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Whilst many organisations are looking to downsize their office and adjust to hybrid working, The Building Societies Association (BSA) saw the opportunity that a reconfiguration of their current workspace would bring. Located at 23 Kingsway in Holborn, London, the division of space would provide an attractive leasing opportunity whilst retaining ownership.
As an industry that serves around 25 million customers across the UK, the BSA wanted to reconfigure its floorplate aiming to bring its team together, having recognised siloes that had formed due to long periods of working from home in 2020 and 2021. Peldon Rose demonstrated how through reducing the floorplate they could create an environment that the BSA’s teams would want to work from - it needed to be an attractive destination that went above the comforts of the home environment.
Having carried out the subdivision of the space, Peldon Rose set to work reconfiguring the reduced 2,809 sq ft floorplate. The smaller, yet better equipped workspace provided an opportunity to create a central gathering point that promotes socialisation as well as smaller pockets for interaction throughout. Upon entering the office, you are immediately welcomed into a homely breakout area with a large tea point complete with recognisable home comforts. The central island is where colleagues can enjoy lunch together, whilst offering the flexibility to host informal team meetings and external events. Biophilia brings a level of nature inside and improves air quality, which is scientifically proven to increase productivity.
The traditional structure of the previous space did not promote flexibility and needed modernisation, and this was impacting their employees return to the office. Peldon Rose saw the opportunity to put people and their wellbeing at the heart of the design; quieter touch down areas such as booth seating, and a dedicated library with a darker and calming colour palette bringing tranquillity for focused working. In contrast, collaborative areas have been incorporated and acoustic and furniture selection has been carefully thought through to ensure sound is not transferred through the open-plan areas.
The design itself reflects the BSA’s personality and visual identity. Varying blue and grey tones have been applied throughout, complimented by pendant lighting and soft furnishings. Within the kitchen, the boldness of the blue is offset by white tiles and Corian worktop, and bespoke artwork has been selected to complement the brand colour palette.
With a reduced floorplate, it was imperative the design provided flexible and agile spaces that could easily be adapted to suit the functionality of the business. Reconfiguring the layout of the meeting rooms saw the creation of a boardroom that could easily transform into two meeting areas. As there are few fixed assets, a movable wall can be added or removed, and tables can easily be adjusted. Corrugated glass partitions allow for increased sunlight levels whilst maintaining a level of privacy.
The subdivision saw a financial opportunity for the BSA to reduce its office space, rather than opting for a relocation. The split required services such as the air conditioning to be divided between the two spaces, and Peldon Rose ensured that all mechanical and electrical elements particularly acoustics were accounted for during the process.
This project came at a pivotal point in time for BSA. With Covid-19 and the growth of remote working, we needed to rejuvenate and re-evaluate how their people viewed the role of the office. By reimagining their workspace, we were able to create a new environment that promotes wellbeing, collaboration, and a great social hub which will engage their people.
Louise Thornbury, Head of HR and Finance at The Building Societies Association said: ‘Following a competitive tender exercise, Peldon Rose was identified as the standout design and fit-out partner. The team transformed our tired office into an aesthetically beautiful and contemporary workspace that promotes a more agile, and collaborative way of working and supports the BSA’s new hybrid working arrangements.
Steps were taken to upcycle the BSA’s furniture and fittings, wherever possible, to contain costs and reduce landfill. Jonathan Dawes’ commitment to delivering an exceptional project on time and within budget, despite some challenges presented by the landlord, was much appreciated. Our staff are proud and delighted with their new workspace and I would not hesitate to use Peldon Rose again, should the need arise, and/or recommend them to others. Many thanks to the Peldon Rose team!’