England.  Constructed for less than $370,000, this 2,200 square foot office space focused on sustainability and cost savings while creating a remarkable working environment for its inhabitants.

Long Barn Studio Gallery

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White Mountain Office by Albert France Lanord Architects

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With a design to make a Bond villain jealous, the White Mountain Office by Albert France Lanord Architects is easily one of the most amazing offices in the world.  White Mountain Office is home to a Swedish ISP– 100 feet below the surface of Stockholm.  The space was once used as an anti-atomic shelter, intended to provide an escape from atomic blasts and the resulting fallout.  In 2008, Albert France-Lanord Architects rehabbed the 4,000 square foot shelter to become the home of Bahnhof AB data center and office.  We’ll bet you ONE MILLION DOLLARS that you couldn’t walk through this office without cracking a dated Austin Powers joke.

White Mountain Office Gallery

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So– what was your favorite office in this list?  Do you know of an office that we should have included here?  Is your office special in some way?  Join the conversation below, in the mean time, check out these other TheCoolist features that we think you’ll love: