The Thousand & One office tower opening in Tampa Bay, Florida, seems to know its unlike anything else that has opened in recent history. Despite the name sounding like its rattling off a pre-fab batch number, this “one” office tower is breaking the mold by becoming the first WELL-certified building of the city. This comes at a time as corporate offices are reopening around the world with the emphasis of health and wellness being a guiding principle in design moving forward.
“We had no idea going into this … that any of this would be happening,” said Dave Bevirt, executive vice president of corporate leasing and strategy for Strategic Property Partners. “Now in a post-COVID environment, we’re really on target.”
The WELL certification, issued by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), sets buildings against a rigorous set of guidelines aimed to ensure occupant health and safety within the building setting. Such guidelines revolve around air and water filtering, natural light levels and the proximity to a grocery store, to name a few according to the Tampa Bay Times.
In addition to occupant health, the design of the building also centers around biophilia and biomimicry in its elements. For instance, the façade features a wavy pattern inspired by the roots of the quintessentially Floridian mangrove trees from the everglades. Small pockets of plants are designed to be fed exclusively by rainfall and line the building’s terraces and awnings. Meanwhile, the relaxing power of water is brought to form outside with gurgling pools fed by underground water supplies.
There is also a shaded “pocket park” in between Thousand & One and the neighboring high rise. There, workers can get lunch from local restaurant Naked Farmer. A Greenwise by Publix is also expected to open soon, no more than a block away.
Stepping back into the tower itself, the cool white floors and vertical wooden paneling offer substantial respite for tenants coming in off the noisy streets where construction is often a main fixture. Occupants also receive substantial views of the surrounding waterfronts and downtown from office spaces and an onsite gym where windows extend from floor to ceiling.
The tower’s penthouse also features a small kitchen, a boardroom that companies will be able to reserve, an open space to hold events and an outdoor terrace with more plants, which Bevirt envisions working well for company cocktail hours.
A Paradigm Shift?
The sheer number of wellness offerings on display, as when as the design team’s commitment to wellness overall with the pursuit of the WELL certification is a sign of the changing times. As health and wellness become core focuses for everyone in the wake of COVID, and as companies seek to recoup pandemic-incurred losses, the health and wellbeing of employees is paramount to not just maintain, but allow it to thrive. Initiatives like the one at Thousand & One, then, serve as a potent attractor for talent with businesses and serve as a significantly enhanced version of past foosball installations and open office concepts.