Boeing Builds a Beautiful Building Inside A Building

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When your headquarters are so vastly large that it takes a 20-minute trek to make it from your desk to your production area, it can make meetings between your designers and your builders somewhat inconvenient. So when Boeing, the world’s largest airplane manufacturer, set out to build a new space in which to produce an updated version of their most popular model, the 737, one of the most important factors the company wanted to address was proximity.

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Because Boeing understood that proximity between the people designing the airplanes and the people building them would help speed up the production process and increase the quality of the finished airplane, they opted for the most direct solution; put their offices inside their manufacturing factory. Now, nestled in a corner of the factory that was once used for storage sits the office building, with 120,000 square feet spread across two stories.

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The designers however understood that putting a building inside a building could affect  worker morale, making them feel trapped, distracting them with factory noises and depriving them of productivity enhancing sunlight.

Boeing addressed that with clever architecture.

The new building is arranged in a circle around a central interior courtyard which allows natural sunlight to seep in from above and houses four office “neighborhoods” on each floor—smaller subdivisions within the office surrounded by amenities like coffee bars, copy and print stations, and meeting areas. More light is created in the corner of the space, where the building is buffered from the corner of the building by an L-shaped atrium space, lit from overheard with artificial skylights. The factory facing windows vary in size, moving from long, narrow slits next to the center of the manufacturing action to floor-to-ceiling glass closest to the outside wall of the factory building, so that they help in blocking out noise, but allow in more light as you move closer to the interior wall.

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Overall, the building within a building in an incredibly genius architectural move on Boeing’s part; maximizing on existing space while placing the designers right on top of their product. You can read more about this amazing project on fastcodesign.

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Category: Architecture