As the client celebrated its 50th year of business in the UK, we were tasked with creating a flagship office that could act as a global workspace, fit for the future. The client was located in 2 offices in Manchester, Hardman Street and Piccadilly Gardens. This project was to move everyone into Piccadilly Gardens as the Bank acquired the second half of the 6th floor. Having designed their existing workplace 15 years ago, we returned to refresh the space for a more modern way of working. Our team combined to design the furniture, finishes, colour scheme and wall graphics that reflect the global brand with aspects unique to Manchester. The scheme supports the client’s ambition to make this a great place to work and continues to promote investment in Manchester, supporting a diverse community. We liaised with their global branding department in New York to maintain a consistency of corporate visual identity. As a result, brand colours are prominent throughout the design, in furniture fabrics, acoustic baffles, wall graphics and carpet design. The core of our brief was to provide alternative places to work away from the desk. Softer finishes and brighter colours have created a functional variety of work settings within the open plan to cater for informal virtual meetings with other offices, large booths with a central meeting table for team brainstorming, high benches for quick get-togethers, smaller booths for one-to-one meetings and flexible settings for 4-5 people. The carpet is a key design feature which both assists with wayfinding and defines zones of activity.
Opportunities were identified to improve the flow of the building through planning the office into zones of activity. This created a space which was far more flexible, liberating staff from their desks and providing opportunities for greater collaboration. We worked with Shaw to come up with a considered and interesting floor design using various ranges and colours to reflect the client’s brand colour palette and to clearly define zones within each of the floors. The walkways are subtly demarcated by using Altered Glitch plank laid monolithically, which features coloured stripes blending in seamlessly into the main office floor carpet plank Altered Distort Unreal. Colour Form plank tiles were used in the meeting rooms to denote different activities within (including one to one, VC rooms and client meeting rooms) and to provide pops of bright colour which can be seen across the atrium. Highlight colour planks were also used in the open plan to show touchdown areas. Rethink with its acoustic qualities, cushioned feel and subtle colour range was used to define busy collaboration zones, tea points, centralised support zones and multi-faith rooms whilst blending in perfectly with the carpet ranges.