Imagine breaking for lunch and heading to the company picnic green. Employees at HOK London, a branch of the global architecture firm, enjoy such a luxury with their new self-design headquarters.
A long strip of grass runs through a central corridor, inviting workers to relax, kick off their shoes, and rub their toes in the soft grass. Seersucker-striped deck chairs line the greenway, and a picnic table with a classic red-and-white checked tablecloth sits at one end. Small trees in pots are scattered throughout the building, too.
Despite all the greenery, perhaps the greenest part of HOK London was its actual construction project. The company's plentiful resources allowed it to become the first LEED Gold building in the United Kingdom. Designers selected low formaldehyde and low volatile-organic compounds when selecting the finishes, furniture, and carpet.
Plus, plentiful windows adorn the building, in an attempt to make the most of the little natural light offered by the oft-grey skies of London.