Chiswick Park, LondonSECTOR
Aker Solutions is a global provider of products, systems and services to the oil and gas industry. They wanted to re-establish themselves in the UK, making a 25-year investment to deliver their vision of a world-class facility.
Aker wanted an office design that would allow them to stand out from other project engineering companies, helping them attract the very best university graduates and create a UK headquarters which was a real statement to their clients and partners. In addition, Aker wanted an office which was truly flexible, allowing them to expand and contract with ease, in line with the fluctuations of their contracts and the establishment of project teams for each new opportunity.
Having previously delivered smaller London offices for Aker Solutions, Peldon Rose were elected as Aker’s partner for their new 212,000 sq ft UK headquarters on Chiswick Park - a location where we had worked with multiple client such as Baker Hughes.
The first step was bringing in independence to negotiations by working with professional teams including park owners Blackstone (and later CIC), developer Stanhope, project manager JLL and commercial agents JLL. By doing this we were able to identify ways to speed up the build programme, bring forward the occupation date and reduce costs. Throughout the project we conducted an open tender process to provide complete visibility to all parties.
With a project of this scale we wanted to be entirely confident that the final office space would suit everyone who worked or visited there. Having negotiated a trial and return policy with our manufacturers and suppliers, we were able to create a range of different work environments across four different work spaces which ranged from 6,000 sq ft to 25,000 sq ft.
Each environment had its own identity as we trialled different types of materials, workstations, pedestals and storage solutions. On adjacent areas for each we created different types of smart working spaces using a range of furniture including acoustic seating and meeting pods. We also created different style meeting rooms, varying in location, size, facilities and construction.
Our workplace consultants then conducted a time and motion study to see how staff used the spaces and complimented this with surveys to create a rounded picture of what was preferred and most effective for the business.
Working in partnership with Aker’s professional team we explored ways to speed up the build programme, bring forward occupation date and reduce costs. Firstly, by phasing works Aker could start moving in as we built it out. On two floors we also managed the CAT A works to build from shell and core to match exactly the CAT B design and build.
To make it easy for Aker to set up project teams or sublet space in designated areas of the 212, 000 sq ft building, we subdivided each floor in to a quadrant design. Each quadrant is self-sufficient with independent cabling infrastructure, comms rooms and cabinets. Each space also has independent smart working spaces, meeting rooms and extensive facilities including kitchens. We also assigned a designated Building Management System (BMS). This system minimises the reconfiguration work required as new project teams take occupancy or if the space is sublet.
To ensure the whole building was flexible enough in design to appeal to the wide range of project teams and companies who would be use the space, we created a common design theme connecting the floors and people together, but is deliberately not overtly Aker branded.
The design theme running up through the building is one which tells a story of oil including gas molecules, the planet’s tectonic plates, a typographic map, oil represented by metallic stones and a rupture within the earth’s crust leaking out a bright hot beam of light. This story is told vertically in each central meet and greet space of each floor using artwork and graphics of bright colours and striking materials to bring the story to life. We then took the colours from each piece of artwork to influence the materials and furniture which were selected.
Attracting the very best project engineering university graduates was central to Aker’s business strategy. In addition to the extensive lifestyle and well-being facilities at Chiswick Park, we wanted staff to have great facilities in their office. On each floor we created a range of smart working areas to provide flexibility to select where, when and how staff work according to the tasks they had. These areas included high-back sofas, acoustic meeting pods and fully-fitted kitchens with bench seating. These areas have proved excellent at boosting collaboration, communication and friendships within Aker Solutions.
To create a statement UK headquarters which is a serious destination for their major oil clients and staff worldwide, we installed the very latest technology. From anywhere in the world all visitors can book the facilities and meeting spaces they need before they even set off.
Throughout the office we installed powerful Wi-Fi plug and work stations and advanced video conferencing facilities so every mobile worker has everything they need to work anywhere in the building. As we installed 10km of fibre optic cabling, all employees have excellent connectivity throughout the building.
Before Aker moved in to Building 6 we installed and trialled a range of work environments to assess which would be most suited to their future business needs. The selected furniture was tendered to a range of manufacturers and we negotiated extended warranties to ensure Aker had the very best value. Throughout the office is stylish, practical furniture to help create this striking new workspace.
We put a real focus on selecting products which incorporated a high percentage of re-used waste materials so we were able to achieve something far more sustainable. These waste materials for items such as carpet tiles now include discarded fishing nets and metals which also add to the durability and lifespan of the product.
Many of our clients including Aker have retained our services afterwards and we are delighted to be assisting them with planned and preventative building and ongoing support maintenance to ensure the building and teams can continue to operate at optimum levels. Our 24-hour a day office maintenance service provides them with complete peace of mind. We are also pleased to support Aker with ongoing works, helping them adapt the space as new project teams are formed and the needs of their business evolve.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Peldon Rose team for their expertise and professionalism.
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