Founded in 2015, The Alan Turing Institute is the national body for data science; named after the scientist who cracked the German Enigma code. We designed an office that reflected their heritage and ensured they had a space to achieve excellence in the future.
The Institute’s aim is to make the UK a world leader in the area of data research, and the creation of the new space to house 90 faculty fellows is an integral step towards this goal. They were after a space that not only reflected their personality, but provided researchers with facilities to carry out their work and collaborate with peers. The space will bring together some of the brightest minds in advanced mathematics and computing science, so it had to be inspirational, collaborative and functional.
What we delivered
When you enter the Institute from the British Library, you know you're in a distinctly different space. It's a dynamic yet peaceful design that brings together three different working zones.
Managing sound was an important part of the brief, as we had to bring together researchers with different working styles into a single space. We created areas that embrace these differences, and through a clever use of technology and acoustics, we've been able to deliver a workplace that provides a logical way for staff to work creatively and productively.
Great minds work differently
The design incorporates a variety of working environments into a single space; from concentration and open work pods, to a large collaboration area with a communal tea point. Each of these is defined by a particular motif to lend a distinctive feeling to the space.
A large suspended red pendant identifies the main communal collaboration area, which is a theme that has been used throughout the design to identify these shared spaces. These are defined by red flooring that emulates the pendant, and fabric seating to help absorb the acoustics.
The quiet working areas are outlined by glass paneling, which also provides acoustic protection from the louder collaboration areas. This clever trick effectively divides the space into different work zones, that boast a mix of desks and seating arrangements; providing plenty of spaces for researchers to contemplate their next piece of work. Also, when inspiration strikes, all of the panels can also be written on to jot down those light bulb moments!
We wanted to create a space that moves beyond the barriers of a traditional office, finding a balance between comfortable and creative areas, and designated desk space.Anna Dejlova, Senior Designer