Let the space tell the story

CDK Global’s feet are firmly planted in the international automotive industry. So the urban, garage-vibe flowing through The Brickworks’ architecture generated the perfect kick-start to a journey to provide an innovative, flexible office fit out.

Key features

  • Exposed ceilings and services
  • Focus zones
  • Collaborative zones
  • 'Pinnable' acoustic walls
  • Soft partitions
  • Full length curtains
  • Open plan break out space

Project description

Two minutes walk from Reading train station, CDK Global wanted to create space offering a freestyle, drop-in area in which its teams could perform and flourish. The corresponding design priority was to deliver multiple options for productive working and interactions.

Complementary to CDK Global’s innovative and collaborative business approach, this space would become the first chapter in a story told by their teams. What underlying forces would be inspired by providing a spectrum of workspace options? Can a street-level buzz be created around CDK’s “Canvas” sub-brand? And how might this all develop and evolve into future opportunities for the business and their people?

Optimising mileage

To allow maximum opportunities over choice of working styles in this compact urban space, we incorporated the utmost user flexibility into each area: spaces for individuals to focus; settings to accelerate group dynamics and inspire innovative collaborations; and relaxing spots for socialising and experimenting with new technologies.

Versatile desks

Banks of desks for individuals are seamless worktops, uninterrupted by dividing legs, which are easily converted into communal work surfaces. A focal point for the users, this area’s backdrop features a ‘pinnable’ acoustic wall. This visually represents the evolution of the team’s journey within the space through polaroid images and creative collages blended from sign-in sheets.

Pick and mix spaces

To underpin a welcome to “Canvas” and simultaneously inspire group dynamics, stools and a bar surface focus on a home-from-home tea and coffee point.

Whilst the tiered presentation seating zone is ideal for 10 people, it could equally work if you are flying solo, for a spontaneous team catch-up or a 20 person training session.

Open-plan break-out spaces are ideal to huddle, brainstorm, plan sprints or socialise around scribble walls. Acoustic curtains enable a meeting room to spill over into a lounge - or split off to support absorbed work activities.


The fuel driving the engine of the whole space is future-proofed technology which encourages creative juices to flow. The lounge area with its large TV screen will be in pole position to enable users to experience Virtual Reality screenings as opportunities and innovations evolve.

Buffering the urban vibe

The “garagey” design of the Canvas space naturally complements bare brickwork, exposed services and high ceilings. To continue this theme, cemented walls, simple, clean industrial lines, caged light bulbs and warehouse-style internal windows punctuate our design. We have overcome the inevitable acoustic challenges through the use of faux leather panels. The nostalgic theme was picked up through the choice of sleek retro lounging chairs, angle-poise lamps and even the chance to spin some vinyl!

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