Informa is a multinational events and publications company with worldwide offices in 43 countries. Whilst the company employs some loose fit branding principles to create a corporate coherence, each individual office responds to its location to create a sense of place and individuality for its international teams.
Every global business wants to combine international clout with local colour, but how can we do that with interior and workspace design Having already designed the Informa New York City base, where we trialed the concept of combining distinct companies within a single building, we were familiar with some of the group’s organizing principles and a hot desk/locker culture which would provide maximum flexibility of resources.
In order to create a new working environment to accommodate a range of needs, we worked closely with staff there to understand their individual requirements and help them manage large scale organizational change. Interiors were inspired by nearby cultural landmarks such as the High Line and New York Public Library. The challenge in London was to create a new Informa workspace, on a single floor, with a doughnut plan within the Bankside Blue Fin building.
Extensive analysis of individual departments was undertaken to inform internal layouts, grouping teams accordingly to avoid a boisterous sales team for example being beside a quiet market analysis team. A variety of tech needs were also analysed, including those needing four screens per person in order to simultaneously access live data. BAA’s approach was to provide the widest possible range of work spaces; private and public areas, high desk and lounge seating, break out spaces, and bookable meeting rooms.
Individual phone booths with great acoustics for private conversations were also created, as well as The Lawn (a relaxed café space) and a Library space for quieter working, located close to existing mature trees to connect with the natural world and increase a sense of wellbeing and relaxation in staff. The analysis meant that BAA were able to balance high desk density in some areas with additional, high quality informal spaces elsewhere.
The interior design was inspired by the building’s proximity to Tate Modern and the pop art it showcases, with bold and colourful references to Bridget Riley and Andy Warhol used to give character and distinction to varied spaces and help orientate staff within a circular floor plan. To reflect Informa’s democratic and inclusive process, traditionally high status corner offices and rooms with great views at the perimeter have been freed up and given back to staff rather than house the Board or the CEO. Source and photo Courtesy of Ben Adams Architects.