Arcadis has relocated to 80 Fenchurch Street (80Fen), in the heart of the City of London. The move reflects an evolution in ways of working and a desire for choice and flexibility.
We have designed and delivered a new 40,800 sq ft purpose-built office that focuses on customer and employee experience. It provides choice and fosters creativity, collaboration and variety in a tech enabled environment.
Arcadis is a leading global design and consultancy for the built environment. It delivers consultancy, engineering, project and management services for clients throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets.
Employing 27,000 people in over 70 countries, the firm generates €3.3 billion in revenues.
We worked with Arcadis for more than a year on a wide ranging workplace consultancy project that preceded the firm’s move to a new London base. The project included the delivery of thought leadership pieces, the creation of design concepts and test fits to demonstrate the usability of space at prospective new office locations.
The desire to move from its traditional home in Kings Cross signaled a fundamental change in Arcadis’s approach to its office estate. It came as part of a global review which began in 2020 and has since been reinforced and accelerated by changes resulting from the pandemic.
It also represents an ongoing commitment by Arcadis to embrace remote and fully flexible ways of working, placing an emphasis on an increasing shift from ‘where’ to ‘how’. Internal engagement surveys found that 70% of Arcadians would like to visit the office between 1-3 days per week, post-pandemic. It demonstrated that the office still has an important role to play, but the data showed the extent to which Arcadis’s people value sustainability, flexibility and choice.
The approach at 80Fen was about enabling people to make choices that satisfy both personal and work commitments – and recognising that they are not set in stone.
80Fen has been designed as a place for collaboration, shared ideas and social interaction, but crucially it’s been delivered in a way that supports the health of employees.
80Fen is one of a new breed of sustainable office buildings. It has a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and reflects best practice in sustainable design and health and wellbeing. Office Principles’ design has been informed by the principles of both Fitwel Certification and the WELL Building Standard, reflecting best practice in sustainable design and the health and wellbeing of occupants. It features a range of social and wellbeing environments, including quiet libraries, coffee lounges, a winter garden and contemplation and wellness rooms. The use of biophilic design and planting maximises light throughout the workspace.
The concept of ‘activity-based working’ is key. The new office space has a huge diversity of work settings, with more than 20 different types of workplace environments, ranging from open plan desks to collaborative and private workspaces, project areas, touchdown areas, call rooms and informal meeting areas.
We have also delivered a purpose-built innovation area and a flexible event space, all of which enable people to work as flexibly as possible.
Technology sits at the core, with ‘smart’ features embedded as a key design principle. They include a unified suite of apps, from environment and utilisation sensors, to touch-free desk booking systems and the ability to control individual temperature and light settings in enclosed spaces.
We believe that 80Fen will provide a blueprint for our future offices, both here in the UK and worldwide. It delivers a flexible, inclusive, sustainable, and digitally-enabled new London base that reflects the changing nature of the work-day and our workforce. Arcadians will have complete autonomy to manage where they work, in a way that best suits their needs.
The pandemic has given organisations the opportunity to take stock of their existing working environments and consider whether they are really fit for purpose or reflective of their culture. The office is no longer going to be about sitting in rows or clusters with colleagues, it’s about delivering a destination and an experience.
The move to 80Fen represents an exciting new chapter for Arcadis. Over the last 12 months, we have been helping our clients chart a path to recovery, and are now practising what we preach through a flexible, inclusive, sustainable, and digitally-enabled new London base. We firmly believe that we still need offices and office space, but it must be a different type of space that reflects the changing nature of the work-day and our workforce.
For us, 80Fen isn’t just a one-time fit-out, it’s a step change in how we use and curate space. It’s about people working in a very different, more mobile, flexible and even healthier way; which they can do at 80Fen. This approach has been reinforced by changes to the way we work during the pandemic, but for Arcadis, the shift started long before, and we can’t wait to settle into our new home.