Creativity, community and collaboration are at the heart of George P Johnson’s transformative new Central London offices, which KI helped refurbish. Design Insider explores.
Relocating to London’s Waterloo neighbourhood has heralded a new direction for global experiential marketing agency George P Johnson (GPJ) and its stablemates at Project Worldwide. Proximity to clients and better access to Central London’s rich talent pool were essential pillars of the company’s ambitious growth strategy and encouraged them to move from their ‘spiritual home’ of the past 10 years in Kingston upon Thames.
The company used this as an opportunity to reinvent their workspace, recognising its potential as a powerful employer branding tool and driver of productivity, creative thinking, collaboration, and a healthy company culture. Rather than taking their own inhouse project managers away from their day-to-day work, GPJ decided to draw on the expertise of office relocation and furniture specialists JAC Group, and award-winning designers Studio Weave and Architecture 00.
This was the first major office interiors project for Studio Weave, who were selected based on their portfolio of work that showed a distinct sense of playfulness, original thinking and technical precision. GPJ identified this to be closely aligned to their own identity and worked with Studio Weave to conduct extensive research into space utilisation, workflows and future ambitions. GPJ is very much a people-centred business, both internally in terms of the nature of work undertaken, and in its interactions with clients. The reception area and ‘The Lab’ are at the heart of this human-centred workplace strategy, allowing staff and clients alike to utilise and adapt the space for events, exhibitions, demonstrations, presentations and more.
“We have created a progressive, future fit workspace for our teams and clients to flourish. Our new home is a place where we can welcome current and future clients with pride. It was really important to make sure every detail of the space, including its furniture and fittings contributed to our overall vision.
KI’s EC4 workstations and tables really stood out for us for their strength and an elegance that looks more like a dining table than a traditional corporate office desk. KI went above and beyond to help us bring our ambitions to life through mock-ups and product demonstrations, helping us visualise how our office could look with some of our concepts.” Jason Megson, Managing Director.
Spread across two floors and roof terrace of a refurbished Victorian warehouse, the over 15,000sqft office draws on the company’s 100-year heritage, but thrusts it very much into the future. Designed to foster creativity, community and collaboration, the introduction of agile working has been supported by a diverse range of worksettings; from open-plan spaces divided into neighbourhoods for each department; to meeting rooms, breakout spaces, cafe and social areas, plenty of lockers, a large multipurpose reception and ‘The Lab’.
‘The Lab’ is built to provide a dedicated facility for collaboration, experimentation and presentation of the latest digital technology and devices, especially when pitching to clients.
Drawing on biophilic design concepts, the floors are filled with varied natural and artificial light. Everywhere you look, there are a wide variety of real plants, natural woods and soft, neutral surface finishes in white, cremes, grey, pink and blue. KI’s EC4 workstations and tables with their solid oak legs were the perfect fit for this scheme. Designed and manufactured in the UK, these workstations and tables can be found throughout the two floors of the office – the open plan workspaces, meeting tables in the ‘Orangery’ and in the conference rooms.
The open plan desking and conference table are both constructed using a robust steel cantilevered support for the worktops, creating a clear under-desk space to facilitate the easy movement essential to collaborative working.
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