Office redesign: From cold-corporate to cool and casual

Office redesign: From cold-corporate to cool and casual

Play Associates recently completed the design and refurbishment of the 140 sqm office at PlayFair Capital in Clerkenwell, London.

As an investment company specialising in nurturing entrepreneurs in technology that changes the way we live for the better, the brief was to compliment and reflect this dynamic and progressive philosophy.

The Playfair office is on the top floor within an industrial Farringdon warehouse space and the clients were looking to eliminate any sense of ‘cold-corporate’ feel to space.

Daniella Cesarei Photography

The brief included the creation of numerous meeting areas, sound-proofing private phone booths, and the revival of two forgotten outdoor spaces.

As a young, expanding and charismatic company, they requested numerous varied seating arrangements to encourage casual meetings-of-minds, as well as private, productive phone booths. To fully support the extrovert and introvert within all their collaborators, the office needed to work hard for itself to provide as many communal and private working environments as called for.

The former parallel personal work cubicles were to go and be replaced with an open layout including a master central desk, a kitchen bar to cater for standing work, a breakout lounge, three meeting rooms, two phone booths and 6 cafe-style leather side chairs.

Using honest, natural materials and an abundance of self-watering greenery, the goal was to review the way they work and encourage a degree of comfort normally reserved for a living room, rather than an office.

A key feature for the project was the bespoke four and a half meter wane-edged oak master desk with integrated bespoke brass lighting which had to be hoisted in through a window.!

Daniella Cesarei Photography

“We had a very clear idea for the integrated lighting and after a nationwide search for the perfect parts, we ended up finding them in Wisconsin USA. Other materials included the laser etched kitchen island with eglomise mirror bar front, and a nautical influenced folding table in a forest green leather upholstered banquette area.

Daniella Cesarei Photography

Steel played its part in this design with ‘crittall’ style partitions and bespoke shelving units created to hold books, files, awards and a plethora of overgrowing ferns. The central perforated, foldable brass-hinged frame hides space for an electronic white board.

As typical within warehouse loft spaces, the industrial elements can typically render the atmosphere quite cold, so we used Bert & May colourful handprinted cement tiles, a deep navy Moroccan rug, overhanging ferns and pistachio sprayed kitchen units to create a warm, bohemian and inviting environment.”

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