Office Design

Unusual Work Spaces

David Spence
May 21st, 2013

The Anti-Office Space


An ad agency that has worked with Comedy Central and MTV, this Amsterdam company sits in a building not unique for its design, but for its building material: cardboard. The desks, bookshelves, and office partitions are all made out of the same stuff that normal furniture is packaged in. All of the light brown tones give the office a surprisingly stylish and earthy look.

Van der Architects

Instead of cubicles, this Japan-based design and project management firm designed its building so that each worker would have his or her own small cabin. Each workspace is similar to a child’s play home; it gives every employee a chance to escape into their own little world. The only difference is that instead of having pretend furniture, it has the real kind—desks, chairs, and computers.


This Web hosting company resides in an old mall, giving its 3,200 employees plenty of room to work and play. To get to the food court from the upper level of the building, workers can go down the two-story slide. But in addition to being fun and unusual, Rackspace is also a LEED certified building, with showers so that workers feel freer to bike or walk to the building, and an irrigation system that uses water from a cistern nearby. Enjoy a 5 minute video tour of this unique workplace.


This Swedish Internet provider calls a former WWII bomb shelter its home. A mix of the technological, industrial, and historical, Bahnof’s offices cannot be described as anything but cool. And as Jose Ramirez of Office Snapshots quips,  “…in the event of nuclear holocaust, it looks like Sweden will still have Internet.”

Grupo Gallegos

Sometimes the simplest decoration can make a big difference in the office. Take the Hispanic advertising company Grupo Gallegos. It has all the fittings of a fun workplace—bright colors, a modern design, and a spacious common room with comfy couches and a ping pong table. But what sets it apart from other fun offices is the hundreds of white umbrellas that hang from a ceiling that would be exposed without them.


This tech giant’s Vienna office has rooms that are decorated according to theme. One room makes you feel like you’re underwater; another simulates a hunting lodge. And the reception area? It’s a light and playful place, decorated with yellow and gray furniture that greets workers when they descend the building’s two-story slide.


This home rental company contains several rooms that copy some of the site’s most stylish  listings down to the detail. The conference room is based off a sleek Hong Kong apartment with black and white décor. Another room is enclosed in a wooden cabin with a geometric dome of a roof, making it a building within a building.


Google’s New York offices boast a room where employees can sit and drink coffee right in front of a mural depicting New York taxis, waiting at a stoplight. The floor has been painted to resemble a crosswalk, so workers can feel like they’re sipping their drinks right in front of traffic. Besides that, there’s also a soundproof and windowless room with drums and electric guitars for employees to experiment with. We can wait to share with you what their new $1.5 billion dollar London office will be like when it’s completed in 2016.


The social media company resides in an Art Deco building in San Francisco, lured there by the city’s offering a $22 million dollar tax break.  Workers can sunbathe on the rooftop deck or enjoy the vegetable garden right outside the building. Inside it, they can enjoy a yoga room, mod furniture, and a sleek design with lots of glass details.

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