Changing your view on things
Columns: turning negatives into positives
The post and the beam were the very first building technique civilised society ever developed as can be seen in centuries of ‘columns’ throughout the world. From ancient Rome to modern Melbourne, we have looked to the building column for support.
But as building technology advanced, with developments in structure design, materials and techniques, newer buildings emerged with fewer columns and bigger open spaces.
When looking at space some people see a floor of columns and think, no way. Too inefficient. This won’t work. They can’t see the lush forest for the columns trees.
But unfortunately, columns are a reality for office space, particularly for the most efficient and popular working environment – the open plan design.
They are a reality, so the issue is dealing with them in a clever way.
“Why am I getting told columns are a negative”?
I believe it’s too easy to simply discount a space because of columns.
The history of building development has seen early towers achieve the first truly open spaces by utilising the forest of columns. Naturally, there is a stigma attached to these spaces in that they are inefficient for open plan.
Incorrectly this doesn’t apply to today’s spaces.
Columns are necessary in construction so that building costs don’t blow out in order to achieve space.
I’m yet to see a forest of columns that I haven’t been able to engineer to meet a client’s needs
“So why are you so pro-columns?”
Apart from being a realist, loving innovative solutions and having an amazing team who are up to meeting the column design challenge, I apply common sense to the issue.
The 80-20 rule implies that 20% of business in Australia can afford to find the newest, most structurally advanced and more expensive spaces while 80% of business can’t, they will need to work with what they’ve got.
Column-filled office buildings comprise possibly 80% of the office space currently on the market are considered to be unfavourable.
Unfavourable to some is an advantage for others as this represents a real opportunity for value-driven businesses to get a great result. In other words, you can achieve a better-valued rent in a column filled space.
Columns are dominant in side core buildings and side core buildings create bigger and hence better open plan office areas.
Open plan fosters collaboration which positively influences your organisation’s performance.
“So how do I make the most of my column space”?
The answer is simple – design.
A good designer can work with any existing conditions and find ways to conceal the columns into walls.
An even better designer will be able to find efficiencies to use the columns as conduits for power and data, saving you money on the fit-out project.
But the best designers can do all this and make your space look sensational and a low cost.
For people who are part of our blog/newsletter mail out, we will happily put together preliminary designs for space you are considering showing you how your new office will work with or without columns.
Want to see the lush forest in the column trees?
Then please, contact AGERO Group for a no obligation conversation with our team
T 03 9646 7929