Once and for all, let’s put the worn out term “Creative Office” behind us. Used to describe the workplace of technology startups and flip flop-wearing millenials, the term was abused and perverted by the real estate profession, I’m sorry to say. First and worst of all, they tried to define creative office by a type of building (old, obsolete industrial buildings) and where it was likely to be found. The archetypal locations in the Los Angeles region have been Santa Monica, Venice, El Segundo, Culver City, Hollywood, and the Arts District in downtown L.A. But the misguided definitions of building construction and zip code missed the point. The emerging new concepts about the communal office are about the people and the work – and it can take place anywhere that a community can thrive.
The “Creative Office” cliché is being crushed in downtown Los Angeles. In the midst of a breathtaking renaissance, young entrepreneurs and professionals are flocking to the city’s long forgotten core to live, work and play…and eat…and drink (craft beer, anyone?) And in everyone’s view is Bunker Hill, home to the city’s largest concentration of skyscrapers. Where better to challenge the notion that the new office space paradigm is exclusive to low-slung, worn down buildings?
If the primary creative office precept is collaboration, then it can flourish in a dense, vertical downtown community brimming with cultural institutions and richly programmed public spaces. It is starting to happen. Brookfield Office Properties’ experimental DesignHive of six bleeding-edge spec suites in two of their Bunker Hill Towers is a must-see. I would be happy to give you a tour.
Another perception that is being trashed is that “Creative Office” is just for technology companies. I have accounting and insurance clients that are shifting to more open plan, team work layouts. No longer relegated to the “creative” pigeon hole, a new paradigm of productive office space is here. All aboard