SKA Gold for an office that brings people together

Tower Bridge forms the stunning backdrop to Montagu’s riverside office. As part of their expansion, we were asked to design and build an environmentally sustainable space that reflected the Montagu brand and promoted staff wellbeing.

Key features

  • Biophilic office design
  • Embracing the cityscape
  • Staircase centrepiece
  • Collaborative zones
  • Glazed meeting rooms
  • Sustainability at the forefront

Project description

The whole Montagu team love their iconic riverside location and its bustling vibe. An opportunity to double their floorspace in the same building led them to consult with our design team on creating something special. Our first step was to study their staff surveys and get to the heart of their culture, needs and what they felt was currently missing.

At the forefront of Montagu’s new office space was a desire to demonstrate their positive approach to sustainability. In addition, they had clear targets for the fit out to promote staff wellbeing, encourage people to return to the office and help with retention and recruitment of new talent.

Private space for focussed work was fundamental but balanced by the introduction of a central hub for collaboration. Enhancing people’s wellbeing and providing the opportunity to relax also featured prominently in their requirements, so natural light, air quality and good acoustics were all top priorities.

SKA Gold

Taking expert advice from our environmental team, we worked to SKA’s rigorous standards covering: energy, CO2 emissions, waste, water, materials, pollution, recycling, wellbeing and transport.

Our selection of finishes such as timber panelling and floor tiles with a high recycled content, meant this office fit out clearly complied with SKA’s criteria and we were delighted that the design and build achieved the highest possible Gold certification.

Designed to connect

A central collaborative hub now provides a welcome break from desk work. Sociable bench seating, large tables and a well-equipped tea point naturally result in together-time as people look out over stunning riverside views.

How to link the two floors was a central design challenge and we considered options relating to the more symbolic purpose different stairwells would represent. We rested on a timber-clad design with a two metre width, its size allowing impromptu conversations to happen in transit. The tea point and banquette seating at the base provides a place for those connections to continue over a hot drink.

The expansive boardroom is connected visually to iconic London architecture through the full height windows. The impressive table, state-of-the-art technical equipment and seating for 30 people delivers the required professionalism for client meetings.

A prerequisite for privacy

Whilst collaboration has far-reaching benefits for the business, there is a practical need for privacy and our layout delivers various options. There are individually enclosed desks, private offices and users are never far from a variety of different sized sound-proofed booths for undisturbed work.

The open-plan acoustics have been transformed by a sound masking system. This creates an indiscernible background noise that is invaluable during solitary phone conversations.

Wellness takes top priority

We wanted to ensure that the striking first impressions would extend beyond the client facing areas. Personal choice of how and where to work is a major contributor to happiness. So we made this easy for Montagu’s employees, using design details to move them from focused work areas to engaging spots for informal meetings.

Montagu's riverside location allowed us to take advantage of the natural light sources, so people can soak up their iconic surroundings. Bringing the outside in translated into lush biophilia, natural moss walls and verdant planters. We opted for a natural, warm colour palette to enhance a sense of calm.

A focus on air quality took high priority and we installed an air conditioning system that kills bacteria and acts as a purifier. For those people who work long hours and to support the company’s new parents, we included a wellness room with relaxing day beds.

Living and breathing values

Responsible owner, learning organisation and dynamic meritocracy are three company values that Montagu lives and breathes. We’re proud to have reflected them in their new office through a clear cut focus on sustainability, collaboration and positive energy. Our feedback from the leadership team couldn’t be better.

And when we repeatedly hear “it’s amazing” from the people who work there, we’re rather pleased that they’re delighted too.

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