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Office Exterior Design 2017: Current Trends & Ideas

The latest trends in modern office design reflect the society we live in, with office designers and architects looking to incorporate new design technologies to give the office exterior a fresh and contemporary look with added functionality. In this post, you’ll find out about the top current exterior office design trends, including the use of smart glass technology, vibrant colours, transitional designs, and more.

Whether you are a designer, architect, or a business owner looking to design a new office, this post should give you some ideas on how to style the exterior.

Smart Glass

Smart glass is an innovative switchable glass technology that is made of electrochromic glass, which is a type of glass that allows you to alter the appearance of the glass with the flick of a switch. Smart glass is becoming increasingly popular for exterior office design in the form of facades, windows, and skylights. For exterior façade design this glass can be set to respond to the sun to maximise heat retention. In countries like Saudi Arabia, Smart glass has become a popular façade choice as it can also be used to keep the building cool by reflecting the sun during high peak times.

Three forms of this switchable glass technology ideally suited for exterior office design are:

  • Solar smart glass is a unique form of electric glass that enables control of the precise level of light, glare, and heat entering a building. In terms of its use in offices, solar smart glass can help employees work in a more comfortable, productive environment without distractions from glare. Furthermore, controlling solar glare reduces thermal transmittance through the glass facade, meaning reduced HVAC costs.

  • Blackout smart glass has a full blackout effect, which is easily accessible with the flick of a switch, remote control, or timer. Blackout glass is a practical design solution for high-rise office buildings and skyscrapers—the blackout effect provides privacy for employees while retaining a view of the surrounding landscape from offices located at substantial heights.

  • Privacy smart glass offers another stylish and functional exterior office design solution. Privacy smart glass can be altered between transparent and opaque—offices can use the opaque functionality to get privacy from the outside world, and the use of privacy smart glass windows eliminates the need for blinds or curtains, helping to provide a sleek and stylish office design that also reduces glare on employee’s computer screens.

Switchable glass technology offers the perfect blend of functionality and style to modernise office design.

Exterior Office Colour

Gone are the days of dull boring colours such as grey for office buildings. Modern exterior office design requires a new vibrant approach in the form of bright colour palettes and interesting glass patterns that make offices distinguishable instead of blending in.

Aquatic colours and renaissance colours are the top emerging trends for exterior office colours, and commercial property designers are moving towards combining such colours with glass facades for a contemporary finish.
outdoor office

Utilising the Outdoors

Another impressive and popular modern commercial building design trend is to utilise the outdoors by building an outdoor oasis or outdoor workspace. An oasis can really enhance the design aesthetic of an office, providing that ideal balance between natural beauty and human ingenuity.

Outdoor workspaces can improve employee job satisfaction by providing a place to escape the confines of the office environment and work among natural surroundings with clean, fresh air.  Furthermore, on sunny days, an outdoor workspace gives employees the opportunity to enjoy the nice weather.

Transitional Design

Contemporary commercial building design doesn’t always have to be about re-inventing the wheel—an office designer or architect can blend the old and new, combining established design options with something fresh, such as mixing standard architectural panels with shiplap wooden boards for an industrial look with a transitional style.

Breaking It Up

Glass is an extremely popular architectural material for commercial building, but with all those glass panels, you risk making the design as mundane as the old design trends you are trying to move away from.

By breaking up the exterior design through clever combinations, such as combining glass windows with smooth architectural panels, you give the building contrast, and you achieve that distinguished look required to make any exterior office design some contemporary appeal.

In summary, modernising the design of an office building involves a multi-pronged approach that incorporates elements which add to both the style and functionality of the building.

Contact the expert team at Smartglass International for more information on our switchable glass products.  View smart glass in commercial building design here.

Download Smartglass Brochure

Discover the possibilities of switchable smart glass to create multi-functional
spaces that adapt to users’ needs at the flick of a switch.

Download Smartglass Brochure

Discover the possibilities of switchable smart glass to create multi-functional spaces that adapt to users' needs at the flick of a switch


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