Red Cross HQ opens with aid of Team and Universal

The City of London headquarters of the British Red Cross has been unveiled by the Queen, having been converted by The Team and Universal Design Studio.

The brief focused on proposals to convey the Red Cross brand in the reception area, meeting suite and reception room, and to create a flexible way-finding system that could be updated in-house.

The offices in London’s Moorfields, EC2Y, were formerly inhabited by Swiss Re, leaving Universal and The Team with the task of transforming a corporate space into one representing the brand values of its new inhabitant.

‘One of the British Red Cross’s key brand values is its accessibility as an organisation, but also the fact it is very responsive,’ says Peter Mills, creative partner at The Team. ‘Primarily, it deals with crises and needs to respond to those.’

The flexible signage system uses folded metal lengths as hangers and enables the British Red Cross to move divisions and departments around the building as required, without the need for professional assistance.

The Red Cross logo itself is used sparingly around the building, and is most often referred to subtly in the use of colours. ‘There is a lot of consideration that goes into it,’ says David Recchia, creative leader at The Team. ‘We used the colour red as a highlight within furnishings, as opposed to on printed materials.’

A meeting area on the ground floor is framed by glass and acrylic panels that carry transparent images of people with whom the humanitarian charity works around the world.

The Team took responsibility for the signage and branding, although the roles of the consultancy and its collaborator Universal inevitably blurred, according to Mills. The pair tendered jointly for the work in September, winning a three-way pitch.

The British Red Cross has also hired Interbrand to review its strategy for the brand.

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