Many people found themselves working from home during the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is perhaps unsurprising that many workers have found themselves preferring to work from home, given the improved work-life balance and flexibility telework can provide, not to mention greater reduction in carbon emissions when there are fewer daily trips. Working from home makes a lot of sense, especially since it seems like working remotely doesn’t seem to impact productivity.
Of course, in the future, there might be details to work out. For example, in a hybrid world that combines both in-person work in the office and working from home, how can companies ensure that employees have an optimal setup from home and if we would still need new office buildings in this hybrid future.
We’ve learned some important design lessons over the past two years, and having a dedicated workspace and flexibility at home might be high on the list. Designers like London architecture studio Boano Prišmontas are showing how prefab design can turn the home office into something well-integrated and versatile.
Having recently launched My Room In The Garden (seen here previously), their range of digitally prefabricated home offices last year, Boano Prišmontas has now completed a version of the modular system, called Dot House, at the northern end of the town.
As the designers explain, versatility is key with this 161 square foot (15 square meter) unit:
“Designed as a multifunctional and flexible unit, [the Dot House] provides an accessory and unique space to work, relax, watch a movie, read or play video games. Primarily used as a study and entertainment room, the “Dot House” includes a bathroom and a micro-kitchen to provide an independent and self-sufficient micro-habitable space which could be used for visits, family members and the guests.”
The exterior of the garden office is clad in corrugated black fiber cement panels. According to the design team, this material was chosen because the client preferred a low-maintenance alternative to charred wood (aka shou sugi ban).
Most of the Dot House was prefabricated in the London workshop of Boano Prismontas, before being transported and assembled in one day on site. Quick installation was aided by the use of a plywood frame with pre-cut holes which made wiring and plumbing installation much faster, while all structural modules were filled with rigid insulation to make the structure more energy efficient.
There are two main areas inside this micro office, a main room intended for work, games and sleep, and another closed area which is the bathroom.
A large set of sliding glass doors not only allow plenty of natural light to enter, but also visually connect the interior of the Dot House to the rest of the garden outside, as well as to the main residence.
The modular furniture includes an integrated folding desk that allows devices to be charged, as well as space for a printer and ample floor-to-ceiling storage. The lights work with motion sensors, to avoid wasting electricity, while the structure is heated with a floor system controlled by a thermostatic sensor.
Above the desk there is a built-in retractable projection screen, to be used for movie nights, meetings or video games.
Much of the interior walls are characterized by adjustable pegboards, which allow the occupant to add shelving or other forms of storage as needed.
The comfy green sofa seen here can not only be a great place to work on a laptop, but can also convert into a bed for guests.
The wood used here is laminated plywood panels for the walls, FSC birch 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, a compact vanity unit, a skylight and a 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 that not only aims to serve as a home office, but also as a hobby and guest bedroom, one can see why versatile complementary spaces like the Dot House are gaining traction in an increasingly hybrid world. .
To find out more, visit My Room In The Garden and Boano Prišmontas.