Workplace Design Charette

The Kitchen Meets the Workplace: eight teams of architects took part in a charette, organised by Architecture Today with Zip Water UK, to address innovation in the workplace


Teams from eight architectural practices gathered in June for a one-day charette at London’s King’s Cross Central to apply their creative skills in an exploration of the future nature of the office workplace. ‘Ideas Exchange: the Kitchen meets the Workplace’ was organised by Architecture Today in partnership with Zip Water, and hosted in the R7 Building, designed by architect Duggan Morris within developer Argent’s ongoing regeneration project.

The invited teams – representing the offices of Feilden Fowles, Grimshaw, Hawkins Brown, HOK, Make, Orms, Piercy & Company and Squire & Partners – each with three participants, were asked to explore the potential of the ‘kitchen’ in the workplace. Just as the domestic kitchen has come to be the multi-functional heart of today’s home, the question was posed: what if the office kitchen was not an out-of-the-way afterthought but the starting point for the design of office space and culture? Could it be a structuring or orientational device, a meeting place, or another type of workspace altogether?

The responses could be purely conceptual and teams could use or invent any context, real or imagined, and employ any materials at their disposal. Working through from morning to late afternoon, the teams were supplied with up to four A1 boards on which to present or attach their work.


At the end of the day, the teams presented their ideas to one another as well as guests Charlie Green (co-CEO of The Office Group), Carissa Kilgour (workplace innovation director at Land Securities), Neil Usher (workplace consultant, formerly workplace director at Sky), and Russell Owens (Zip Water UK marketing director).