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The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has an important role as the voice of the UK food and drink industry, which is the largest manufacturing sector in the country. FDF help their members operate in a correctly regulated marketplace to allow them to operate in a healthy and competitive market.
FDF had been in their previous office since the 1980’s and their new workplace, located in 10 Bloomsbury Way, is a space that benefits and enhances the working lives of the FDF staff. Their search for a new office was an opportunity to modernise their identity and engage staff in the office redesign process.
The goal for their new 7,500 sq ft office design was to promote better, more flexible ways of working for the FDF staff and to provide an excellent experience for their members. The office now provides a strong platform for FDF’s role within the food and drink industry in a functional, pleasant space.
To best represent their staff and the work they do, we conducted a workplace assessment with staff at the heart of the process to learn more about how the business worked and the staff’s requirements for the space. With a more open, flexible office space, it was important to create small focus booths for staff. These allow them to hold private calls or work individually in a quieter space.
A key finding of this assessment was that FDF needed their office design to be flexible, as they often host visitors and their members in the office for large ‘town hall’ type meetings. To maximise the flexibility of the office space, we installed folding walls in reception and the meeting rooms which could open the entire space when it was needed. When the large auditorium space isn’t required, the individual meeting rooms can be used separately. Every detail in this part of the office, down to the mobile reception desk, has been created with usability and flexibility in mind.
Our design needed to transform the space into a destination that would make staff and members alike proud to be in the new environment. The understanding necessary to deliver this aspect came from a close collaboration with the team at FDF to ensure that staff considerations were included.
The greenhouse structure works well with the various structural elements of the space, as well as making a visual reference to the food and drink sector. The inclusion of this design feature helps create a vibrant focal point and natural partition for the kitchen and office space. We have minimised the use of solid partitions to maximise the flow of natural light through the space, with consideration of the inherent characteristics of the building.