The Evolution of Meeting Space Designs

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Beehive shaped meeting spaces

It is amazing to see how vastly different meeting spaces are these days compared to what they were years ago. There was a time when business meetings took place in an enclosed rectangular-shaped room with one rectangular-shaped window to the outside world, a long solid rectangular-shaped table and several hi-backed rectangular-shaped office chairs. Now, with emphasis on encouraging collaboration, innovation, and creativity in an open-spaced environment, and incorporating the cafe or home decor themes into office spaces, meeting spaces have gone through several phases to take on entirely new forms. A few of those phases are listed below:

Phase 1: No Longer Rectangular

Enclosed meeting spaces designed to maintain an element of confidentiality are no longer restricted to the four walls of a rectangular-shaped room. With the introduction of office pods, meeting spaces have taken on dome, beehive, cylinder, egg and other interesting geometric shapes. Add in the home-decor theme and you’ve got the greenhouse, living room and large kitchen-inspired meeting spaces within the office space.

BBC North at Salford Quays. Photo credit Craig Holmes.
BBC North at Salford Quays. Photo credit Craig Holmes.

Phase 2: No longer Enclosed 

Then there are meeting spaces that are relatively open or semi-private spaces. Designed more for encouraging collaboration, these meeting spaces typically have partial walls or partitions, and are open at least on two sides. Some of these collaborative meeting spaces take on the form of a booth, similar to what you would see at a restaurant. Others adopt more of a picture-framed look. More recent designs combine the booth with the framed looked by extending the back rest of the booth to form a roof frame over its potential users.

Phase 3: No more walls

Finally, there are those meeting spaces that are just out in the open. Identified by the furniture placement and possibly an area rug, these types of meeting spaces aim to promote collaboration without tainting the open space office design in any way.

The most unique meeting space gaining popularity is the amphitheatre-designed meeting space. Unlike any other meeting space design, the amphitheatre meeting space is literally the large and wide staircase found in the prominent area of an office space. Why is this design gaining popularity? Because it is familiar for the younger workforce and recent graduates entering the workforce. (By the way, designers are now looking to schools to see how those designs and layouts could be incorporated into the office space design).

The future phases of meeting spaces may incorporate more geometric shapes or adopt nature’s most common meeting spaces. Regardless, meeting spaces will always play an integral role in facilitating the future success of businesses.


DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

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