An inclusive office design showcasing the future of work

Our office design and fit out for Three UK in Green Park, Reading embraced the company’s core values of connectivity, diversity, inclusivity, belonging and wellbeing. The resulting space personifies their view of the world as a 'continuous canvas of connected moments, experiences, people and opportunities'.

Key features

  • Braille
  • Brand colours
  • 3D icons to help identify locations
  • Bookable touch down zones
  • Social quarter
  • Unique furnishings in brand colours

Project description

Three UK’s new HQ in Reading coincided with a significant period of change. The company's brand was undergoing a 'coming of age', the project would merge two offices and bring together 1,800 people and it was the first step towards a truly inclusive workplace for the future.

Our expert design and fit out team worked alongside Three Workspace, Gleeds’ project managers and CBRE over an intense 12 months under COVID restrictions. Our objective was to bring to life Three UK’s vision for a new way of working and ensure a smooth transition from the past to the future.

Our design paid close attention to the emerging company rebrand, requiring us to incorporate the shift in Three UK’s customer demographic throughout the look and feel. It was also a top priority that people could navigate their days in the office in a ‘home from home’ environment, effortlessly supported by smart technology. Three UK needed to provide adaptive workspaces that would grow with the needs of their people – as they would only emerge with time. Also high on the list of requirements was an energising desire to design an office that would wow visitors and staff alike.

Adaptive re-use

The ability to listen to your people, observe and learn from how they use an office brings significant benefits. This journey of discovery was fully embraced by Three UK as they adjusted to a hybrid model of working. A period of intense collaboration was required for us to get to the heart of people's needs.

‘Adaptive reuse’ was a much-used phrase in our design discussions. This refers to how we empowered our client's teams to grow into spaces which were 'undescribed' but which have a clear identity.

'The____Space' is an example of a space acting as a blank canvas which supports teams to collaborate, allowing the business to learn through trial and error. This is sustainability in action as these work zones allow people to discover how they like to work and interact. The business can nurture its teams and develop new practices, ideas programmes and events; and the space will thrive regardless of its purpose.

Diversity, inclusion, belonging and wellbeing

Inherent in Three UK’s ethos is the deep desire to ensure that every single person in their organisation feels valued. It was therefore very important that the design and fit out of their workplace recognised and accommodated the day-to-day challenges that many individuals face.

We incorporated Braille signage for way-finding on stairs and on different floors. Handrails convey the level you're on and a Braille directory is available as you enter each floor. Every meeting room has Braille panels and zip tags for booking. All ten tea points are DDA compliant and incorporate 3D icons to help disabled and partially sighted individuals identify the location of the amenities. There are custom controls for those affected by intense lighting and we included gender neutral toilets and showers and audio visual systems which consider neuro-diverse needs.

Underpinned by technology...driven by human connection

From day one our design and fit out integrated people's workplace experience with smart technology. A smart app allows them to navigate through many day-to-day requirements such as booking car parking and desk space; lockers and meeting rooms; and pre-ordering food and drink. It has also been designed and built to allow for an customised welcome and sign-in experience for visitors.

The continual activity feeds into complex occupancy data collection which was installed as part of the works. This measures activity so that Three UK can learn from the ‘adaptive reuse’ of the various spaces which have been left undescribed, providing an insightful understanding of how and when they are being used.

The zones can also be managed to maximise efficiency in both space and energy. Only as demand for bookable touch-down spaces increases does the system open up new areas, saving energy and maximising collaboration.

A space for every personality, work style and occasion

A barrier-free physical and mental experience was critical for visitors and staff to get the most from the building. This translated into a wide spectrum of areas to satisfy every need. The living quarter for personal wellbeing offers a Sanctuary, a chill room, yoga studio and showers with gender neutral facilities.

In addition, the play quarter has neon lighting, games and a high energy character; a library, phone pods and booths for quieter requirements; meeting rooms to suit every occasion; and a social quarter for personal connection, collaboration and ad-hoc encounters over food and drinks. We designed each neighbourhood to flow into another - core purposes blending into secondary uses.

People and sustainability in perfect harmony

Our choice of natural materials, emotive textures and tactile fabrics make an important contribution to the strong sense of wellbeing, visual impact and branded character of each area in Three UK’s new HQ. There's a strong sense of identity on the ground floor with the striking 'illusion chandelier' which incorporates their logo and the illuminated tunnel invites people towards the visitor suites. However as you ascend the floors, there is a more subtle branding palette which serves to ensure people can relax and work without continual corporate messaging.

The environmental impact and sustainability agenda were instrumental to the design. This began when Three Workspace selected a building with BREEAM Excellent, WELL Platinum and an 'A' EPC rating. Beyond that, we adopted strong circular economy principles, avoiding waste, choosing to reuse furniture that complemented the scheme and making environmentally-led product and material choices.

The drive towards sustainability came from the heart of the project and complemented the overall objective to enhance every person's experience.

The future for Three UK

Three UK’s new state-of-the-art HQ truly reflects the stature of the brand and its business. Integrating ‘adaptive reuse’ throughout the new space is instrumental to the company’s desire to learn and grow from how its people want to work.

Designed as a technologically advanced space with connectivity, culture and values at its heart. This new office is a home where every single employee can be themselves and can help determine the future.

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