With Allied World, London split between two floors the designers’ challenge was to create a social and agile-working vibe.
Client: Allied World
Design: Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will
Size: 2,787 sq m
Words by Emily Martin
Images by David Churchill
Whether a trend or cultural shift, workplaces are now seen as co-working spaces, designed specifically to keep people talking -- and sometimes even playing, but ensuring staff interaction proves more challenging when occupying multiple levels of a building.
Ensuring interaction between the staff across two office levels became Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will (PBP+W) main challenge, after being appointed by insurance firm Allied World to work on its new offices, at 20 Fenchurch Street. A 'fast-tracked' project meant PBP+W maintained a close liaison on 'all aspects of space planning and design in order to meet the occupation date', says William Poole-Wilson, principal at Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will. 'And we're pleased that the end result not only reflects the original brief but also reinforces the atmosphere and culture within Allied World.'
Colour in reception furniture communicates the client's brand
Central to the scheme is a staff cafe located around a stair link, connecting the two levels of offices, which encourages staff to meet and talk with one another -- whether pre-arranged or not. And an emphasis on promoting a 'collegial atmosphere' and an agile work environment across the two floors can be seen by an openplan workspace, which features a mix of highback and soft seating, and loose meeting tables.
The staff cafe is a strong vertical connection and communication hub between the office's two floors
PBP+W has also integrated a series of meeting areas within the scheme; informal breakout areas and traditional meeting rooms provide more reasons for employees to come together and interact.
When clients visit the offices, on floors 18 and 19 of the 37-storey 20 Fenchurch Street, dubbed the Walkie Talkie building, the business lounge has been designed to meet a high level of customer service. Featuring a coffee bar, meeting suite and magnificent views of London, this will certainly leave a positive impression on those who use it.
The connecting staircase is framed by a structural beam wrapped by opaque glass and LED lighting
'In every area -- from client-dedicated zones and meeting rooms to the employee stair link -- the Allied World identity has been woven into the design,' says Poole-Wilson, with PBP+W using colour in furniture, finishes and flooring as a key way to communicate Allied World's brand. 'The overall design is complementary to Allied World's brand, and provides staff with a more collaborative environment to work in and welcome clients to.'
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