Office Focus: Radius’s European HQ by SpaceInvader

Radius’s new £4m European headquarters in Crewe, Cheshire, has wellbeing at its heart

Radius Payment Solutions, Europe’s leading independent service provider to the fleet and logistics market, has a new worldwide HQ that is also home to its UK team. The brief was both to create an attractive base that enhances the company’s profile in the Crewe area, as well as attract new talent that reflects the positive ethos of a global business. Crewe has been home to Radius for nearly 20 years.

The wellbeing of those using the space was the fundamental concept that drove the interior of this £4m fit-out project. AEW Architects was the base build designer, and worked collaboratively with award-winning interior design specialists SpaceInvader.

The project was designed using a collaborative 3D model by AEW Architects. This not only reduced the amount of uncertainty but also enabled the innovative use of virtual reality software to better communicate the design to Radius and SpaceInvader.

The latter’s brief was to design an ‘internal campus’ to inspire the Radius team and to focus on employee wellbeing. This was achieved by working collaboratively with Radius to understand the needs of the individuals in more depth, enabling the creation of tailored spaces, which tied seamlessly into Radius’s business objectives.

With this in mind, each space was given its own concept, to enhance people’s experience through their environment while being as productive as possible. This approach brought the client’s brand and culture to life. ‘Our brief was to create a space which tells the Radius story and provides an inspirational place to work,’ says John Williams, managing director at SpaceInvader.

Radius’s four-storey HQ is home to 500 staff. Image Credit: SG Photography LtdRadius’s four-storey HQ is home to 500 staff. Image Credit: SG Photography Ltd

‘Each employee has to be able to do their best work regardless of their job. That meant we had to be highly sensitive to all aspects of the design, from aesthetics to employee wellbeing, as well as making the ambience be buzzy yet focused. This included sound levels, and we took forensic care in making sure that the zones work acoustically.’

Additional elements of the client’s personality were cleverly woven into the fabric of the design. For example, sci-fi and technology features throughout the space in ways that are artistic yet functional – this is demonstrated via a life-size mock-up of Dr Who’s TARDIS, for example, which opens into a meeting room, along with bespoke, street-art and sci-fi inspired artwork.

Radius’s headquarters in Crewe is 64,000ft2 of Grade A office space over four storeys providing workspace for 500 employees. The building possesses column-free 15m office floor plates, with an atrium, gym, games room along with communal meeting areas and a cafe. Spaces flow into each other seamlessly.

A key challenge of having large areas with multiple elements is that while it creates aesthetically pleasing zones, reverberation times are increased as acoustic barriers are removed. As employee wellbeing was top of the agenda, keeping noise to a minimum was key so that staff can work and relax mindfully. Getting the sound levels right is crucial in an office space and a challenge was keeping the reverberation times down while providing an oasis of calm.

Correct acoustic balance is crucial in the workplace, particularly with the health costs shown by exposure to excessive noise. The UK’s chief medical officer has said that noise is second only to air pollution in terms of the damage to human health, and responsible employers are looking to ensure that their people will not suffer impaired health through being at work.

Bespoke, street-art sci-fi inspired artwork is woven into the fabric of the design. Image Credit: SG Photography Ltd
Bespoke, street-art sci-fi inspired artwork is woven into the fabric of the design. Image Credit: SG Photography Ltd

The acoustics were improved through the use of Oscar Acoustics’ SonaSpray K-13 Special in grey, which was applied to some breakout spaces. This fire-rated, acoustic ceiling spray not only absorbs noise, thus creating a pleasant ambience, it also provides a seamless and decorative solution.

The project, which was completed earlier this year, has had the desired result. ‘We have instantly noticed the positive effects on productivity and employee wellbeing and also seen an increase in attracting future talent into our business as a consequence,’ says Bill Homes, the chief executive at Radius. The project also picked up the RICS commercial property award for the North West region.

Architects: AEW Architects
Interior designer: SpaceInvader
Acoustic consultants: Oscar Acoustics
Lighting designers: Enigma
Furniture: SouthernsBroadstock
Property agent: Oakhill Residential & Dexters
Project manager: Avid
Main contractor: Overbury

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