4 Aesthetic Office Architectural Trends For 2020

Guest Blog by Matt Lee

Every period of time has its own distinct look. As we enter a new decade, what architectural trends are emerging in the office world? While we’re keeping a lot of the same ideas of the last decade, we’re also introducing many new concepts. 

office building

For starters, expect to see more upcycling and the use of sustainable materials. Additionally, geometric shapes, colors, and maximalism design are all taking mainstage in 2020. How are these concepts and ideas translating into actual actionable trends? 

Here are four aesthetic office architectural trends in 2020, that you can use in your own office’s environment.


Trend #1: More Acoustic Ceiling Solutions

While wide-open spaces were all the rage of the last decade, all of those high-ceilings, and warehouse-style architectural decisions made way for terrible acoustics. From echoing, to noise travel, and more, businesses of the last decade found that acoustics need to be an integral part of the architectural design. So naturally, achieving ideal acoustics is an essential part of office architecture in 2020. 

There are several ways to improve the acoustics of an office. While traditional methods are often unattractive and involve low ceilings and copious amounts of insulation, new design options have entered the scene. These options are great for playing with maximalism and geometric design concepts. Solutions like, architectural screen panels for the walls and ceilings, Living walls, and hanging acoustic baffles, are all ways to improve office acoustics while appealing to the overarching aesthetic ideas of the year.  

Trend #2: The Use of Glass Wall Partition Systems

Tech has been a part of the office architecture landscape for many years, and it continues to be a focus. As tech became a growing facet of modern life, businesses wanted to emulate that design motif. As Apple became a recognized and admired brand, an increasing number of office designs geared towards copying the Apple and tech minimalism aesthetic. 

That’s not entirely the case anymore. People still want the modern techy aesthetic, but with more color and gaudiness. Office designers are embracing maximalism, the opposite of minimalism, in their designs. 

Glass wall partition systems merge the tech minimalism of the past with the trending maximalism of today. You can get automatic partitions that switch to privacy glass on demand. Or, you can go for demountable partition systems which can easily be moved around. 

Glass partition systems provide privacy and are complimentary to any design aesthetic. They’re also sustainable, which, as aforementioned, is an important concept for 2020 design. 


Trend #3: ACM Panels as A Go-To Material

ACM Panels, stands for aluminum composite material panels, and they’re a common building and signage material. ACM panels are sustainable, because they’re generally made from around 85% of recycled aluminum materials. Additionally, they come in over forty different colors. 

This makes ACM panels a popular building material this year, because it plays into the insurgence and demand for color and sustainability in 2020 office designs. ACM panels are also lightweight, fire-resistant, and come in about 40 different standard colors but can also be any custom or exotic color — it even comes in multiple wood grain patterns. There is a definite upswing in ACM panels in exterior office architectural design in 2020. 

Trend #4: More Architectural Louvers  

While architectural louvers aren’t new to office design in 2020, they are a trend that is sticking around. Louvers serve several purposes in office architecture. Louvers protect buildings from water and noise pollution, while simultaneously providing ventilation for exhaust air.  

There are several different types of louvers, all with their own distinct look and advantages. However, in the commercial context, louvers are generally made from metal and give off an industrial, maximalism vibe. Additionally, louvers can be made from sustainable materials, and their properties help maximize energy efficiency, allowing louvers to be an option for those people who are looking for more sustainability.  

Interestingly, louvers can be used purely for aesthetic reasons inside the building, too. Since they evoke a feeling of industrialism and high-brow design, there will likely be more people using louvers inside purely as a design statement in 2020. 

Try These Architectural Office Trends Today


These four architectural trends are just some of the things happening in office architecture this year. As maximalism, sustainability, geometric shapes, and the use of colors all gain popularity, it’s clear that office buildings of this decade are going to look very different from office buildings of the past.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value. 

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