This impressive retrofit of 10 Queen Street Place in central London saw the transformation of a 1980’s office building into a modern, dynamic workspace. It is a high quality, sustainable building which offers a ‘transformational’ workplace for the long-term future of the business. This stunning HQ is a masterclass in beautifully integrated architecture and engineering befitting one of the world’s leading companies and provides an inspiring setting for collaboration and innovation, designed to attract Global clients and Investors. The design project took inspiration from the client’s appreciation of simplicity, functionality and high quality craftsmanship, following the design intent of connecting all the different spaces with a unique atmosphere influencing the environment throughout and serving the different programs and needs, with a strong focus on surface, details and materials. The design includes a boutique trading floor with executive offices, reception, boardrooms, library and conference facilities, collaboration and breakout zones and client meeting area. The building is low energy and intuitive to its occupants’ needs, with staff being in control of their own environment. Soft cell acoustic ceiling reinforces the visual concept whilst providing perfect acoustic control. The design challenges overcome where that of seemingly hard minimalist finishes performing excellently in terms of acoustics. Flooring of stone and existing soffits of concrete meant that all acoustics had to be introduce on all vertical service, concealing acoustic treatments within the high level bulkheads, behind perforated concrete and metal wall paneling or within the joinery pieces. This was all successful concealed within the scheme. Automation, though the extensive use of digital technology positively transforms the lives of people and business, at ION this philosophy was carried through seamlessly with design. Interview rooms, allowing for re-use as additional executive office, this was achieved by adding additional soundproofing to these areas to ensure total confidentiality for the end users and greater flexibility. Spaces were fully interactive with state-of-the-art AV, and designed to improve both decision making and increase efficiency. One of the main challenges for the team was to build a cutting edge conference area, ‘mega room’ that could be adjusted within minutes to form individual spaces to allow high level, secure, private meetings to take place. Both the Board Room and Mega room are inherently flexible, multi-use and easily configurable enabled through the use of acoustic sliding folding partitions, switching quickly between modes, individual, conference room, in the round or presentation. All temperature controlled with AV zones that switch in parallel instantaneously. Spaces have been design for different types of occupation and use, that can ebb and flow with the business needs. Having environmental issues at the heart of everything proposed was an imperative. The team enhanced the base build and works area, making the best possible re-use of the existing services already in place. This greatly reduced the carbon footprint through adaptions, refurbishments and re-calculations of existing services. Several added features to future proof the building, from installing additional data and power below the floor space to allow for an upsurge of new staff, if required. Infact, this contemporary workplace has been designed to response to changes in workplace requirements, evident from the current pandemic. Modular concrete walls panels where installed that allow offices to be adapted, removed or increased in size to allow for ever changing financial markets. The boardrooms and conference area have been installed using folding sliding walls to allow for multi-use activities. Walls panels, sprayed with a special PPC coating, allow them to have a double use, not only decorative but also magnetic and writable. The BCO guides were used as the bases for the MEP Services Criteria, from lighting specification to energy consumption. Materials selection was one of key design team objectives for which the BCO guides have been used to inform the decision making, allowing the team to evaluate the life cycle costs, recycled content and the ability of the materials to be recycle. This lead to the selection of flooring like the Tatami Corktex Woven vinyl which are made from 85% recycled material, with a backing made from cork and bottle caps. The concrete wall paneling is primarily a timber based product, FSC certified, with only a thin layer of concrete bonded to the face, these have very low VOC’s and can be easily recycled. The spaces are flexible but the materials selection is robust, natural and therefore durable, with longevity at the heart of their selection. In addition, Collins Construction had a chartered environmentalist, as part of the team who’s task was to advise the client and design team on using alternative UK based products rather than those chosen by the Italian concept designer. In doing so the technical architect looked closer to home to source materials, using UK based joinery & glass suppliers. This not only helped the build, but provide a reduction in the carbon footprint. m2atelier and have transformed this space into a minimal high-end performing CAT B office. Notable features including state-of-the-art AV, bespoke joinery solutions, and integrated acoustic treatments. The executive spaces integrate unique and innovative design mechanics, such as the twin skinned glass partitions and hidden acoustic panels integrated with magnetic blackboards. Materiality was the key driver utilised throughout to introduce a new palette of materials from powder coated aluminium (black and bronze), to engineered panels of concrete, oak and black veneer.
m2atelier is the architecture and design studio founded in Milan by Marco Bonelli and Marijana Radovic, a couple in life and work. Born from the fusion of the two founders' previous activities, the atelier brings together complementary experiences, cosmopolitan perspectives and multidisciplinary categories. The perimeter of their research is very broad and embraces different scales and contexts: architecture, interior design, fashion retail and product, with a marked predilection for yachting. The numerous and consolidated collaborations with some of the main global players in their respective sectors, together with a long list of extremely significant projects and clients located anywhere on the planet, make m2atelier an authoritative signature on the international design and architecture scene.
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