Products / Projects 25.10.2012

DOCKLANDS – An Anchorage in the Office

DOCKLANDS is the new, alternative workspace furniture ideally suited for temporary activities. A “Me-Place” that supports concentrated and focused work thanks to the clever partitioning of space and effective acoustics. DOCKLANDS is superior furniture with an emotional design quality that provides space for both employees and visitors. The integration of power connections and network access makes simple plug and play connections possible, and accessories such as lights and coat hooks provide a sense of privacy even in the smallest space. A Service Dock for printers and other office equipment, the Coat Rack and the Phone Booth complete the DOCKLANDS product family.
Design: PearsonLloyd

Things can get rather hectic in the office. Telephones ring, the paper shredder whines, a beeping sounds rings out across the room from the broken coffee machine. This hustle and bustle unavoidable, especially in open-plan offices. It’s part of the job. The new DOCKLANDS product line from Bene is the answer. The small work alcoves, called Dock-In Bays, are protected bays where you can drop anchor and get some work done — a quiet mooring in a hectic office space. They act as havens and complement the workspaces available in the open-plan area. The London designers PearsonLloyd explain: "Dock-In Bays are small islands, little protected bays, where one can dock at any point in the day and withdraw into more focused work."

DOCKLANDS – the name says it all, borrowing the phrase from urban developments in International port cities such as Hamburg, London and Melbourne. In the past years, traditional dock sites have been transformed into forward thinking and vibrant Hot Spots where the creative industries in particular have found their niche. DOCKLANDS has adopted this quality, taking the concept from its origins in city planning and resizing it to fit the office. DOCKLANDS is a place to take refuge from the normal flow of the work environment and concentrate on individual creative work.

Dock-In Bays: Islands for personal retreats

Dock-In Bays are the centrepiece of this new furniture concept. They were conceived as deliberately compact alcoves with a desk and meant for short-term retreats when privacy is a must. Dock-In Bays shield the user from the hectic office environment whether they are being utilised as a temporary haven from the standard office setting or as a place for employees who are only stopping by the office temporarily to touch down. The designers Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd explain further: "Docklands acknowledges that team desking areas are often full of noise and activity and that if you really need to concentrate quietly and on your own, you also need an appropriate place to go to do that. Docklands is not a replacement to the traditional desk or Parcs. It is designed as an alternative setting for individual focussed work."

Dock-In Bays are the ideal individual work station for Navigators and Gatherers, those workers who typically spend the majority of their time outside the office or in mobile workspaces. For Connectors, who tend to move among various divisions and spaces, Dock-In Bays can be an ideal touch-down point for those in-between moments. Geometry and textures are oriented towards providing a sheltered work environment.

Well organised even in the smallest of spaces

From the inside, the Dock-In Bays offer a wide array of surfaces and textures. The work surface and dividing wall can be individually configured. Practical accessories can improve orientation, but more importantly they enhance the space’s ambience. An indicator signals whether the workspace is free or already occupied. There are also optional shelves that can be attached to the wall, coat hooks plus an integrated lighting fixture from the LED-manufacturer Nimbus.

Spatial exclusivity in just two square metres

These premium stand-alone workspaces can be configured in a variety of manners. The Soft Wall envelopes the workstation and thus the user, regardless of what type of arrangement is used. The free-standing Open Bay, with a U-shaped Soft Wall, provides a workspace that is sheltered on the front and sides. The so-called Single Bay has a Soft Wall more in the shape of a C and covers the space behind the user’s back.

Because the cabling and plug boxes can be tucked into the straight wall elements, the Dock-In Bays can also be subdivided. Twin Bay and Double Bay allow for a variety of possibilities in which the users can choose to work face-to-face or with their backs to one another. Lining up a series of neighbouring workspaces is also possible. Regardless of the desired configuration, we offer sizes 102 or 110/60 and 140/70. The height of the Soft Walls enable uninterrupted work whilst sitting, but allow for a clear view of the entire office space when the user stands up. The unique character of Open Space is thus preserved. The DOCKLANDS product family is completed by the provision of compact Service Docks for computers and other office equipment, as well as the Coat Rack and Phone Booth.

Docking at a new era of work

It’s no accident that DOCKLANDS and PARCS have similarities. PARCS was also designed by PearsonLloyd for Bene and has been available since autumn 2009. As with the earlier line, this new series features rounded edges, inviting niches and upholstered, acoustically effective Soft Walls. The circumferential Soft Wall in a variety of colour choices and materials is characteristic of DOCKLANDS. Acoustic panels in the substructure prevent any interference echo and improve the acoustics in the space. In addition, DOCKLANDS elements act as visual dividers, segmenting the open-plan office without the need for any structural alterations in the building. This means that renovation is uncomplicated and always an option.

"The traditional focus for office planning over the last twenty years has been a very pragmatic and focussed attention towards how you maximise the use of space," Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd explain. The focus was on using the available space in the best possible way. The bigger issues are how to enhance productivity and motivate staff. DOCKLANDS has a very different visual and build culture to that of traditional desking solutions. Compared with conventional workplace solutions, DOCKLANDS endeavours to create a highly different visual and constructive culture. I think this will change the feeling of office environments quite radically, soften it up and perhaps make it more human."

"We didn’t come to DOCKLANDS immediately. We started to undertake research that dissected and sort of recompiled the activities across an entire workspace," PearsonLloyd notes. "It became very apparent that the office market isn’t sensitive to those needs. So you still have a line of desks. Then you have a collaborative mid zone and then you have a formal meeting area. This doesn’t really address the realities of people coming and going with different frequencies; having different types of engagement; needing different types of interaction; and so the sense that we needed to respond more carefully to people’s needs began to emerge."

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