Having worked with Balfour Beatty’s property team to develop a design guide for their workplaces, we were commissioned to design several of their office spaces. One of their first offices to be re-designed to the brand guidance was their Leeds office. New workplace strategies were applied to create a flexible, collaborative and efficient workspace.

Design Approach

Working with the stakeholders of the Leeds office we developed an understanding of their requirements before looking to apply the principles of the design guide.

Space standards were applied along with the creation of workplace settings to provide a variety of collaborative zones for both staff and visitors.

The main hub of the office was a “Community Hall” space which created a place for staff and visitors to mix informally rather than the more traditional “Business Lounge” facility which often created a barrier between the two. A central space for social activity and informal work areas to bring people together and encouraged them to move away from their desks.

Some design decisions around this space were tested in the guide such as; it needs to have natural daylight, be close to reception, have a different feel to the more functional areas of the office. We achieved this by using natural products such as timber to connect with the outside, natural day light and views out are provided by the fully glazed elevation it is adjacent to. We also made the decision to remove a section of the CAT A fit out ceiling and replace with feature acoustic and lighting baffles and likewise with the flooring. Although adding to the budget we felt this was essential to create a different look and feel to the space and encourage staff to gather and collaborate.