Lawrence Barth speaks about the new collaborative environment for the workplace, one that has extensive shared public and semi-public spaces that becomes a catalyst for building community. This type of vibrant, connected, community requires buildings that can house a multitude of different functions – private offices, shared semi-public meeting and conferencing spaces, public cafes. The city may dictate, dependant on the nature of the context, that the block may need to house commercial activities such as retail, leisure, and entertainment.
Within the constraints of the urban block, one that may be distorted around structural grids and arranged in section to develop internal terraces and multi-level access to external spaces, it is possible to identify a module from which these differing functions could be housed based on differing internal arrangements of space. The drawing below outlines, albeit somewhat crudely, this process.
Distorting the dissected block on a structural grid then extracting a modular unit.
This module has the possibility of being joined to adjacent modules, both horizontally and vertically, to create larger spaces. It could be serviced by shared entrance spaces and cores, further developing the idea of workspace urbanism within the context of the urban block.