The definition of a designer workplace

How do you design a space for a sophisticated investment firm with a pedigree dating back over 90 years? You help them do what they do best. We created a workspace that supports the firm's focus on clients, collaboration and teamwork.

Key features

  • San Francisco inspired
  • Showpiece boardroom
  • Integrated microphones and speakers
  • Floor to ceiling curtains, homely design
  • High stools vs sofas
  • Biophilia

The focus of our fit out was simple: Quality. Dodge & Cox was founded in 1930 giving the investment management company a long and respected heritage. Naturally, we wanted to uphold the traditional values of this long-standing firm by employing high-quality workmanship and sophisticated finishes.

Despite barely moving 200 metres within St James in central London, the new Dodge & Cox office feels a million miles from its old home.

A lasting first impression

The strikingly modern reception area enables guests to relax and get comfortable prior to their meetings. When you arrive, you step into a contemporary lounge which feels more like a lobby in a high-end hotel than a corporate office.

American black walnut beams climb up the wall and across the ceiling directly above a Lawson-style taupe sofa. The overhead wooden beams are decorated with oversized circular LED lights, stacked for depth and impact, and complemented by recessed downlights in the black ceiling.

Two leather armchairs complete the lounge, alongside a glass coffee table, an oversized pot plant and oatmeal rug which matches the carpeting used throughout the workspace. This area is an adaptable space; combining an informal lounge, waiting room, breakout space and coffee corner all into one.

Working in style

The workspace has a mixture of private cellular offices, a necessity due to the confidential nature of some client interactions, as well as a handful of desks clustered together in an open-plan setting. Every inch of space can be used as a workstation, somewhere to meet, or simply as somewhere to take a breather between tasks.

A beautiful boardroom

Drawing inspiration from the firm's headquarters in San Francisco, the boardroom is a showpiece for in-person and remote video conference meetings. In this room, you’ll notice the palette of brown, oatmeal, taupe and natural wood continues from the lobby area. These colours provide a clear visual identity and evoke a sense of tradition and confidence without over-opulence.

We’ve provided ample storage to keep the space uncluttered, while integrated microphones and speakers eliminate the need for unsightly cables. A recessed soft bench underneath the wooden bulkhead canopy provides additional seating while absorbing excess acoustics and minimising echoes and reverberations.

Step into my office

Four private offices and the additional smaller meeting room all boast American black walnut finishes, modern ergonomic furniture, bespoke storage units and high-quality carpets which help remove common pollutants from the air.

In an unusual twist for an office, we selected floor-to-ceiling curtains for the internal window coverings; neatly disguising the internal atrium while providing a soft touch to the corporate design, and absorbing excess acoustics.

Sophisticated downtime

Smart design is where form meets function and can cleverly be used to promote personal interactions. The tea point and library are natural locations for both collaboration and downtime. Our design approach ties into the agile working ethos and has truly transformed the way the Dodge & Cox team work with one another.

In the kitchen we’ve specified a range of different furniture types; from high stools to cafe tables and sofas, giving employees and visitors flexibility for maximum comfort. There is also storage, state-of-the-art appliances and a handful of domestic touches, including candles, wicker picnic baskets and pot plants.

In the library, the centrepiece is a floor-to-ceiling custom-designed bookshelf with backlit panels to highlight signature pieces of art and an eclectic collection of books. You could easily sit here in one of the comfortable armchairs and completely forget you're in the office.

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