Engineering incredible spaces

For a company who pride themselves on shaping a better world, only the best workplaces would suffice for Arup. We helped transform the way their Liverpool and Sheffield teams worked together through new office fit outs.

Key features

  • Spacious reception and touchdown hub
  • The Dock Lounge with Liverpool dock views
  • 'Home-zones'
  • Industrial fittings
  • Flexible and collaborative working

Arup's Liverpool Fit Out

Given the prime location of Arup’s new Liverpool office, we treated the 10,500 sq ft space as a blank canvas to reflect the area’s dynamic industrial and artistic mix.

The result? A fit out steeped in local history, with staff wellbeing at its heart. With ambitious expansion plans, Arup needed a fit out that embraced modern ways of working, while also being flexible enough to grow with future expansion.

A true focus on wellbeing

Arup’s focus on staff wellbeing goes beyond agile working and sit stand desks, as we made sure staff wellbeing was instilled into the space’s industrial aesthetic. This starts the moment you enter, as you’re directed around to the lounge area via petrified moss arrows.

We’ve used a natural, smoky timber finish on custom joinery, sourced an oversized timber boardroom table, and used natural oak parquet flooring throughout high-traffic areas. The soft furnishings also reflect the natural environment, with rustic leather sofas, and chairs finished off in sunshine yellow.

This eclectic open plan breakout space acts as the heart of Arup’s agile office community. Designed to foster chance encounters and collaboration, the dynamic space features an array of furniture; from deep comfy sofas to high-backed solo chairs and relaxed deck chairs, providing an option for everything from 1:1 catchups to team meetings.

The adjacent hub features bleacher seating at one end and glazed folding walls, allowing for it to open up and transform the lounge into a dynamic hospitality suite — perfect for training and client workshops.

The Dock yard

You’d be forgiven for thinking the walls were a bit rusty on this side of the office. This centrally positioned breakout space was designed to mimic a shipping container, further reflecting Liverpool’s maritime history.

Featuring bench and café-style seating, and media screens, this is a multifunctional space that can transform from a funky staff kitchen into an event space in moments.

Arup wanted to take the theme of agile and collaborative working and apply it to the whole office, not just the client-facing areas. We didn’t want to create a jarring atmosphere when staff go from an engaging meeting space back to a bland desk.

That’s why we sourced these workstations, which essentially look like oversized dining tables, and help to reinforce a sense of communal collaboration. To ensure staff still have adequate space and privacy, storage dividers are situated between each row of desks and are finished off with indoor plants.

Interspersed amongst the workstations, touchdown desks provide space for collaboration when a quick meeting is needed, so colleagues can move away from their desk and avoid disturbing neighbouring colleagues.

Sophistication in Sheffield

Arup’s Sheffield office is located in the new St Paul's Place development, in the heart of Sheffield. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the sweeping views out over South Yorkshire and allow the office to bathe in sunlight.

Upon entering the space, you’re greeted with the open reception which flows into the core breakout space to its right. The wooden parquet flooring and matching acoustic ceiling baffles set the tone for the rest of the office experience of casual sophistication.

This is a breakout space that acts as a catalyst for collaboration thanks to its central location. High tables were selected to allow for impromptu catchups and quick team meetings, while the lower café-style furniture provides somewhere for guests to unwind with a coffee as they wait to go into one of the adjoining meeting suites.

The space features retractable walls to combine with the adjoining meeting suite to create a large space perfectly suited to events, functions and town hall meetings.

Adding to the versatility of the fit out, private booths were stylishly added to allow for small meetings.

Situated to the side of the upper floor breakout space, they're at a halfway point between the workstations on the upper and lower floors; the perfect spot for casual meetings.

Their soft fabric finish absorbs excess acoustics from others using the multifunctional space.

Projecting collaboration

The lower floor houses a number of fully glazed meeting rooms and dedicated workstations, ensuring staff always have spaces to both concentrate or collaborate.

Situated at the foot of the staircase, the star of the lower floor is the open plan Design Area. This is designed for project teams to come together for a matter of hours, days or weeks depending on the task.

Its location makes it an ideal point for collaboration as colleagues can easily drop in as they move around the office. The furniture choices help support agile working as technology is integrated with all workstations; both fixed and agile, throughout the fit out.2

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