Size:

9,326 sq ft

Location:

Reading

Activity:

Property & Coworking

Duration:

8 weeks

Stripped back and imaginatively rebuilt, Office Principles SKA Gold rated showroom is a vibrant and highly flexible, activity-based workspace. Situated on Bennet Road, Reading, this standout, 9,326 sq ft double floor showroom has been smartly crafted to represent Office Principles culture and core values.
Prioritising sustainability and wellbeing, it delivers a warm welcome and positive user experience for employees, clients and suppliers alike.
Purpose-built to exemplify the quality and competence of the company’s varied range of workplace design and refurbishment projects, construction of the Office Principles showroom began in 2017. The building was stripped back to shell and core, and comprehensively refurbished to create a CAT A space that contains a multifunctional, CAT B fit out complete with hybrid working characteristics. Since then, the space has continually evolved to reflect Office Principles’ perpetually progressive approach to crafting contemporary workplaces. Accessibility is a hallmark of the showroom’s refurbishment. Spacious and benefiting from swathes of natural light, the inclusive open plan layout allows users to move easily from one part of the workplace to another. The approach is most evident in the intelligent way in which furniture is neatly interwoven with the building’s columns rather than being separated, maximising space in the process. While the showroom boasts several key spaces for distinct activities - including a boardroom, break out areas and town hall space - a large proportion of its features are entirely reconfigurable to adapt to user needs. Sliding grey screens can seal off client-based spaces for confidentiality or be opened for a fluid segway between areas, while there is also tiered seating and practical, flip-top stackaway tables which reveal a dual-purpose space with a living wall behind. High level touchdown areas include benches for those who prefer to work away from desks, a detail mirrored in the free standing pods - a contrast against the more formal boardroom. The project’s largest structural transformation has seen the creation of a new opening on the first floor of the building to incorporate an interconnected staircase, providing a seamless transition between floors. A fully immersive space, the showroom includes a demo platform which showcases how a raised access floor can interact with the power integration both at floor level and at desk level. There are also spaces for clients to browse sample mediums, not least a large peg board with hanging swatches, as well as a large screen for interactive meetings. A furniture-led approach is evident throughout the showroom’s design, providing comfort and variety for users and ample inspiration for clients. Adopting a relaxing, lounge-type atmosphere, the aforementioned timber pods compliment the communal booths, family benches and soft, wingback chairs. There is even a rocking chair for informal gatherings. From a decorative perspective, the palette is pared back, highlighting the use of light concrete and timber, including lattice screen panels. Tired exterior walls have been resprayed with dark grey alongside a rebadging of the area to better represent the company brand. Inviting informality can be seen in the bold use of mesh, exposed concrete ceilings, rustic timber panels and crittall windows. The industrial effect is balanced through a biophilic touch, which is central to the design of the studio space, including tall plants that adorn the showroom’s entrance and promote employee wellbeing from the very first step into the building. Office Principles was awarded a SKA Gold rating for the refurbishment of its showroom, reflecting the outstanding environmental and sustainability credentials of the project. Fundamentally flexible, this impressive showroom more than fulfils its title.

We planned the design and refurbishment of the Office Principles showroom in a way that optimises flexibility. So while the space promotes community and collaborative working, it also delivers comfortable spaces for focused work too. Fundamentally, workplace design is always moving and we have delivered an interchangeable space that mirrors that kind of thinking. At its core is a commitment to health and wellbeing, which is why weve made sustainable choices in the materials weve used and configured them in a way which optimises user experience and enhances productivity.

Jo Jenkinson

Design Director