Morey Smith Design has been appointed to create the interiors for the new London offices of civil engineer Arup. The London-based design consultancy is looking to give the new offices in Fitzrovia a dramatic 21st century overhaul. The consultancy is responsible for the interior refurbishment of floors one to five, including layout, wall finishes, furniture selection, signage, display systems, graphics and storage, following major reconstruction of the site by architect Sheppard Robson.
Morey Smith won the project following a pitch against several other design consultancies. Arup director Dick Lee explains, ‘We felt that Morey Smith’s creative ability and innovative aspiration as designers would challenge us in the way we view our working environment and help us make the step change we were looking for.’ Morey Smith associate director Nicola Osborn believes the design will promote modern workplace practices and freshen the company identity. ‘We have created informal team spaces where 50 to 60 people can conduct presentations and collaborate to discuss new ideas, as well as quiet rooms and breakout spaces for staff to relax in,’ she says. ‘We hope that this flexible work environment will encourage people to break away from bench desking and create fluidity of movement throughout the office and between floors.’ The Fitzrovia site will initially house 400 employees from Arup’s infrastructure, consulting, finance and HR divisions, so the redesign has been specifically tailored to meet the varying needs and aspirations of each department. Some require a corporate environment, while other teams seek a creative design studio feel, so all the furniture chosen will be demountable or on wheels and can be easily rearranged to suit changing needs.
Osborn adds, ‘By maximising natural light and the feeling of space and openness, we hope to reflect the organic nature of Arup as a company, which is always evolving and changing to meet the needs of its clients.’ The project is due to be completed in February next year.
ENGINEERING A FUTURE IN THE CAPITAL
• The new offices will include meeting rooms, conference suites, executive dining room and kitchen, acoustics laboratory, exhibition area, coffee bar and a library/information centre
• Vertical spaces on all floors will provide areas for graphic exhibitions and project communication
• The atrium runs the full height of the building
• Phase two of the rebuild will initially house 400 staff, and open in February 2008
• Phase three will accommodate a further 600, and open by the end of 2009