?What If! - A space to inspire possibilities

By Katie Mitchelmore on 14 March 2019

Progressive and forward thinking, global growth company ?What If! help transform businesses through ‘doubling down on the people side of innovation’. They aspire to be the world’s greatest people-powered experimentation engine and wanted their London office to fully reflect this. They needed a space to inspire possibilities and creativity, in both their team and their clients. A space to help push the boundaries of innovation even further.

With their offices originally split across three buildings in Marylebone we worked closely with the client to understand how best to distribute energy and optimise the space for them. Based on findings from the research phase we were able to shape the space to better support their agile way of working, which enabled them to lose one of their buildings and reduce their footprint by a third.

To increase visibility between different levels in the buildings we created new penetrations in the floors, along with a new staircase to connect spaces together, catalysing spontaneous interactions. Working with the natural qualities of the space, we positioned quiet working areas and more private client spaces deeper into the buildings.

We stripped the buildings back, carefully reinstating their inherent qualities and character. Bold interventions and splashes of colour contrast and complement the simple structure, adding elements of surprise which reflect the innovative work of the client. Mobile divides allow the team to build and change their own spaces to suit the activities and workshops they develop for their clients.

Through harnessing cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) technology, members of the ?What If! team were able to have a fully immersive experience of the design, gaining a better understanding of the functional characteristics and how these impact the space. Feedback from the users then informed iterative cycles of design development.

This process of designing and developing within virtual reality not only helped us work even more collaboratively and efficiently with the client, but also with the project team as a whole. The contractors and consultants were able to cost and build the project straight from the model, whilst tracking any changes made in real time.

?What If! now have a space that is the very embodiment of their brand, reflecting and inspiring creativity, innovation and possibilities. 

Contractor: Stanway Interiors
Project Manager: Walter Whippet
Quantity Surveyor: Doig + Smith
MEPH Consultant: Energylab 




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Topics: design, team, spacelab, architecture, workplace productivity, Office wellbeing, employeeappreciation, company culture