The Evolution of the Office Terrace - Colliers International | London



  1. April 2017

  2. The Evolution of the Office Terrace

    12 April 2017
    I’m not quite sure when the light bulb moment happened, or whether it came from a developer or an occupier, but someone, somewhere at about the turn of the (21st) century, said to themselves, “I’m sure we can do more with that asphalt covered flat roof full of rusty air-conditioning condenser units”.
    And so began the evolution of the office terrace; a journey that started with a few paving slabs, a railing, a single access door and a step up (or down) to what is now a fully landscaped, furnished ‘outside space’ that can be approached from multiple or bi-folding doors from the same level as the internal office space – a space that is now just as much a part of the office building as the meeting rooms themselves. 

    There is no doubt that the right terrace can improve the lettability of the associated office space and can increase the rent for that space by 5 – 15% depending on size, shape, orientation and outlook of the terrace in question – a myriad of factors that today’s office occupiers must now consider. 

    And, it doesn’t stop there. ‘Communal terraces’ (usually on the roof) accessible to all building occupiers for general use and occasional private bookings have presented themselves as the next phase in the evolution of the office terrace. These can drive the rent to all floors and not just those with private terraces; but by how much can again depend on the overall size, orientation and outlook as well as what associated facilities are available such as internal space for catering / serving, WCs and storage (for seat cushions and parasols).

    The evolution of the office terrace presents today’s occupiers with an opportunity to bring the outside in and just like the terrace itself, they too have evolved from those early pioneers who were happy to just open a door onto a 1m wide walkway to be far more discerning on the look, size and general visability of what used to be home to some rusty air-conditioning condenser units.

    The Author

    Paul Smith