Transforming the work environment

Not all agile offices are created equal. Some only have hot desks, some none at all. Newbury Building Society’s new workspace is the exact iteration of flexible working the financial institution wanted and needed.


22,000 sq ft

Thames Valley Property Awards' Office Design Specialist of the Year

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Out with the old

Newbury Building Society decided it was time to give its workplace a makeover after a lengthy 40-year tenancy in the same building. The first step was finding the perfect Newbury location, then explore how the organisation could transform its environment.

That’s where we came in.

Newbury Building Society’s evolution as a business set the course for a reimagined contemporary office with agile work settings.

Break from the norm

We fit out a reception space with a waiting area and washrooms on the ground floor, as well as a very large social area. Our decision to dedicate a sizeable portion of the footprint wasn’t taken lightly, especially as this breakout is a break from the norm for the business.

We combined fixed and flexible task areas, encouraging employees to gravitate to the ground floor for lunch, meetings and socialising. We designed and fit out a staff kitchen, dining area with banquette seating, lounge, meeting rooms and a spacious light-filled boardroom.

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Balancing act

The first floor is divided into three wings, each dedicated to a neighbourhood of teams with assigned desks. But to ensure teams aren’t isolated, we provided a central touchdown space. We struck a happy balance between an agile and traditional layout, meeting Newbury Building Society halfway.

The touchdown provides a tea point and post area to draw employees away from their desks for run-of-the-mill tasks. Each wing also has breakaway zones for meetings and informal working with writable surfaces and acoustic finishes. Here you’ll find a range of agile settings, including options for seated and standing work with a variety of plug-and-play pods, sofas, benches and quiet rooms.

Purpose-built meeting suites

The final floor of our fit out project is largely designated as a training and meeting hub for internal and external stakeholders. We ensured the sizable 30-person training room becomes an asset by making it as flexible as possible.

It has bifold walls so it can be reconfigured to accommodate different sized gatherings and all the furniture can be folded or stacked away neatly. On this floor, we also built an employee wellness room, a smaller eight-person meeting room and a tea point for refreshments.

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Uniquely agile

This project is proof that no two businesses are the same and an agile model can have many iterations. Our design and fit out provides opportunities for serendipitous interactions without any pressure to give up individual ownership of workstations. This is exactly what Newbury Building Society asked us to give them: an environment which encourages collaboration without overhauling its entire working culture. And it works.

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