The next level in office design

International video game developer, Electronic Arts, is on a mission to shape the future of gaming. Just like the virtual worlds they create that attract millions of players, EA’s new Guildford office design puts their staff in pole position for achieving greatness.

Onslow House, Guildford

25,000 sq ft

Four brands, one fit out


One for the players

EA’s mission statement is to inspire the world to play. Its studios worldwide are filled to the brim with brilliant minds who’ve developed thousands of virtual worlds featuring everything from intergalactic heroes, to famous footballers, and high-stake street races. So, it comes as no surprise that our design brief was to embody a spirit of collaboration and creativity in their Guildford home.

The new EA office is designed to reflect the character and culture of not just EA, but of their three subsidiary studios who are housed under the same roof. Collaboration is a major theme in our design, with a majority of the floorplate dedicated to different spaces where colleagues can collaborate on the next big thing. Not all game studios have the pedigree of EA, so we wanted to take advantage of their fantastic IP, keeping the teams in touch with their end product.

A true multiplayer office

With so much focus on creating the best experience for their players, EA’s new Guildford office space needed to create a next-generation employee experience. As a result, this design and build project brings a renewed sense of community and engagement for their UK development teams; Ghost Games, Frostbite and Criterion.

Ghost Games

As the developers of Need For Speed, and we couldn’t resist shifting their side of the office into overdrive. We defined this area with stylistic logo transfers, tyre treads and of course larger than life wall prints. What better way to have a stylistic supercar on your meeting room walls? Bright purples, deep blues and pink are all key colours from the NFS franchise, so we integrated these into the wall print, furniture choice and even carpet.

Frostbite

The frostbite brand is distilled throughout the rest of the office. Frostbite is the game engine behind many of EA’s flagship games so the prominence of its logo is a great reminder of their development potential.

Our Project Designer Tim Polisano’s favourite feature of the design is undeniably unique: the infinity mirror installation of Frostbite’s logo. When two or more parallel mirrors are aligned in a particular way, it creates a series of smaller and smaller reflections which appear to recede into infinity.

We drew inspiration from the shards of the frostbite logo and used this as a feature texture in wallpaper throughout the space. This helped the brand truly come alive, and was finished off with a winter tundra mural in the kitchen!

Since frostbite is the platform on which games are built, we thought we better remind the teams to keep their eyes on the prize, with 'shape the future of gaming' stylised on the wall to keep them motivated to continually push the boundaires.

Criterion

Criterion is known for their work on high-adrenaline titles like Burnout, Star Wars and Battlefield V, so we intertwined their brand with graphics from these major releases.

Casual working and meeting booths feature stylised wall prints that both reflect their projects and blend in seamlessly with the Criterion logo in the foreground. The theme is then continued into their breakout space with a predominant use of their brand colours on soft furnishings.

Owning the leaderboard

EA’s goal with this new fit out was to make sure every employee feels valued and part of their wider team. We wanted to help them create a familiar and homely vibe where they can work when and how they choose. The message of their Guildford office is clear: welcome to your home away from home, be yourself.

The epitome of this is the mug wall in the cafe area, where each employee has their own personalised mug with instructions for their perfect brew. This thoughtful touch creates adds to that ‘home away from home’ feel.

Co-op play

We designed each workspace to encourage collaboration and meaningful interaction. There’s a mix of traditional workstations and taller touchdown desks that also have higher ergonomic chairs. This allows for teams to either have a collaborative meeting or use the area as both a standing or traditional workspace.

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