This is Part 2 of my visit the USA to check out the ‘healthy home revolution’ Delos is spearheading. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, you can find it here.
The Delos team researched and investigated more than a thousand materials and products when selecting the interiors for their HQ, finally settling on the 200 that met their wellness standards most closely. Along the way they considered timbers, glues, fabrics, carpets and furniture manufacturers that employed sustainable technology, minimised carbon footprint, and adhered to low VOC emissions. As in every build, some compromises had to be made due to availability of materials and time constraints, so the team weighed up every fabric and material on its individual merit when working out whether it met the needs of the office.
While not everything in the office is made from natural materials, the space’s overall feel is organic with soft carpets, felted greens, and natural timbers, in colours and materials that didn’t jar. Tranquillity lends itself to tranquillity, so a sense of calm in the materials selected for an environment definitely relaxes the people in that environment. And if you feel relaxed, chances are you will do a good job!
Delos is not just about building standards and eco-friendly environments; the company has a deep understanding of the importance of community in the workplace. After all, these days many of us spend more time with our work colleagues than we do with our families. It makes sense for employers to invest significant research into physical and mental wellbeing at work, in order to help their employees get the most out of their working hours.
Delos is a place of innovation, so collaboration and collective conceptualisation are at the heart of everything they do. The building design facilitates this. There’s a terrace that serves as a multi-purpose space for meeting, lunching, and exercising (with a planted section inspired by the Highline and designed to attract the same birdlife).
Their kitchen is set up like a café with lunch delivered to the entire staff three days a week, which encourages everyone to get up from their desk and share a conversation over their meal rather than cramming their food in while they’re hunched over a keyboard.
Wide, open stairwells and corridors encourage staff to walk around the space and to interact with each other away from their desks. A fun touch is the interaction screen that reacts when people walk up and down the stairs. There is also a wellness and meditation room that’s perfect for when a team member is looking to recharge for a few minutes.
By adopting a design philosophy where the space supports the staff and office activities, rather than trying to retrofit the needs of the staff and office to the space, Delos fosters a collaborative workplace, ripe for brainstorming and innovation, and fends off feelings of isolation so common in modern offices. And they’re not done yet! The team is constantly refining, innovating and implementing new features to ensure that their office space is at the cutting edge of workplace wellness globally.
On top of its innovative approach to lighting, materials, acoustics and communal working, Delos’ HQ features purifying air and water systems, which I’ve talked about previously in the context of DARWIN (and I’m sure I’ll talk about again). These solutions are designed to help enhance wellness and performance, making Delos HQ truly one of the world’s best office environments.
In the coming months I’ll share more about my wellness adventures in the USA, and the ways this seemingly futuristic wellness movement is actually all about the here and now, available to enhance today’s houses and offices, and ready to improve our health and wellbeing in all facets of our home and work life.
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