When moving its headquarters, property developer Landsec decided to refurbish some of its own stock at Cardinal Place in Victoria, central London, which had the benefit of bringing all 470 employees together on a single floorplate. The relocation thus provided Landsec with the opportunity of developing a workplace strategy to promote communication, openness, transparency and collaboration and to support activity-based working.
The project is the first workplace in the world to achieve both WELL Certified Silverand BREEAM Outstanding, setting a global benchmark for a healthy and sustainable environment. Recently the project was awarded the BREEAM Office Refurbishment and Fit Out Award 2017 and until October 2017 it achieved the highest BREEAM Fit Out 2014 rating of 92.3% score at post-construction stage.
The briefing process was an inclusive process and KKS invited all staff to take part in interactive workshops to help define the brief. A pre-move Leesman survey, which formed a vital part of the design process, was also carried out.The workspace now gives fluidity and freedom to allow staff choice and variety in how and where they work, offering settings for group collaborative tasks and quieter spaces for focused work. It also offers areas to promote cross-departmental relationships and aims to break down human silos that previously inhibited the group’s potential, as well as the scope to accommodate occupancy adjustments with minimal internal disruption.
The floorplate required detailed design to deliver an inclusive, open, and innovative environment. KKS ensured that clear site lines were maintained and daylight penetration was maximised. As a result there is no new construction at the perimeter, with the built zones located internally. All major circulation routes lead to natural light, which created natural wayfinding paths and preserved views across the floorplate. With a single floorplate in excess of 40,000sqft there are inevitably zones with reduced natural daylight therefore the lighting design was critical to maximise utilisation of all areas of the floor.
Furthermore a key finding of the pre-move survey was staff dissatisfaction with lighting and acoustics. In response to this the design team introduced several design features. White-noise machines address background distractions, helping to increase privacy levels. Quiet rooms, soundproof booths and atrium spaces were also included to provide peaceful and individual work spaces. To address concerns with lighting, LED circadian lighting, which changes with the time of day, was introduced in the deeper parts of the floorplate.
To plan internal spaces and circulation, and interaction with the adjoining spaces in the base build, KKS created a game to encourage participation during workshops. Ultimately this stimulated competition amongst the Landsec change champions which then determined their adjacencies as a group. The business groups are co-located across the main floor with access to the distributed support and amenity spaces. The consultant/partner suite, found close to the staff entrance, is positioned to allow direct access from the visitor entrance, negating the need to cross the business floor. Even the CEO and CFO, previously on their own executive floor at 5 Strand, are located in the open plan, adjacent to their teams and accessible for interaction and visibility
The workspace needs to provide appropriate personal and communal space allocation to support health and wellbeing. Specific elements incorporated into the Landsec project include opening an existing unused external bridge connection to a garden; offering healthy food options in the Juice Bar and Hub; ensuring DDA compliance for the inclusion of all employees; enhanced WC and shower provision; and offering employee multi-faith and wellbeing rooms.
To support the fit-out various improvements were made to the base build. This included the creation of an efficient, attractive and healthy communal cafe space, which has achieved the highest Ska rating of Gold. Cycling and exercise facilities were enhanced with new showers; seven female & 11 male showers, together with one accessible unisex shower, lockers, hooks, benches and a drying room. In addition, 231 internal cycle spaces have been installed to complement the existing 236 cycle storage spaces.