A spectacular new riverside office for ABPI
The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) was looking for a new place to call home, as their existing building was being redeveloped and they needed to relocate. After completing a workspace study, they engaged Woodhouse to realise their workplace ambitions. The brief was to create a dynamic multi-functional space to welcome staff and visiting members, a space that was truly hybrid, with flexible desks, collaboration and quiet areas and somewhere to hold a variety of events.
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After ABPI had shortlisted three buildings, Woodhouse conducted some test fits to help them in their decision, and they eventually settled on the Hays Galleria, a building in a dream location on London’s Southbank. The building footprint was smaller than the ABPI had initially envisaged but, after conducting a robust analysis, we knew we could make it work for them by applying smart design principles. This meant they could save money, as well as having a dream office in a prime location overlooking the river Thames.
Hays Galleria is a well-known London landmark, formerly a warehouse and wharf for the shipping industry. We designed around existing structural elements of the building, such as air conditioning and lighting, to preserve budget so that the client could opt for the ‘nice to have’ items.
Respecting confidentiality whilst retaining a sense of ‘home’
One of the key objectives of the project was to maintain privacy between three related regulatory, research and economic bodies that would be housed under one roof but need to abide by confidentiality regulations. Two of the three organisations also had an imminent rebrand that would not be rolled out until after the re-fit, so the design had to feel like home, but be neutral enough to incorporate any new branding elements.
Combining three businesses and three brands under one roof and providing each with the facilities needed – all without any one business dominating – presented a real challenge. We worked closely with the Heads of HR and Facilities, who placed their trust in us to deliver their requirements. The brief evolved as the project progressed, which required us to be flexible and light on our feet.
Shifting to the ‘hybrid way’
The ABPI has fully embraced new ways of working in its new home with an open plan layout and 50% ratio of desk to people to allow for flexible work patterns. This emphasis on flexibility is maintained throughout the building, with a mix of height adjustable desks, booths for collaboration and hexagon pods for quiet working. Shared spaces, such as the members’ coffee bar and events space, are warm and welcoming with touches of each brand, whilst the three separate open plan spaces have their own identity and accents. The scheme is completed by a stunning boardroom that takes centre stage and boasts amazing views.
We are really thrilled with our new workspace, and it was really important to us that the ABPI was more than just a place that you come to work, and we want it to be a really positive experience for everybody. We are so pleased with it, it's just the environment we intended and it has actually exceeded our expectations.