As architects we are artists first. We love beautiful, interesting and unique designs, and we enjoy creating them even more. But, there is a point where function must trump aesthetics, no matter how attractive the vision – and this is certainly the case for modern office design.

Every once in a while, we come across an office design that makes us say, “What the heck?? How is this functional?” Case in point: Ahrens Grabenhorst Architekten’s firm remodel and expansion. It looks lovely, the design is stunning and we appreciate the fact that it is built around an atrium, optimizing windows and natural light. But, let’s get real here.

Ahrens office area

Ahrens Grabenhorst Architekten office area. Source: Photography by Roland Halbe via

Who’s following everyone around erasing scuff marks off the floor? How can workers speak openly on the phone when two or three other people are trying to do the same thing directly across or next to them without a divider? Who’s making sure to only hire staff with OCD so the white glossy desktops remain unblemished and clutter-free?

Ahrens Grabenhorst Architekten white hallway.  Source: Photography by Roland Halbe via

Ahrens Grabenhorst Architekten white hallway. Source: Photography by Roland Halbe via

In truth, a modern office should create an aesthetically pleasing design around the foundation of a functional one. Privacy can be achieved in different ways and a design that infuses the space with more color will bring in energy and warmth. Afterall, it’s not a perfect, clean, computer only job….

Perseus- entry graphics

Infuse Color into the space for warmth. Perseus Books Group by Leslie Saul & Associates – Photo Credit: Alex Camlin

IFAW Office

IFAW International Fund for Animal Welfare, Yarmouthport, MA
(In association with designLAB Architects)

Do these ideas appeal to you?

Hire LS&A Architecture and Interiors to see how beauty and function can blend seamlessly for your office remodel or expansion.