Lounge Underwear has relocated to a new 54,000 sq ft headquarters at Blythe Valley Park in Solihull as part of its ambitious plans to become the largest underwear brand in the world.
We have designed and delivered ‘HQME’, a fun, vibrant and exciting workplace destination, with a huge sense of family at its heart.
It will initially house more than 100 employees from Lounge Underwear’s head office departments, with capacity to cater for over 500 staff in the future.
Lounge is the fastest growing lingerie and loungewear e-tailer in the UK.
Co-founded in 2015 by husband-and-wife team Daniel and Melanie Marsden with just £1,000 of the couple’s own money, Lounge finished 2020 with revenues of £53 million and profits of around £18 million.
To facilitate its rapid growth, Lounge moved offices five times in almost as many years and expanded its workforce from 28 to more than 120 people during the pandemic.
The business moved to secure a space it could call its long-term home, but it also wanted to develop an environment that felt like home too. In short, “somewhere where you build memories and can be yourself”.
We began working with Lounge to design its new Solihull HQ in 2020, embarking on the process of transforming a huge, empty glass building into a destination reflective of its culture and a celebration of its humble beginnings.
Lounge is a business founded on authenticity and a human touch, so the new HQ needed to invite people to feel part of something, where connectivity and collaboration would be natural for everyone.
It’s also a business where the average employee is aged 24 and where social events and sharing meals are of huge importance.
And it needed to be attractive to new talent. Lounge faces huge competition in recruiting people who are taking the first steps in their career, with very particular expectations as to what the workplace looks like.
The final design had to deliver a space capable of inspiring and exciting existing employees as much as potential new recruits.
HQME is an activity-based workplace that contains a series of innovative and flexible working spaces, characterised by their emphasis on delivering comfort without compromise.
Priority is given to the health and wellbeing of occupants, with features including a fully equipped office gym with extended class space, cinema club, quiet spaces, treatment and wellness room, ‘zen den’ and so much more.
‘Brew bras’ offer a twist on traditional tea points, there are purpose-built spaces for new mothers and a focus on sustainability throughout the space, as the brand takes big leaps towards being a carbon negative business.
Collaboration is at the core of the new headquarters, with huddle space, a sunken snug and day loungers promoting informal working and ideas sharing.
There is a custom-built space for company wide updates and events, including bleacher seating, as well as a boardroom, presentation pod and innovation lounge for the research and development of new product ideas.
The eye-catching design makes best use of natural daylight, biophilia and planting, and is characterised by inspiring internal signage and graphics.
Visitors to Lounge HQME are greeted by a reception area that includes an impressive video wall and a striking eight metre high contour paper ‘heritage sculpture’, uniquely named as ‘She’, forming the shape of a female form inspired by the brand’s first ever underwear patterns.
Guests can access virtual shopping hubs, curated product display areas and there are also protected spaces for sales events. A ribbon runway and rail sweeps from the front of the building to an outdoor area at the rear, where birds-eye logo seating has been manufactured from 100 tonnes of concrete. A large terrace and seating deck provides additional space for work and social events.
“HQME is characterised by a smart, minimalist design, but one that’s packed full of interesting features and a whole host of different spaces. It reflects Lounge’s people orientated culture and a brand story built on hard work and ingenuity. It’s inspiring to see a Midlands-based business with global ambitions, that is generating many new job opportunities and offering its employees a truly great place to work.”
“Creating a space that whole-heartedly encompasses our brand values is a monumental moment for our brand. We have worked long and hard to design a destination for comfort, collaboration and a real sense of family - a space that can inspire innovation and handle the extreme pace of our global expansion and unprecedented growth. It’s safe to say that HQME is built to grab your attention the minute you step through the doors.”