First Look - Offices That Hover

Fall 2012
The unconventional urban office design is intended to utilize unoccupied areas between buildings in cities with expensive real estate.

Commercial office space typically rises upward in central business districts. A unique option, however, has emerged in Russia — between buildings. That’s the idea behind the “parasite office,” a creation of principals Arseniy Borisenko and Peter Zaytsev of Za Bor Architects in Russia. The unconventional urban office design is intended to utilize unoccupied areas between buildings in cities with expensive real estate.

The concept is particularly noteworthy in Moscow, a large city with a growing economy and persistent shortage of creative office areas needed by numerous design studios, modern art galleries and other cultural organizations. In Moscow, it’s common for adjacent buildings to be constructed with blind walls, facing each other, over a wide alley.

The first realization of this concept was carried out by Za Bor Architects, which planned its own workshop to be built between two houses at 5th Kozhukhovskaya Street. The project, which hovers above the ground to provide courtyard access, will include three floors with a useable roof area, divided with modular floor panels. The polygonal structure, made from light and durable cellular polycarbonate, is a single structural unit, clamped between the two houses. The rear of the structure, flat and completely glazed, faces the courtyard.  As if the shape wasn’t unique enough, the building also glows at night, thanks to a translucent plastic shell.

interior of the hovering office

With three stories and a rooftop, the “hover office” is more spacious than it may seem.

The design is more spacious than it may seem, say the architects. It could be an attractive option for creative start-ups looking to stand “out”, or is that “in”?

“The Office Building of the Future”Design Competition at Development ‘12

Four NAIOP member architectural firms were selected during a new NAIOP competition, examining the design and operations of office buildings to be opened in 2020. Each concept is available for viewing at Development ‘12: The Annual Meeting for Commercial Real Estate, October 23-25, in Washington, D.C. Don’t miss this innovative session, where you will get a glimpse into the future of design!