The Absentee Building. Speculative proposal for 'The future of the office' Competition, 2016

The definite installation of an internet-based culture has enhanced new levels of connectivity and flexibility in the work environment. This has a huge potential to free up a considerable amount of space within the old working structures:

1. The future office will assume the idea of 'Planned Absenteeism' as a natural arrangement, where an increasing number of employees will work outside the office often -hybrid freelancers, contractors, consultants, telecommuters... collaborating remotely

2. Evolution of laptop/portable computers lessens the need to have a permanent army of idle desktops and screens in the office

3. Since the generalisation of the cloud there is no strong need for expensive and area-consuming server rooms

4. The abolition of most paper uses implies a dramatic reduction in storage and filing space, and mitigates the need for a large printing area

The office of the XX century needs to be upgraded to acknowledge these changes of paradigm, while keeping its symbolic character in the city. Our proposal:

- Introduces a larger % of Alternative Work Arrangements (AWA) in the traditional space budget, with variable densities across floor plans and periods of time

- Creates and alternative circulation flow, more open and accessible

- The fixed, designated individual workplace (cubicle/workstation) is gradually substituted by more flexible, shared or mobile units within the building, enhancing a greater diversity in the ways of working.