Morgan Lovell recently completed the design and fit out of disability charity Livability’s new national office, as it relocated from its long-term Shoreditch address to the Greenwich Peninsula.
As part of its new organisational strategy, Livability wanted to relocate its office base to better reflect its ways of working and its emphasis on accessibility. Every detail has been considered and the office is near North Greenwich tube station, making the journey completely step-free from the tube platform to the charity’s reception area. The space itself has been chosen due to it being as open-plan as possible, having been built without any columns to interfere with the 10,000 sq ft floorplate.
Appointed to create a workspace optimised for collaboration and full inclusion, Morgan Lovell worked very closely with Livability right from the discovery phase through to completion and occupation using SKA as an environmental design tool to enhance the internal office space.. As part of this end-to-end service, the project team offered one consistent point of contact throughout and met regularly with Livability and a specialist Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) consultant.
This level of communication led to detailed designs that met the brief and ensured that the final result exceeded expectations.Each workstation was carefully considered so that there is a good-sized turning circle for wheelchairs, computers have easy-to-move monitor arms and all PCs are mounted beneath the desk with access to power at desktop level. The café area has been meticulously planned to include various aspects of accessibility, such as space to move closer to the sink, access to microwaves at chair level, and braille signage on taps and drink machines.
In addition to the office design elements, Morgan Lovell created a bespoke furniture solution.This included a number of desks that are height adjustable for wheelchair users and break-out booths that are open, with no high sides, to ensure they are completely inclusive. Another key feature is the use of different coloured carpet tiles throughout the space. These were installed to help people navigate through the office with ease – a helping hand to anyone who may be visiting the office for the first time or who has learning difficulties.
With Morgan Lovell’s help, Livability also installed Changing Places toilets, which are different to standard accessible toilets, or ‘disabled toilets’, as they have extra features and more space to meet the needs of people who use them.The Changing Places campaign calls for accessible changing facilities to be installed in all public places and, as a big supporter, achieving this was a top priority for Livability.
Designing and delivering an office that wholly caters to disabled accessibility and inclusivity is still not as easy as it should be, especially in London. A unique challenge for Morgan Lovell and far from being the standard move, Livability’s new office is testament to the importance of having a workspace that truly represents your business, goals and values, as well as how vital these are to a good office design.