Our in-house Interior Designer, Nadia Al-Chalaby, was given a brief to take the floor plate set out by architects to create a research and development hub to house academics and students, providing agile and flexible working spaces to suit a variety of needs. Nadia looked into colour themes that best suited this educational space, whilst also maintaining furnishing that not only promoted wellbeing, but was hard wearing due to the high volume of usage it will go through.
Throughout the hub, you’ll notice a consistency in the colour theme, with a blend of natural earthy tones set against a light neutral background. The entrance to the hub has been designed as an informal meeting, waiting and work area, which can also be used as a reception space when hosting events. Statement pieces of furniture have been placed around the space to provide a variety of seating styles that can work independently or together in an event situation. Darker fabrics and textures have been used in this area as it will be highly used and will be prone to more ware.
To compliment the Earthy tones, biophilia is introduced in the offices through the dividing storage system and planters placed on the top of the Freestor Tambour units. This frees up the floor space in the office creating more open walkway whilst also keeping the office tidy by preventing books and papers to be stored on the units.
The meeting and office spaces were planned around the perimeter of the building to allow for natural light and airflow, creating a central core of training rooms, collaboration areas and ad hoc working spaces throughout the three floors for research and development. The top floor is the heart of the office spaces which revolves around a central courtyard providing natural light to all areas of the offices and meeting room.
In the breakout area, a mixture of group tables, both dining and poseur height, are positioned around the room with an area of soft seating along the back wall, giving space for a personal break or a chat with colleagues. The outside courtyard allows room for having breaks and lunch outdoors, promoting wellbeing.
Rows of individual offices have been planned for research and administration tasks, whilst most work desks are provided in open plan spaces, mixed among collaboration areas, and private work pods. Height adjustable desks are available for all staff in both the open plan and private offices to promote wellbeing and a more active style of working.
Taking advantage of natural light in the office spaces the floor is finished with a natural oak using rugs to demarcate areas of collaboration among open plan offices. The fabric in the offices are a blend of natural green and yellows with the seat and base fabrics subdued and the vertical panels boasting vibrant oranges and greens. A mixture of textures has been chosen for each upholstered piece to further reinstate the connection with the outdoors, using natural recycled materials and colours directly linked with nature.