The Importance of Privacy in Open-Plan Offices

Cortesia de Sonte

Frank Lloyd Wright first came up with the concept of the open-plan office in 1906, in the Larkin Building in Buffalo, New York, United States. The innovative nature of this approach, at the beginning of the 20th century, contrasted with the norm of closed offices and probably stunned those who first used it. Fast-forwarding to the 1950s, the concept of an open-plan office –Bürolandschaft or Office landscape– originated in Germany, with the objective of eliminating spatial hierarchy through shared spaces. The architects strategically designed the office layout to improve communication and teamwork, removing solid barriers and replacing rows of desks with work areas that were organized based on functions and workflows, with a mentality aligned with the precepts of the time, especially related to the European post-war reconstruction effort.

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