The Open Floor Plan in commercial and residential designs began its popularity around the 1970s.
Open Floor Plans in Commercial Buildings are not to be confused with the Office Desk Pools that have existed since the early 1950s. These pools of people housed a group of workers with desks lined up in rows performing similar and repetitive tasks. In contrast, the modern Open Floor Plan was designed for the purpose of team building, knowledge exchange, and productive social interaction.
Before Open Floor Plans were used in office buildings, the size of an office, for those that had one, denoted the position the employee had on the company organization chart. As one moved up to higher floors in the office building, the offices became larger. So, when an employee came home to brag about a promotion, the statement “moving up” was true in a figurative, as well as, in a physical sense.
Homes began to be designed with open floor plans during the same period as Open Floor Plans began in commercial buildings. Before that time, homes were designed with distinct and specialized rooms. The living room, dining room, and kitchen were all individual rooms, for example.
As our desire to mingle socially while cooking, eating, and watching TV at the same time, we needed the utilities and furniture to complement each other aesthetically. We also needed light to flow through this open, multi-use, space.
The challenge then became the need for a seemless integration of the different types of furniture and utilities. The look of the stove and dishwasher needed to flow through to the style of the couch and entertainment center. The need for the food preparation and serving counter tops needed to be placed with access from both the cooking area and the eating area.
Challenge of Light
Whether we are speaking about residential or commercial use, the common challenge is light. In Open Floor Plans, light needs to be made available to all individuals no matter what part of the floor plan they are residing.
Glass Block has the ability to play a major role in meeting this challenge. In commercial space, Glass Block can be used to separate areas without the blocking of light to the people in that space. In Open Floor plans within a Home, Glass Block can used as a material to build Kitchen Islands with a sense of transparency to complement the open feel of the area. Glass Block can also be used in the design of living spaces to separate rooms without losing access to a source of light.
We, at Eastern Glass Block, have been designing Glass Block solutions for commercial buildings and residential homes from our offices in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. We understand the need that our customers have for light and beauty. Call us to discuss your needs. We love to share our knowledge regarding Open Floor Plans.