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We discover the formula for successful office design. EUSA Pharma’s Hemel Hempstead office was transformed into an inspirational, open plan space that emphasizes their countryside vista.

The brief

EUSA Pharma wanted more room to expand and accommodate their staff, so they chose a new top floor 9,000 sq ft space at Breakspear Park in Hemel Hempstead to call home. Although some saw this as a potentially challenging, narrow space, we saw it as an opportunity to bring teams together. Pivotal to this was providing more space to facilitate their future expansion, and enable activity based working through providing more mixed-use office space.

What we delivered

We applied a scientific approach to the office design - quite literally!  We used a molecular motif throughout the design concept of the fit out. From the manifestation on the glass meeting room walls, to the offset of the central walkway - they’re all based on a molecule’s hexagonal structure.

The central corridor was inspired from the molecular structure

Molecular-inspired design

We made sure that the narrow space and ambitious growth plans didn’t result in rows upon rows of desks. Rather, it gave us a chance to create spaces that support the ways their different teams work by furnishing the space with a mix of desks, standing tables and meeting pods. The central pathway meanders around the different teams, buffer and ancillary zones, breaking up the otherwise narrow space. Now the free-flowing layout has improved sightlines that encourage chance encounters.

Designing people focussed spaces

We implemented activity-based working through designing a variety of touchdown spaces with versatile furniture solutions. Situating these areas on the periphery of the angular pathway allowed us to create an environment that encourages colleagues to interact with one another. Since space is at a premium, each meeting room was designed with a particular use in mind, based on feedback from staff. A boardroom was designed in conjunction with informal training spaces, formal meeting rooms and open plan meeting booths. Providing a wide variety of spaces reduces the strain on meeting rooms that can result from the standard one room fits all approach.

Bringing the outdoors in

EUSA Pharma chose the top floor due to its external balcony, so we knew this has to be a key feature of their fit out. Glass was used extensively throughout the design; from floor to ceiling windows that let natural light into the third floor, to the meeting room walls finished with the molecular manifestation. This creates a sense of space that connects the different areas of the office together. Additionally, we’ve continued to add natural and biophilic touches - in addition to highlighting the stunning outside scenery.

Planter boxes have been positioned across the floor; namely in meeting rooms and at the end of desks to add variety and distinguish different neighbourhoods. Natural imagery has also been used as floor-to-ceiling prints to showcase the natural world, alongside a global map to highlight EUSA Pharma’s international markets.

Breakout time

he breakout space and kitchen area extends onto a large balcony which instantly expands the floorspace, especially in warmer months, and provides a central meeting spot that’s sure to become the social hub of the office for company events. Reflecting the trend of domestic finishes in office design, the communal table and kitchen have a distinctly homely feel to encourage staff to feel relaxed throughout the day.

I love the translation of the concept into the final design and the impact of the entrance. The pathway links the floor together in what could’ve easily become a corridor of factory-style desking and meeting rooms. The new space provides them with a better space to work, collaborate and socialise than ever before - all while improving staff wellbeing and retention.
Karl Carty, Project Designer, Morgan Lovell

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