***Nominated for a BCO Award 2018***
Location: 2 Kingsway, Cardiff
When we were approached by Savills, a leader in the global commercial and high end residential property market, they were looking for us to design a fresh, new work environment for them that worked for clients, staff and visitors alike. They were relocating from their current office in Windsor Place to the top floor of 2 Kingsway in Cardiff City centre which now provides an open plan space for them with the most stunning floor to ceiling views of the castle.
Savills are driven by their rich history, customer care and passion for delivering services of a high standard so we wanted our design to take inspiration from their company brand and ethos. The scheme involves spaces that incorporate natural and industrial elements, reflecting both the agricultural and commercial sectors of the business.
They were looking for a work space where they could develop as a business and introduce agile working, all the while reflecting their international brand coupled with their local values. Through the use of pods, soft seating and living walls, we created an environment to promote informal communication and sharing of ideas. By removing cubicles and individual offices, openness and collaboration would be encouraged. By removing barriers and introducing hot desking, teams can sit out in the open and collaborate. With conference rooms and little breakaway spaces they can still have areas that allow for quiet time away from possible distraction.
Health and wellbeing is something we champion in our designs and offering staff the flexibility to work how they chose allows them to be happier and more productive in the workspace. We introduced ‘Living Walls’ into the space as key features which not only brought a sense of nature inside, but acted as barriers to define the individual zones. Contrasting this, concrete and steel were at the heart of the design, hardening the appearance of the soft, natural materials used in the new space.
The choice of materials such as concrete, wood and steel were chosen to reflect the construction background of the surveying community, along with living walls, wood and wool to reflect the agricultural side. Materials such as silk, walnut and the colour red were weaved through the customer facing areas to reflect the residential side of the business. All wood and fabrics were chosen from local suppliers from Wales as it was important to us to have Welsh products that are sustainable materials which is a reflection of the rich history of Savills, and Savills’ new Welsh HQ in Cardiff.
We created two tea point facilities for the staff. One, being a ‘drinks only’ tea point and the second one being larger to accommodate the open plan working space. It acts as a breakaway for the staff from their desks - a space for informal meetings, a drink after work, to have lunch and to host. It’s multifunctional and works great as a place to host an event.
As you move through the space you are taken on a journey of not only their past, but their future also. With soft materials reflecting their agricultural side and harder elements reflecting their more industrial side of the business, as you move through the space you are welcomed by complementing finishes that not only form a part of their branding guidelines but reflect the overall design. Through contemporary and practical aesthetics, 2 Kingsway was transformed into a welcoming and dynamic estate agent for both staff and visitors.
Photography by @MattCantt