Adding to their rich history, a contemporary office is the start of a new chapter for the Warwick-based BakerHicks team, who recently launched a refreshed brand and needed an office to suit.
A new chapter
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 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.
Black is back
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.
Fit for work
We often hear the common complaint that there aren’t enough meeting rooms in an office. But in most cases there aren’t enough suitably-sized areas for different kinds of meetings, which leads to a misuse of space.
For BakerHicks, our design added informal meeting areas into the mix so employees can find exactly the right space for the task at hand, whether it’s a quick catch-up or creative brainstorm. We also introduced standing desks and high workbenches, as well as individual quiet booths for private conversations and focused work.
Breath-taking break out
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 the office’s most light-filled space and converted it into an uncluttered break out area perfect for relaxing.
This part of the 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 an excellent boost to employee wellbeing.