Office Buildings Add Terraces to Integrate Outdoor Space

Women on office terrace

©Thomas Barwick - Getty Images

Office buildings are looking for ways to add in more outdoor spaces for employees to relax, work, and meet up. It’s become a must-have space since the pandemic and an important amenity in trying to attract employees back to the office.

“We’ve been involved in office space and building design, and the evolution of office buildings, for 40 years,” Dan Kaplan, a senior partner at FXCollaborative, an architecture firm, told the Commercial Observer. “And, over the last 10 to 12 years, the demand for exterior space in office buildings has grown, and, with the pandemic, it has really exploded.”

More green and outdoor space have become a greater priority for office buildings, whether a newer or older building.

“There are plenty of great buildings that are older and vintage, and might not have the ability to activate terraces to provide outdoor space, but this is a place where all owners and landlords are looking to set themselves apart,” Michael Slattery, associate CBRE field research director, told the Commercial Observer.

Even projects like The Spiral in Manhattan feature a spiral of outdoor decks throughout the skyscraper’s 1,005-foot height. Each one of the 65 stories has a terrace.

“People don’t like to be holed up,” Jeffrey Paine, co-founder of Duda/Paine Architects of Durham, N.C., told the Commercial Observer. “People want to be able to step outside during the day, even in a high-rise office building.”

Office buildings want their employees to be able to use the terraces and outdoor spaces all year too. They’re bringing outdoor space heaters as well for when the weather cools. Also, more “green” is being added indoors. Biophilic elements like indoor plants also are being brought into office spaces.

“People have realized that having the ability to go outside, and having the ability to integrate that with indoor space, is just a tremendous advantage in this culture of trying to attract and retain new talent,” Elliott Ingerman, partner for the Tribeca Investment Group, told the Commercial Observer. “If you’re working 10 to 12 hours a day, take a little pop out to a terrace. Post-pandemic, we now realize we have to lure people back tow ork. Work should not be a boring environment.”