Engineering excellence

Adding to their rich history, a contemporary office is the start of a new chapter for the Warwick and Salford BakerHicks teams, who recently launched a refreshed brand and needed an office to suit.

Project description

BakerHicks wanted a collaborative space which offers staff everything they need to work productively. Our brief was to design and build a workspace that supports new approaches to ‘business-as-usual’, including activity-based working. The office also needed to celebrate a professional new company look, reflecting the recent BakerHicks rebrand. The collaborative layout and furniture choices, modern colour palette, on-brand graphics and statement lighting — every last detail was selected to reinforce the company’s culture, values and ethos.

Open for collaboration

Part of our brief was to encourage staff to work in the light-filled open plan area instead of formal meeting rooms. Not only does sharing space increase collaboration and connection between colleagues, it sparks innovation. These inviting workstations have been built around the perimeter to take advantage of sunny days, boosting both wellbeing and space utilisation.

One of the challenges of open plan working is managing acoustics, especially on a large floorplate without many physical barriers. We used aesthetic and functional design strategies to absorb, block and channel unwanted noise away from desks, including some petrified moss panels on a geometric wooden partition. After a natural preservation process, these plants keep their interesting texture, details and bright colour for years to come with very little maintenance. They also have surprisingly high noise-absorption properties, making them ideal for high-traffic areas.

Back in black

Black isn’t necessarily a colour you’d associate with a kitchen but BakerHicks wanted a bold statement as an office centrepiece to encourage interaction and informal meetings. The intention of the space is to draw employees away from their desks to relax, restock and reconnect in a communal environment.

Sleek lines, tucked away appliances and uncluttered surfaces give this area a relaxing ambience so it doubles as an informal coffee corner for catch-ups. Inspired by the latest domestic interior design trends, its hardwearing surfaces offer a touch of natural wood to balance the contemporary look.

A dark office can really impact the mood and energy in an office, especially in winter when the days are shorter. We wanted to take advantage of the office’s most light-filled space and convert it into an uncluttered breakout area perfect for relaxing.

BakerHicks's Warwick office has a stunning atrium with big windows and an extra-height glass conservatory ceiling, so we incorporated warm oak finishes to highlight the lovely leafy views outside. Not only is maximising the use of this space a good way to let light in and create a sense of being outdoors, it’s also an excellent boost to employee wellbeing.

Over in the Salford office, the team has access to these open-plan meeting booths. Situated next to bright windows, they have access to plenty of natural light, while the circular carpet on the flooring helps absorb excess acoustics. These are the perfect spot to have a casual meeting or collaborate away from the traditional workstations.

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