Extremis Leverages Outdoor Product Expertise for Innovative Workplace Solutions
As many look ahead to the return to the workplace, it’s clear the aesthetics and offerings of such spaces will look vastly different than they did in pre-pandemic times—and the change is a welcome one. For most, gone are the days of full time in-office work, which means the workplace now will function primarily as a communal hub, facilitating the exchange of ideas. And with health and wellness top of mind, designers and employers alike are envisioning ways to best utilize the outdoors as an extension of office interiors.
But the elements present an ongoing challenge in terms of maintenance, especially when it comes to furnishings. That’s where Extremis, a family-run company founded with the goal of bringing people together outdoors, comes in. The brand, founded in 1994 by furniture maker Dirk Wynants, brings nearly three decades of expertise in outdoor solutions, which stems from its first product—Gargantua, an outdoor height-adjustable table for children and adults. Since then, the Extremis team has expanded their product offerings, creating furnishings, shade solutions, and space dividers built to last without sacrificing comfort or color.
“It is our aim to find solutions that don’t exist on the market, that withstand all elements of outdoor use and that enhance the interaction between people,” says Ashlee Anvik, U.S. marketing manager at Extremis. “With changes in office design, we have been busy observing the behavior of colleagues. After being apart for so long, togetherness will be one of the main reasons we want to come back,” she adds. Given the benefits associated with biophilic design, such as stress reduction and improved focus, creating outdoor workspaces is a smart choice, enhancing employee wellbeing in more ways than one.
When envisioning an outdoor workspace, it’s vital to take into account the way shifts in light and weather will impact users. For this reason, shade coverage, areas of refuge, as well as modular and low-maintenance furnishings are essential considerations. Here are some design solutions from Extremis that simplify the specification process:
The Walrus Sofa and Kosmos Shade
The Walrus sofa, made of durable and easy-to-clean Tarpaulin, can weather all conditions, like its namesake, without the need to store or cover cushions. Tarpaulin also is UV stable and offers anti-bacterial features. For added comfort or color, users can unroll a blanket made with Sunbrella performance fabric from the sofa’s built-in water-tight storage unit.
For shade cover, the Kosmos shade—a versatile, cantilevered shade structure with a reach of over 10 feet—suits any seating arrangement, and even offers a dimmable lighting feature. Made from a high-tech polyester fabric with high tensile strength and UV resistance, Kosmos offers designers a stylish and effective shade solution.
The Marina Table
Designed via a pultrusion process to create expansive yet seamless fiberglass profiles, the Marina table comes in a variety of sizes, stretching up to 40 feet in length—ideal for group meetings or focused work. Designers will take comfort in knowing the Marina also is fully customizable, offered in a combination of seating variations to accommodate different postures. Made with UV stable fiberglass, its easy-to-clean surface remains comfortable to the touch even when temperatures drop.
The Captain Chair and Sticks
Shell chairs, often considered an indoor office accessory, now are at home in the open air. The brand’s ergonomic and weatherproof Captain Chair even features drainage slots to eliminate pooling water in the seat area, which is designed to fit a range of body types. The polypropylene reinforced shell contains 15% fiberglass, enhancing its durability. “Most shell chairs change color because plastic changes over time, but this one UV stable so it maintains its original color,” says Thomas Wynants, product designer and son of company’s founder.
At the same time, Sticks—inspired by those found in nature—enable designers to safely divide a space, creating soothing, secluded areas of refuge. Made of fiberglass rods with a rubber base, Sticks is designed to perform in all weather conditions, reducing distractions for those at work while serving as an extension of the natural world.
Discover more outdoor workspace inspiration here.