If there is one thing I've learned over the years, it is that offices that have concrete floors look great. Especially when those floors have been sealed and shined to perfection. Why do they look so good?

Probably for the same reason filmmakers film city streets after giving them a spray-down. They just look better… or is that the full reason?

Raw Is In, So Cement Makes Sense

In a recent Inc Magazine feature on what makes an office "Cool", Jason Freedman of 42floors.com noted that many companies are spending a lot of money to make offices look deconstructed and raw.

Well, that is definitely true. And is trend we've discussed thoroughly:

Interested in the raw look?

  1. Knock out that boring drop ceiling!
  2. Rip out that nasty 90's carpeting!
  3. Expose those lovely brick, wood, or metal wall elements!
  4. Trash the fluorescent lights and use cool industrial filament bulbs!
  5. Junk the motivational poster with an eagle and add graffiti!

But Why?

The answer to that question is a difficult one, but I've got a hunch that it lies in the reactionary nature of design trends. Because office design was so buttoned down over the last 25 years with wall-to-wall carpeting, plain walls, drop ceilings, and fluorescent lighting – contemporary office designers have been hard at work to make the office of today not look like that.

It is the same reason open offices are popular and private offices are not. And will be the same reason open plan fades away. And most likely the following generation will find cement floors unappealing and a symbol of the past and being stagnant.

Trends are strange.

But Break It Up a Bit

Rather than swimming in concrete, many of the examples below define their floorplan by using well-placed furniture, ceiling panels, or carpeting. The reason for this is so people still see individual pieces of furniture has having some semblance of privacy – even if that recognition is subconscious.

Here are a few examples of how to do that well:

Which of these offices with beautiful cement flooring is most like your office?

Images via OfficeSnapshots.com

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