Samsonite’s UK office-based team wanted a fit for purpose space that embraced its individual members’ roles as office staff, as oppose to field or retail workers, and that was designed to meet their specific needs.
The team at the UK office had showroom and office space that wasn’t working. Delivery flow and the requirement to set up retail areas meant that the space was stretched, and the layout simply didn’t work. Office Principles undertook a utilisation study and determined that space flow was key, acknowledging the visitors, suppliers and deliveries passing through.
Having examined the team’s previous utilisation of space at the old office, with meeting rooms and office space used for storage, our over-riding concern was to make the new space more efficient and flexible.
The team is relatively small considering the iconic brand it sits under. Samsonite has a lot of retail space and field-based staff. The office-based staff needed space that recognised the amount of time they spent in their environment and gave them room for collaboration.
Window lines were kept free to provide light and airy collaboration areas along the side. The main break out space is positioned close to reception to enable visitors and staff to meet.
The collaboration spaces’ furniture was designed to fit multiple levels, with high level and low-level working incorporated to accommodate the overflow of people coming in to work with the team. A key clamp wall was installed to provide an industrial edge to the overall look and feel while supporting the blended way of working.
The flooring was defined using colours and tones to distinguish visitor, informal and staff areas. Linear carpet is broken up with tones, textures and colours to provide a strong visual effect while the central meeting hub, in the middle of the floor plate, is accentuated by a colour strip of carpet, providing a threshold from office to breakout area.
We worked closely with the marketing and senior teams throughout the design process, ensuring that they were fully involved with the selection of finishes and colours.
It was good to be involved in the planning, and at such an early stage, as it gave us the opportunity to get to grips with the needs of the team and to deliver a space that would wholly be of benefit to its occupants, while providing a great base for all visitors.
We were impressed by Office Principles’ analytical approach to our space needs and their careful preparation before finalising a potential design. All that preparatory work paid off and the project, to completion, ran smoothly, with no unforeseen cost overruns. Despite the problems associated with the Covid-19 lockdown, our office and showroom has been completed within a satisfactory time frame and, crucially, within budget. I would recommend Office Principles without reservation.