Flexible office fit out for premium collaboration

We are stronger when we work together. Asahi’s new UK headquarters in Surrey certainly reflects the brand’s mantra. A sense of place couldn’t be more important to the drinks company that aims to drive the behaviours that embody the Asahi values – curiosity, cooperation, commitment, boldness and empowerment.

Project partners

  • Shaw Studios
  • JAC Group

Project description

The Asahi team pride themselves on being open-minded, hungry to discover better ways of doing things, committing to whatever they say they are going to do, being clear, decisive, working together and, ultimately, bringing out the best in each other. As the UK's headquarters, Asahi House offers the perfect backdrop for a fit out that inspires wellbeing through agile working and brings the company's behaviours together.

Cat B fit out bringing a brand to life

Overbury took a lead role in delivering the CAT B fit out of the building and inspired collaboration. To that end, we set up a large, bespoke meeting room on site to encourage creativity and idea sharing in a safe space that kept us physically distanced but socially together and culturally aligned.

A huge amount of teamwork, energy, passion and sheer hard work went into this project. Despite working through the troubled times of the pandemic, we delivered a space that met the beer pioneer’s brief for a collaborative and flexible office that would ensure the entire Asahi team felt welcome when the time came to open the doors.

Collaborative work flow

The Asahi HQ wouldn’t be complete without a showstopper of a bar – and that’s certainly what you get when you grace the fifth floor, along with stunning views of Woking forest. Natural light floods into the bar and café area and there is ample space to socialise, throw events and host ‘town hall’ meetings. To get the creative juices flowing, along with the drinks, we created a mock-up of the bar in plywood to showcase what the final version would look like. This gave Asahi a flavour of how the space would work, which helped to build excitement and momentum.

The fifth floor bar serves as the focal point for the building, bringing people together to socialise and sample the different products. The design features bespoke floating glass shelves and metal panels that match the reception panels. The worktop is embedded with fragments of recycled glass from Asahi brands of bottled beer, a nod to the brand’s sustainability agenda, and includes two traditional beer pumps for the pouring of cask ale. The beer is pumped via pythons from the cellar in the floor below, while the cellar walls are insulated and cladded with white rock and stainless-steel chequer plates. The final design not only looks great but offers a fitting environment to enjoy an informal conversation over a well-deserved beer.

A workplace for every taste

This same level of intricate detail is included throughout the six-storey office fit out. On the ground floor, a state-of-the-art reception area greets visitors, complete with eye-catching desk and pendant light fittings. We installed unique light fittings in the reception area that reflect the attention to detail throughout the space where the meeting rooms each have distinctive lighting.

Floors one to three feature bright, airy, open-plan office spaces, collaboration zones and workstations. These floors have been tailored to support a variety of working needs and preferences. From collaborative areas, standing desks and hotspot spaces, to quiet rooms and a branding lounge, Asahi employees have been provided with a carefully thought out workplace fit out that encourages them to work flexibly and effectively in whatever manner suits them best.

Floor four is home to the client meeting rooms that are each named after a different Asahi brand. Here, we installed individual matching colour schemes including bespoke coloured desktops that breathe life into the brands. An innovation room enables people to test new products and train staff and customers on the ‘perfect pour’. The tables echo the colour and capture the essence of the identities.

Top design and fit out in harmony with function

The building is also highly functional, featuring a security and post room, IT comms and IT build room, store room and first aid room, each of which are critical to the smooth operation of the facility. Alongside the cellar, the fourth floor also boasts an impressive boardroom with unique lighting, cutting-edge technology and acoustic wall finishes, a pantry, an innovation room that doubles up as a training space, and a wellbeing zone. The building is ventilated with 100% fresh air throughout – a feature that has proven critical in helping to provide peace of mind during the pandemic.

The car park includes bike racks while inside there are showers and locker facilities to enable people to cycle to work and exercise during the day.

It was our mission to uphold Asahi’s values in the delivery of this project. In addition to working seamlessly as a collective, we also conducted a value engineering exercise to ensure we sourced cost effective, sustainable and durable materials, designed to leave a lasting impression.

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