Two become one amazing place to work

Womble Bond Dickson (WBD) wanted to consolidate their two offices - as their teams had become siloed and distant. The aim of a new workspace was to draw people together – and Newcastle’s iconic ‘Spark’ was just the place to do it.

Newcastle

37,700 sq ft

Embracing the curve


Work that space

WBD took four floors of new office space, three of which were designed to accommodate staff in a flexible, and inclusive environment.

The fourth floor was dedicated to client meetings and events, and versatility was key. The lobby doubled up as a guest lounge, the desk moonlit as a drinks bar and the entrance area adjoined meeting suites that opened out to allow mingling. Not an inch of waste.

We worked alongside design partners WK Space, project managers Seven Partnerships and quantity surveyors 3 Sphere.

WBD floorplans 10
WBD floorplans 10

Take a look at the 10th and 11th floor floorplans - the office space and client floor.

Ahead of the curve

WBD’s curvy logo featured throughout: walls, lights, seats, you name it. While designing this was one thing, executing it was something else. The team spent considerable time measuring and plotting the curves countless times to get the placement just right. Alignment had to be perfect.

Logo inspired wallpaper creates a feature wall surrounding the entrance of the North Tyne meeting room

Logo inspired wallpaper creates a feature wall framing the entrance to the 'North Tyne' meeting room.

Exposed ceilings with curved LED light strips mirror the curvature of the curved office core
Curved core creates extra meeting rooms and breaks up a vast open floor

Exposed ceilings with curved LED light strips mirror the curvature of the office core where meeting rooms break up the office space.

Visual interest at every turn

Curved walls work threefold – to form breakout areas, to serve as screens and to encourage people to turn in different directions and avoid clustering in any one space.

You can walk the entire floor with a mug of coffee in your hand (no doors to negotiate) without being able to see all the way through. Instead, there’s visual interest, privacy and flexibility. It feels open, but broken up.

Around the tea point, we installed faceted glass so that, no matter where you sit, you can look across and see a space that feels different. WBD want people to connect with and use all the assorted spaces.

Soft partitions separate workspaces and feature touches of biophilia

Soft partitions separate workspaces and feature touches of biophilia.

Precise meeting points

When it came to fitting meeting rooms, coordination was critical, as ceiling services such as AV and lighting had to work with every possible table-seating plan. Multiple layouts were drafted – boardroom, workshop, interview, training and more – to cover all permutations.

Meeting room with a view
Private workspace is adaptable in meeting rooms

Meeting rooms come in all shapes and sizes.

Exercising in discretion

Although the building had communal showers and changing facilities, WBD wanted spaces of their own. We installed these near the entrance, well away from client spaces, so that staff could discreetly come and go wearing their cycling lycra. Pipework was a challenge, as access tends to be untidy, so we rerouted it altogether to keep the wall tiles intact.

No tiles were harmed in the making of these showers

No tiles were harmed in the making of these showers.

More than a helping hand

Womble Bond Dickinson are committed to the economic growth and development of Newcastle City Centre and the wider region, so it was important that this project added value to the local community.

Overbury's Site Manager volunteered at The People's Kitchen, a local homeless charity and foodbank, every Tuesday evening for the 16-week duration of the project; giving 48 hours of his own time. The entire project team also collected clothes, food and toys on site for distribution via the charity. In addition, our specialist subcontractors supplied and fitted some new pipework in the charity's kitchen and carried out internal decoration.

As part of stress awareness month, we invited Anxious Minds, another of WBD's chosen charities, to deliver a mental health talk giving an overview of mental health, how to manage stress and how to access support; making a donation for their time.

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