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PHOTOS: Metro Vancouver man creates 'BoxOffice,' a solution for those working from home

A man from New Westminster has come up with the ultimate solution for those working from home but need to get out of the house.

A man from New Westminster has come up with the ultimate solution for those working from home but need to get out of the house.

Rick Whitfield worked as a building designer before he was employed within the film industry as an art director and set designer. When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit, Whitfield found himself without a job but it was this time that allowed him to dust off an old idea. About 10 years ago Whitfield found himself working from home while married with a toddler and a puppy. After gazing out the window to his backyard the idea for BoxOffice formed, a home office away from home.

Drawing on his building and design experience, Whitfield created the first BoxOffice which he had installed in his backyard. The offices, assembled in Pitt Meadows and North Vancouver, use materials that offer unique customizable options. 

"This is kind of a hybrid product between like real-world construction and film sets and I've kind of found this weird way to build them that allows me to put the printed vinyl on the outside for example," Whitfield said.

The printed vinyl sheeting allows the exterior to be transformed into any colour or texture while still remaining the same material. This functionality is exemplified on the BoxOffice website where 12 swatches can be applied to the office’s outside walls. Whitfield says the options are almost limitless so long as the design can be printed, it can be put on the side of the office.

The base model of the 64 square foot BoxOffice comes with your choice of exterior skin design, a fully finished interior, real wood desk and cabinetry, acoustic ceiling tiles, a programmable ventilation unit, a heater and electrical outlets.

Although new to the market, the BoxOffice website launching January 7, Whitfield says the project has received nothing but positive feedback.

"The reaction has been absolutely huge," Whitfield said. "The media has really paid attention to it and it's really getting a lot of traction for the amount of time we've been going."

Whitfield says he has already gotten about a dozen people sending in builds generated from the website which are now awaiting discussion before purchasing and installation.

Some of the interest has come from people living on B.C.'s Gulf Islands which Whitfield says the BoxOffices are ideal for since getting tradespeople to work on projects on the Gulf Islands can be time consuming and costly.

The BoxOffice comes with a $30,000 price tag but Whitfield hopes that with more buyers the cost can be reduced. To help with the price, the company is offering a preorder special and the offices get driven and delivered free of charge. Whitfield says that if the power supply work is done ahead of time, the buyer can start working in the office within an hour after delivery.