Let's face it. Most boardrooms don't really have an original design. They're utilitarian. They have long mahogany tables, some Aeron or leather chairs, and usually a projector and a screen for presentations. The quality of the furnishings might vary from one to the other, but for the most part a boardroom is a boardroom is a boardroom.
At eVenues, we believe that a room can do much to affect the quality of a meeting, it's not just feng shui, but also has its basis in psychological studies, and since board meetings can be some of the most important meetings for any company or organization, we thought we'd spend some time to celebrate the designers and companies who have created some truly unique boardrooms.
Here they are:
Photo by Bill McChesney
We were delighted to find this bank vault converted into a boardroom at the Baltimore Mariott Hotel. While the layout inside the boardroom is pretty conventional, we felt that this room deserved inclusion in the list because of its choice of location. It's complete with all the necessary amenities like WiFi and is the perfect boardroom if you want to ensure that no one sneaks out early!
Photo Credit: seanandyvette.com
Boys and Girls is an advertising agency in Dublin, Ireland who hired the the architecture and design firm abgc to create a lego table. According to the agency's blog, they wanted to do something a little differently, so they "eschewed traditional mahogany" for something a little more fun.
Here's a video of the architects Gearóid Carvill and Andrew Brady who, along with some friends, assembled the table. Fueled by a pizza or two and lot of coffee, it took them 36 hours in 3 days to build it out of 22,742 pieces (!) then 1 day to disassemble, transport and reassemble it on site:
While this photo of Ogilvy's Cape Town Office boardroom is so pink only Dolores Umbridge would like it, the fun feature that this boardroom has the ability to change color based on the ambient light. While some might question the practicality of a boardroom that changes color, the novelty of the environments is sure to inspire creativity--the lifeblood of any ad agency. For more pictures of the office click here.
When designing Ernst and Young's Berlin boardroom KINZO, a German design firm, set out to defy the staid and conservative image that most accounting firms have by creating this boardroom table. Just sitting down at the large irregularly shaped space-agey boardroom table would instill anyone with the feeling that they were undertaking a project of EPIC importance.
While it's true that some board meetings do happen "under the gun," the folks at the Take Two Games Asia HQ seem to take that expression literally. Not only are there several illustrations of firearms on the shining white table, but there is also a larger than life handgun hanging from the ceiling. Seems appropriate for a company that makes such action packed tiles like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire. Kudos to the design firm FARM for the appropriate and unique design.
Photo © Åke E:son Lindman
No Picnic is a design firm in Sweden that hired the architects from Elding Oscarson to design their office. What makes this room truly unique is how it looks from the outside, with an mirror polished aluminum wall and large window panes. Upon entering, it feels as though you're stepping into a parallel dimension...both close to home and very far away.
We got in touch with one of No Picnic's client managers, Sebastian Sabouné, and this is what he said about the boardroom:
"The large meeting room 'board room' is a natural spot for our weekly Monday meetings, large workshop both internal and together with clients and also for when we have lectures for visitors to No Picnic. It has really made our working climate easier, and more effective."
While most of the creative boardroom designs sport a sleek futuristic look, it was refreshing to find the Sheffield meeting room at a UK venue called The Chimney House. The red-brick walls, hardwood floors and salvaged furniture and decor give the place a welcoming, "lived-in" feeling which is sure to make anyone feel at home the moment they walk in. Not only that but it comes equipped with a projector, screen, WiFi and audio system to meet any presentation's needs.
One thing that sets this venue apart from all the rest is that the design studio 93ft (Strange coincidence, but the Chimney House happens to be 93ft tall) which restored and rescued this 19th Century building actually makes their home here--so there was extra incentive to get it right!
Three Rings is a game company devoted to creating "innovative and engaging" online games, and this most definitely shows in their steampunk submarine office inspired by Captain Nemo's submarine from Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Designed by Because We Can). The office is a virtual playhouse, which is perfect considering what they do at Three Rings.
What did we miss?
Do you know of a creatively boardroom that we missed? We'd be happy to add it to the list. Feel free to mention it down in the comments or email me at kenji -at- evenues dot com.