Coca-Cola UK HQ, London

  • The heritage wall, created by Acrylicize, with some help from the Coca-Cola archive held in the USA

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,

  • Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271376/large/Coco2.jpg$,

  • Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271376/large/Coco2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271377/large/Coco3.jpg$,

  • Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271376/large/Coco2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271377/large/Coco3.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271378/large/Coco4.jpg$,

  • Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271376/large/Coco2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271377/large/Coco3.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271378/large/Coco4.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271379/large/Coco5.jpg$,

  • Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271376/large/Coco2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271377/large/Coco3.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271378/large/Coco4.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271379/large/Coco5.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271380/large/Coco6.jpg$,

  • Office space on the first floor;

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271376/large/Coco2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271377/large/Coco3.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271378/large/Coco4.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271379/large/Coco5.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271380/large/Coco6.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271381/large/Coco7.jpg$,

  • The holidays are coming Coca-Cola truck, handmade by Acrylicize and displayed on the feature wall;

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271376/large/Coco2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271377/large/Coco3.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271378/large/Coco4.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271379/large/Coco5.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271380/large/Coco6.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271381/large/Coco7.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271382/large/Coco9.jpg$,

  • Detail from the feature wall

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271376/large/Coco2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271377/large/Coco3.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271378/large/Coco4.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271379/large/Coco5.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271380/large/Coco6.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271381/large/Coco7.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271382/large/Coco9.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271384/large/Coco8.jpg$,

  • Ghost signage, created and handpainted by master signwriters, plus Stuart Haygarth’s 4m-long light installation

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271376/large/Coco2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271377/large/Coco3.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271378/large/Coco4.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271379/large/Coco5.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271380/large/Coco6.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271381/large/Coco7.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271382/large/Coco9.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271384/large/Coco8.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271386/large/Coco10.jpg$,

  • Inside the cafe

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271375/large/Coco1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271376/large/Coco2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271377/large/Coco3.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271378/large/Coco4.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271379/large/Coco5.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271380/large/Coco6.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271381/large/Coco7.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271382/large/Coco9.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271384/large/Coco8.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271386/large/Coco10.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9260/images/271388/large/Coco11.jpg$,

A careful hand was needed by MoreySmith to convert one of London’s oldest concrete buildings into a vibrant and reflective HQ for the king of pop.

fx


Interior design: MoreySmith

Feature wall design: Acrylicize

Duration: Six months

Size: 5,575 sq m

Cost: Confidential


All Photography: Nikhilesh Haval

Words by Emily Martin

Relocating its UK headquarters from offices in Hammersith, to Central London, Coca-Cola has taken up residence in a John Belcher-designed turn-of-the-century concrete building and is now home to the company's 320 UK staff.

The heritage wall, created by Acrylicize, with some help from the Coca-Cola archive held in the USA
The heritage wall, created by Acrylicize, with some help from the Coca-Cola archive held in the USA

In charge of the interior design, MoreySmith stripped back the building to its shell to complete its redesign scheme across six levels. 'The brief was to create a new working environment that was bespoke to Coca-Cola's working culture,' explains Linda Morey Smith, MoreySmith's principal director.

Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall
Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall

'The building and interior design scheme needed to acknowledge the brand's heritage, while celebrating its ability to diversify and move with the times.'

'Coca-Cola is one of the world's most recognised brands with more than a century of heritage to pay tribute to,' says Nicola Osborn, MoreySmith design director, further emphasising brand importance reflected within the design scheme. 'The arrival experience at reception sets the tone for the rest of the building,' she says, with MoreySmith teaming up with London-based art collaborative Acrylicize, which delivered a feature wall referencing Coca-Cola's past, present and future.

Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall
Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall

Spaning three storeys the wall features original memorabilia from the brand's archive in Atlanta, incorporated as a celebration of Coca-Cola's history. It contains iconic advertising, heritage items, neon-art signage and a series of handmade, unique art installations, including a 3D-effect pair of lips crafted from 35,000 drinking straws, and a hand-built Christmas toy truck complete with working lights.

Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall
Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall

'In early conversations with MoreySmith we decided that we didn't want the wall simply to be a museum-style historic piece,' explains Acrylicize's co-founder and creative director, James Burke. Not wanting a Coca-Cola logo over-kill - believing it to be a too-obvious and easy solution to the brief - Acrylicize opted to focus on the brand's iconic graphic design and illustration, aided by access to precious Coca- Cola American archives. 'We were really spoilt for choice when it came to designing and developing the content,' says Burke.

Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall
Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall

A bespoke intelligent LED screen, using 5,000 recycled Coca-Cola bottles, features as part of the wall, displaying a series of bespokethemed visuals. Master traditional signwriters were brought in to recreate a series of old-style signs, using original Coca-Cola artwork, techniques, colours and materials, produced exactly as they would have been in the Forties and Fifties. Sharing the space is a specially commissioned art piece by award-winning British designer Stuart Haygarth, which is suspended from the second floor into the reception space. The 4m-high, comet-shaped artwork features more than 30,000 acrylic 'ice' chunks, illuminated by LEDs.

Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall
Recreated Coca-Cola advertising signs from days gone by, plus archive material, are used in the feature wall

'We are massive advocates of partnering with the right suppliers and fabricators - attention to detail is hugely important,' says Osbourn. 'We have used the best of British craftsmanship throughout the building and we have selected our partners with a great deal of care. Our vision is creative combined with high quality and this is evident from the moment you walk through the door.'

Office space on the first floor
Office space on the first floor

Featuring prominent branding as part of the integral design scheme, MoreySmith needed to also be sympathetic to the building's original features, which include an Edwardian baroque style at the front of the building in Marylebone, dating back to the early 1900s. 'We have created a balance between brand vibrancy and operational work space,' says Morey Smith on the challenges posed for the practice when working on one of London's oldest concrete buildings. 'We were challenged with ensuring that the quirky idiosyncrasies of the whole building were celebrated and in creating a fluid link between heritage and contemporary, to physically and strategically connect all parts of the building.' An extension was added to the rear of the building in the Eighties and MoreySmith's concept ensures that both contrasting spaces interconnect with 'fluid links between heritage and contemporary.'

The holidays are coming Coca-Cola truck, handmade by Acrylicize and displayed on the feature wall;
The holidays are coming Coca-Cola truck, handmade by Acrylicize and displayed on the feature wall

'The workplace journey moves vertically through the building, creating an environment for team happiness with uplifting and comfortable spaces for staff and visitors to work, meet, collaborate and socialise,' says Osbourn, highlighting how the design scheme has exploited the building's varying levels, creating staircases that connect the front part of the building to the rear main office space. And with a double-height reception area, designed to capture cafe activity from above, a split-level staircase encourages people to use the stairs instead of lifts.

The building is also equipped with Wi-Fi throughout so that staff and visitors are free to work within the entirety of the building - be it the reception area, cafe or the bespoke meeting room with walls cladded in recycled Coca-Cola crates. Through the building workspaces are varied by design, with interior space utilised and carefully considered to ensure they are 'fit for purpose' for the staff occupying the space. Team collaboration spaces act as buffers between communal areas and concentrated workspaces, where the atmosphere is quieter and brighter to promote focus. Or staff can use the 3D felt-clad quiet room designed by British designer-maker Selina Rose, who creates intricately cut-felt interior surfaces.

Ghost signage, created and handpainted by master signwriters, plus Stuart Haygarth’s 4m-long light installation
Ghost signage, created and handpainted by master signwriters, plus Stuart Haygarth's 4m-long light installation

In addition to ensuring a functional building and practical workspaces, MoreySmith has also delivered a nothing-short-of-cool design scheme, representative of an integral part of Coca-Cola's branding. Osborn says: 'The essence of the brand is inherent throughout the building, with its heritage reflected in the use of Coca-Cola red and its memorabilia. The design highlights Coca-Cola's cultural past through eclectic finishing touches, but also recognises the brand's ambition for the future, with clever use of technology throughout the building.'

Inside the cafe
Inside the cafe

Moreysmith's design scheme also features a 375 sq m panoramic roof terrace. Accommodating a living wall - visible from every floor - a barbecue area, apple trees and a wild meadow, the space has been designed to promote wellbeing. It is a suitably relaxing way to end a day's work: another aspiration of the brand.

Explains Morey Smith: 'We wanted to design a collaborative and creative working environment for Coca-Cola's employees to feel happy and inspired, and reflect this in our materials and design choices. The creation of an ambient, non-corporate environment to suit different working styles and needs has been designed to sit alongside quieter and brighter open-plan work spaces to accommodate the needs of a modern and growing workplace.'

Main Suppliers

Furniture
Herman miller, Knoll, SCP, James Burleigh, Jennifer Newman, Naughtone,

Lighting
Zumtobel, Flos, Erco





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