It’s been decades since Maxwell Smart, the bumbling spy in the 1960s American comedy series, Get Smart, used the ‘cone of silence’ for his private discussions with The Chief. However, in these days of open plan offices and little privacy, maybe Max was indeed a man ahead of his time?
October 13th, 2020
Ever tried to make a sensitive phone call in an open plan office surrounded by colleagues? Or perhaps, tried to find a space for some quiet time to work without distraction? We all enjoy interaction with our co-workers but there are many times when we need to focus and concentrate on the job at hand and this is where Bureau Booths can make all the difference.
A recently established business, Bureau is the brainchild of Tyson Gundersen and a team of Australian architects and industrial designers, together founding an innovative new company with privacy as its core offering. Bureau creates soundproof acoustic booths that provide a unique and practical solution to privacy concerns within the open plan office or wherever there is need for a quiet place.
The concept of Bureau came about after Gundersen, having lived in Sydney and London working as a business consultant, was continually frustrated at being unable to find quiet places for meetings or confidential phone calls. His idea was simple, to create a booth that was soundproof, moveable and incorporated all amenity. Along with the aforementioned designers, a plan was formulated, and prototyping commenced. They soon partnered with long-time friend, Jackie Wilkins, who brings 20 years sales and marketing experience to the table. With the team assembled and the finished product rolling off the production line, the rest, as they say, is history.
The reality is that Bureau’s product can literally change the way you work. A booth can provide a secure and private place to work or to meet away from the crowds while helping to support the function of the workplace. It can also become a new workspace, forming another room, or merely create a small place for individual endeavour within an open plan area.
The soundproof booths are constructed from premium materials including aerospace grade aluminium frames, tempered glass and carbon polymer acoustic panels with woven PET acoustic lining. The internal design is streamlined and stylish and manufactured with materials that are both durable and recyclable. Cost effective, coming in at under half the price of a key international competitor, Bureau’s lead times are short, with a delivery time of less than two-weeks for stock colours/sizes and up to 10 weeks for larger orders or custom finishes.
As we return to the office, it is more important than ever to ensure employees have optimum amenities to help them safely assimilate back into the workplace. Bureau can provide a new environment to help ease the experience and also facilitate a new way of working.
The soundproof booths are available in four sizes – small for a single person, the size of a phone booth, through to medium, large and up to extra-large to accommodate six people. Each booth is an enclosed modular structure that takes up no more space than a table or two. The booths arrive flat-packed and are assembled on site within a few hours. With flexibility the order of the day, the booths are easily disassembled and can be moved without the de-fit obligations of traditional office partitions, while lighting, power and ventilation is provided via a standard electrical wall plug.
As well as the obvious appealing aesthetic of the booths, Bureau offers nine standard frame colours while custom colours or branding can be applied to the external structure to perfectly compliment any interior. Internal furnishings can be supplied with the booths or existing workplace furniture can be incorporated.
Health and wellness are central to the functionality of the booths with a continuously operating fan thoroughly circulating air every three minutes. Add auto-sanitisation, HEPA air filters and a sensor operated electronic door and the booth is hygienic and ready for single or multi-person use.
While a booth is ideal as an adjunct to the workplace, it is also highly versatile and well suited for many alternative applications. It can be customised to become a medical treatment room or wellness bay by forming an isolated room with an independent ventilation system; on military bases as a mobile briefing room with security upgrades including RF signal blocking fabrics; for podcast production, broadcasting or use by gaming enthusiast; or as a place for musicians to practice and record in a soundproofed environment.
With technology vital to any successful product, Bureau has every innovation at its fingertips. Leading videoconferencing and ZoomRooms partner, Neat, can be assimilated with the workplace’s on-line booking systems; integrated speakers in the booth’s ceiling enhances sound and music production; cutting-edge podcast and broadcasting equipment can be incorporated; and desks and benches can be fitted with wireless charging equipment. There is also the option to replace the glass front and rear walls with soundproof panelling to further heighten acoustic performance.
The booths are highly functional and competitively priced however it is equally important to the designers that they minimise their environmental impact during manufacture. Bureau has set a minimum requirement of 50% recyclable materials in each booth, and they are on target to reach 100% recyclability by 2025. This on top of meeting leading global environmental production standards and certifications. The result is a product that truly doesn’t cost the Earth.
Bureau Booths is certainly showing us the way of the future. With the ultimate in customisation of each product, fully certified and accredited, the booth becomes a beacon of individuality and privacy that can enhance the way we work. Perhaps Maxwell Smart had the foundation of a great idea with his ‘cone of silence’ but it has taken Bureau to make it so much more…
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