Old warehouses usually feature footprints, wide open spaces, and interesting architectural details, making them ideal for adaptive reuse. These buildings make especially nice office spaces, offering open floor plans with the flexibility to shape the area to your needs. If you’re considering converting an existing warehouse into an office, here are a few key elements to keep in mind.
What to Consider When Converting a Warehouse Into Office Space
1. Creating an Attractive Entryway
The lack of ornamentation and rough textures may be part of a warehouse’s charm, but this also means the building usually has a nondescript entryway. Depending on the era and type of building, a warehouse might have a simple double door on the side.
A modern office needs an entryway that draws attention, with features that make the building seem inviting. You may need to demolish part of a parking lot to create green space leading to the new front door and design a new facade that helps the office make a strong first impression.
2. Making Upper Floors Accessible
Office buildings typically feature large, sweeping stairways that make upper stories easier to find and navigate. In some designs, stairs can be an attention-grabbing feature, especially if they’re located near the front entrance.
On the other hand, warehouses often have just a few small staircases, usually in the middle of the building or by the loading dock. Not only does this make getting around difficult, but it can also make the upper floors feel claustrophobic. Converting an old warehouse into a beautiful office building may require sacrificing some square footage to build larger, more accessible stairways.
3. Upgrading Communications Equipment
Modern offices require high-speed internet with enough bandwidth to handle Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), transfer large documents quickly, and run cloud-based applications. Old warehouses will likely have outdated technology that only runs through a portion of the building.
Part of adaptive reuse is upgrading a structure so that it meets the demands of the modern world. A firm that specializes in these conversions will have the expertise to identify those needs and create solutions that will make the new office functional and attractive without sacrificing the character that makes it special.