ottowilliams | design

2004 Metro/Steelcase

Topo is a workstation system designed to provide a more humanizing alternative to the one-size- fits-all cubicle systems typically found in open plan offices. Topo architecture is flexible to fit varied individual work-styles, allowing users more choice about how and where they work within their workstations. Walls have been deconstructed to let in ambient light—sliding tack and marker panels allow users to control their privacy and help signal concentrative or collaborative modes of work. Work surfaces are designed in varying heights to allow users variation in work posture.

In the typical cubicle, the cockpit desk configuration situates the user with their back facing the aisle. We created a galley-style desk architecture to allow the user to sit facing the aisle—an orientation that allows users to more readily anticipate and greet visitors. Breaking from the cockpit design also frees up space for integrated Topo lounge seating which provides alternative places within the confines of the workstation for collaboration with guests or concentration away from the primary desk. (continued >>)

To break up the horizontality typically found in cubicle systems, we   created varying heights for storage and space division elements. The   application of translucency in strategic locations provides   opportunities for more dynamic compositions. We oriented overhead   storage vertically to open up sightlines and increase ambient light and   space within the compact footprint. Tambour- style doors are used to   securely hide clutter and provide a more space efficient alternative to   common hinged-door solutions.

For planners, the Topo system is  easy to specify, install and  reconfigure. Topo is comprised of a simple  kit of parts that is designed  to be applied in a number of  configurations to fit a range of  applications from open plan to  enclosed private offices. With a  combination of expanding pocket- walls  and slip-fit desks, the  workstation footprint is quickly and easily  adjustable to fit varied  contexts. The patented flexible power system  is designed to be equally  easy to adjust and re-purpose in open plan  environments.