Global built environment consultancy Arup’s London team sits across two sites in the city centre. When the lease on one of offices came to an end, the organisation used this as an opportunity to reconsider its London portfolio and rethink how they work in the future.
The new office is located in the 80 Charlotte Street, a new building that Arup delivered engineering services and is located close to their retained office on Fitzroy Street. Although Arup embarked on this journey prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the pandemic prompted them to reconsider the ways they wanted to work as an organization and ultimately how much space they required.
Of the two spaces, Fitzroy Street predominantly features allocated seating in a more traditional workspace environment. Complementing this, 80 Charlotte Street is an unassigned team space with a wide range of work settings and collaboration areas, supporting agile work.
The user experience of 80 Charlotte Street was a key driver of the design. We wanted to create workplace with a strong ethos, one that was frictionless, highly engineered, focused, accessible. Intuitive, and seamless. There had to be complete equity around the building, from the moment you entered the space to every work setting.
We worked closely with Arup to understand the requirements of their workforce and to create highly engineered space that suits their varied ways of working.
Pivoting from a “me space” to a “we space” approach, 80 Charlotte Street supports the wider Arup campus with a flexible office that boasts a vast range of different work settings. The ratio of desk to collaboration space was changed from 60:40 to 70:30 across all floors, with 50% of desks being removed on Level 1. To accommodate long-term adaptability, three quarters of the fit out on each floor plate can be disassembled and moved.
Tim Chapman, Arup London Office Leader
80 Charlotte Street is among the first large-scale all-electric buildings in London. The office achieved BREEAM Excellent and WELL Gold Certification. Adaptable design was a key driver on the project, in a concerted effort to drive down embodied carbon. For example, 100% of the task chairs and meeting room chairs were reused or refurbished for the new office.
With smart technology like people counters, air quality and temperature sensors, environment controls and feedback buttons, and desk user modules, Arup can capture data to continually improve the efficiency of the space from both a human and environmental standpoint.