Beijing office beats workday blues with running track, herb garden and "mini-mountain"
Perhaps going to work in the morning wouldn't be such a drag if the workplace was designed by People's Architecture Office (PAO). The firm is responsible for off-the-wall ideas like a pedal-powered RV and ventilation shaft dwelling, and has now revealed an unusual office complete with running track, garden and a seating area meant to resemble a mountainside.
The office serves as the new Beijing headquarters for the Leping Foundation, a non-profit. It measures 1,100 sq m (11,840 sq ft) and, most notably, includes a running track available to any employees who want to stretch their legs. Above it is a suspended planter full of greenery. Staff are encouraged to partake in the gardening, and its vegetables and herbs, as well as produce from other hydroponic gardens nearby, are harvested and prepared on-site for lunch each day in an open kitchen.
With air quality such a concern in smoggy Beijing, PAO also installed an "advanced air filtration system" that collects indoor air quality data and displays it in real time on a monitor above the running track.
A seating area that PAO calls the "mini mountain" is another highlight. It sports multiple sloping surfaces meant to encourage a variety of postures and provides access to a mezzanine level with a gym, meditation space and meeting room.
"The wall design reminds users of the importance of staying active and changing positions," says PAO. "Gradating bands of blue span the height of the walls and columns at 60 cm (23 in) intervals. Recommended periods of time spent at each height are given and each of these correspond with certain postures and activities, which include laying down, sitting, walking, and climbing."
It's very quirky but probably makes for a nice change from the typical office layout.