17 June 2020
sponsored by Artelia Group
LABS House - with Od Interiors and Moxon Architects as project partners - is the new flagship site for client, LabTech. The 80,000 sq. ft scheme saw the redevelopment of the existing Bupa House, located on Bloomsbury Way, into a nine-floor, state of the art co-working space with a combination of private and public member areas. The nine-storey scheme combines technology with workspace facilities. The client wanted to create a unique non-corporate co-working environment providing a variety of high-quality work and leisure spaces. Crucially the client wanted to create a working environment that stood out from an already over-crowded market of co-working offerings.
The whole scheme has been designed to add value for the users. The flexible and varied design with high tech digital features allows LABS members to choose their seating according to their preferences. All services are pre-bookable online, and hireable offices/meeting rooms can be booked via a phone app.
In more detail
Spatial flexibility was a key requirement of the brief. Construction commenced without any tenancy agreements secured. Therefore, the ability to efficiently reconfigure workspaces (both economically and physically) to suit future tenant occupancy expectations was crucial. The key design principle aimed at limiting the potential disruption associated with spatial reconfiguration was to futureproof the services installation. Both high and low-level services were strategically positioned to accommodate both cellular and open-plan spatial arrangements where possible (fit-out flexibility). Whilst some disruption associated with partition relocation was inevitable, the high costs typically associated with services alterations were avoided. Movable and stackable walls were also installed to the meeting room suites to provide further ability for reconfiguration to suit user demands.
The scheme incorporated the typical selection of flexible workspace features that are expected within today’s co-working communities. However, the client was keen to pursue innovative ways to enhance their co-working environment and provide additional facilities that would help them stand out from the crowd. Additional facilities included a member’s gym, cocktail bar and public restaurant.
Providing sufficient and varying collaborative working zones, in addition to enclosed office spaces, futureproofs the building as the co-working community’s operating procedures move away from desktop-orientated tasks. Workloads are becoming increasingly team driven to which the building responds by providing flexible spaces, meaning it will stay fit for purpose for a longer period of time.
About the Value Award:
Judges are looking for an initiative, project or series of projects that has focused on the value of facilities in use and the outcomes for owners and users. Good facilities add value by enabling owners and/or users to live or work better in them.