Client: Logica UK, GreenPark, Reading
Designer: BDG McColl
For its third project for IT company Logica, BDG McColl was briefed to create a stimulating working environment for the 650 staff who were relocating to the new 6000m2 four-storey building on a business park in Reading. Its answer was to make the most of the communal and break-out areas, specifiying bright designer furniture by the likes of Verner Panton and Ron Arad in contrast to the more traditional design of the main office areas.
‘Staff, familiar with magazines such as Wallpaper, can relate to such furniture,’ says BDG McColl senior designer Jane Lovett-Turner. ‘Because the average age of the employees is low 20s we’ve been very successful in using Arad’s and Panton’s furniture as they’re very designery and like the chairs you normally see in lifestyle magazines, not normally in corporate offices,’ she says. ‘You have to provide an environment which will support the type of people who work there.’
While the general office areas were comparatively traditional, BDG McColl had more freedom in the ground floor canteen in the central atrium and in the break-out pods on each floor for refreshments and meetings. Bright blue Tom Vac aluminium-formed stacking chairs designed by Arad are used in the canteen, while blue Panton seating graces the informal meeting areas around the building. Meda chairs by Vitra are specified in the three ground floor meeting rooms and in the nearby Touchdown area for mobile staff or visitors, BDG McColl specified a long bench with high stools and Ahrend maple-topped desks. In the main office areas, the office solution is guided by the design of the building, created by architect Sidell Gibson. Here, the colour scheme had to work with the green tinting of the curtain-walling.
‘Since it was very green, a lot of the finishes are natural, with green and brighter elements such as touches of bright blues and red,’ says Lovett-Turner, who also specified green Lees carpet tiles in the front of house, ground floor areas to tone with the glazing. Essa desks by Ahrend are arranged in wave-shaped groups of four or six on a regular grid, complemented by Kvadrat fabric screens. In the managers’ offices overlooking the atrium, the desks are maple-topped to match the doors. The £2.75-£3m fit-out is complemented by extensive planting by Indoor Garden Design and art by Thomas Corman Arts. n