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Office Nightmares – Microsoft Headquarters, Vienna, by Innocad

Microsoft, continue to chase the tail of Apple, this time with the design of their newest headquarters in Vienna. This garish mish-mash of nature walls, timber clad meeting rooms, large format cosmic graphic rooms and astro-turf grass in break out areas creates an inharmonious¬†mess of an office….in my opinion.

There is no rationale to the design of the headquarters. They have taken every feature (or gimmick) from the google, facebook and skype offices that have been seen of late and thrown them all together to form a headache. And of course they have thrown in a slide for good measure. I wonder how many of their 30 something’s staff will use that on their lunch breaks.

Compare the design of this office to their direct competitor Apple’s new headquarters and the result is undeniable. Apple execute their design with effortless cool, exuding precision, elegance and class – Their headquarters design reflects the design of their products. Something Microsoft have failed to achieve here.

I am only going on a handful of pictures seen on Dezeen, but for me it is far too try hard. It would benefit much more from a refined materials palette, executed carefully creating a language that features consistently through rooms, corridors, receptions and offices with the introduction of graphics and accent colours in considered positions. Develop a cool tone of voice through graphics or messaging, run it in from reception through corridors to different work areas and meeting rooms. Add fun elements subtly, be it in the form of graphics or physical interventions. ¬†They don’t need to be plastered everywhere!

Bill; It looks more like the Big Brother House than the headquarters of a major Corporation. Let me have a go at the next one…!

Images via Dezeen