Eighteen months after many workers were sent home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, companies are welcoming people back to the office — and back to some of the coolest offices in Metro Phoenix. Many businesses have learned that their employees can work from just about anywhere, so their office spaces need to be more than just functional. Dull, drab cubicles are being replaced by bright and airy glass-enclosed collaborative work zones, cheery gathering areas, games rooms and tranquil outdoor spaces — inspiring surroundings that will positively affect staffers productivity and happiness.

Each year, AZRE Magazine shines a spotlight on office environments that are as attractive as they are functional. From expansive multi-floor new builds that will accommodate thousands of employees to reimagined postmodern contemporary masterworks, the 15 coolest offices of 2021, showcased below, are achievements in design, technology and sustainability.

850 PBC

Owner: Wexford Science + Technology

General contractor: Okland Construction

Architect/designer: HKS and SmithGroup

Location: 850 N. 5th St., Phoenix

Size: 227,113 SF

Value: $77 million

Brokerage: Colliers

Start/completion: March 2019/December 2020

Why it’s awesome: 850 PBC is the first purpose-built life science building in the Phoenix metropolitan area. LEED Gold-certified, it offers seven floors of laboratories, offices and research space, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows. An advanced air-filtration system, including once-through air in all labs, and touchless fixtures promote health and wellness. The modern lobby features custom local artwork, a restaurant, stage and outdoor covered patio.