bauhaus activity spaces

work is changing + workers are changing = the workplace is changing

 Activity spaces are the new “go to” spaces for focused, shared or team tasks, assembly spaces for larger group meetings or training, and community spaces for socializing or casual work.

Offices are becoming more collaborative and driven by innovation and efficiency and enabled by technology. Activity spaces are a solution for workspaces to provide multiple opportunities for collaboration among individuals and groups, across a broad spectrum of formality, flexibility, privacy and scale. Activity spaces all share the following commonalities — they are a flexible space and they complement both the culture and design of the workplace. To be effective, an activity space must have proximity, privacy and support for collaborative technology. Activity spaces may be cohesive in design with the primary workspace or they may have a deliberate contrast.


There are five main “genres” of activities spaces, each serving a distinct goal:

+ Refuge spaces

+ Enclave spaces

+ Team meetings spaces

+ Assembly spaces

+ Community spaces

Knoll Activity Spaces_Durso Swivel with Saarinen TableRefuge activity spaces are “get away” rooms that allow for focused and/or confidential work. These rooms are typically small with an enclosed workspace of 50 square feet and are designed for only one to two people. Refuge spaces may include video capabilities, wall mounted whiteboards and agile furniture.

The Knoll D’Urso Swivel with Saarinen Table above is an example of a refuge space. The Jospeh Paul D’Urso Swivel Lounge chair by KnollStudio has adjustable seating and allows for 360-degree swivel movement, an excellent chair for “a place of refuge.” The Eero Saarinen side table, a Knoll classic, pairs well with most chairs in the KnollStudio and Classic collection.

Enclave activity spaces are “get together” rooms designed for a group of three to four people to collaborate in seclusion. Enclave rooms generally have a small open or enclosed space of about 100 square feet and are equipped with a desk height or lower table, wall mounted whiteboards and a video display.

Knoll Activity Spaces_MultiGenerations with Antenna Media Enclave


The enclave space shown above features Knoll’s MultiGeneration chairs and Antenna Media Enclave. Comprised of Antenna components, Media Enclave enables small groups to connect and share information and readily adapts to changes in technology. This activity space solution is easily configurable to any size and adaptable to multiple configurations for individual or group settings.

Team meeting activity spaces are collaborative “get together” spaces designed for a team of four to eight to gather and work on a specific project. Team meeting spaces are typically 200 square feet. The floor plan may be open or fully enclosed with a large table or a cluster of small tables. A mobile and wall mounted wallboards and flexible seating options complete the space.

Knoll Activity Spaces_Toboggans with Scribe Mobile Board

The team meeting activity space shown above features Toboggan “all-in-one” workstation that is ideal for a variety of activity spaces. Toboggan by Antenna can be clustered together for an impromptu brainstorming session, a casual meeting, included in large community areas or even between workstations for quick collaborations. Designed for comfort and flexibility, the curve of the back and seat allow users to shift 360 degrees. The back can serve as a backrest, armrest or tablet work surface for front, side and rear-facing postures. Also featured is the KnollExtra®  Scribe™ Mobile Markerboard — a mobile and versatile complement to any type of activity space that encourages interaction and collaboration. Scribe mobile markerboards allow for creative brainstorming, easy sharing of ideas or simply holding onto a thought. Scribe fits into any space while also serving to define boundaries within the open plan.

Assembly activity spaces are usually large (approximately 400 square feet or more), enclosed group spaces for planned interaction. Assembly rooms are equipped with multiple display surfaces (tackable, whiteboard and video), credenzas for storage and tables for refreshments. Examples of assembly room spaces are conference rooms sized for 10 or more people and training rooms.

Knoll Activity Spaces_Regeration with KnollStudio Propeller

The assembly activity space shown above features Propeller Training Tables and Regeneration Chairs. Knoll’s Propeller Training Tables are the ideal desking solution for training applications. The modern design paired with its gang managing of wires capabilities make this an ideal assembly activity table solution. At a moment’s notice, the Propeller Training Tables can be set up for meetings and configured lengthwise or widthwise, then reconfigured again as desks with shelves, and with screens for mounted privacy.

Community activity spaces are the “town center” spaces. These spaces are open to all and encourage unplanned interaction. Commons and café spaces are examples of large multipurpose spaces available for social events or improvisational interaction. Ad hoc spaces range from informal seating and small tables, to lounge furniture groupings, to standing height counters with stools.

Knoll Activity Spaces_Olivares Chair with Stromborg Tables

The community activity space above features the Stromborg Table Collection by Knoll designer Daniel Stromberg and Olivares Aluminum Chairs by Knoll designer Jonathan Olivares. The Stromborg Table Collection is ideal for cafes or casual meeting spaces, — both indoors and out. Stromborg Tables offer a playful design with a splash of color. Offered in a broad palette of top materials and paint finishes, the tables are versatile and pair well with Knoll’s Spark chairs, MultiGeneration by Knoll or Olivares Aluminum Chairs. The Olivares Aluminum Chair brings agility and an artful personality to indoor and outdoor community spaces. The Olivares Aluminum stacking chairs are meticulously executed with efficient form that allows the sitter to rest and collaborate comfortably.

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No matter the “genre” of the activity space, effective activity spaces of all types must have consistent elements that facilitate face-to-face and virtual interaction that include these three key stages of the collaborative process:

Attract: Proximity, a sense of privacy, and above all, technology are the elements that attract people to an activity space. However, comfortable furniture, access to power, food and sensory appeal, whiteboards and displays are other important elements that must not be overlooked.

+ Adapt: Furnishings and technology provided for activity spaces must be adjustable for each individual user in order for each person to obtain the necessary level of comfort to actually be collaborative.

+ Engage: Multiple means to communicate, express ideas and document the results are key to the activity space’s success. Large video displays on adjustable arms, whiteboards, chalkboards and tackable surfaces are all tools that facilitate collaboration.

Once a luxury, activity spaces are becoming an essential component to the collaborative workspace. If you want to bring more innovation and collaboration to your work environment, contact bauhaus to learn more about custom activity workspace solutions.