Bye-bye cubical. Hello courtyard.

A proposed office building in downtown Los Angeles would have workers comfortably conducting Zoom meetings and typing on laptops outside throughout much of the year.

The building, designed by Perkins & Will, features traditional indoor offices surrounded by outdoor offices but these aren’t mere balconies or terraces. These are full-fledged office spaces with shade structures, fans, vegetation, and increased airflow to make being outside not only tolerable, but comfortable during the workday.

Southern California’s agreeable weather can accommodate this sort of arrangement during much of the year, but the region isn’t immune to cold spells. To keep employees cozy in chillier climates, architects and builders can specify propane patio heaters which emit a circle of warmth up to 25 feet in diameter and can raise outdoor temperatures by as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Fireplaces and fire features can also add thermal degrees as well as ambiance.

“The design of the office is capitalizing on a concurrent shift in the commercial real estate market towards increasing outdoor space and decreasing a building’s carbon footprint,” Fast Company reports.

The building is in line with the growing demand for biophilic design and workspaces that connect employees to nature – a trend that could help lure remote workers back to the office.

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