Midlands consultancy delivers global firm’s new City of London office

Midlands-based interior design consultancy, Office Principles, has completed work on a new 40,800 sq ft office in the City of London on behalf of leading built environment consultancy, Arcadis.

80Fen reflects an evolution in ways of working, with more than 20 different types of workspace available in an ‘activity-based’ environment spread across two floors of a Grade A 14-storey office development in London’s Fenchurch Street.

It signals a fundamental change in Arcadis’s approach to its office estate, with the emphasis on ways of working increasingly shifting from ‘where’ to ‘how’. As such, 80Fen will provide a blueprint for future Arcadis offices both in the UK and worldwide.

The new workplace incorporates a range of social and wellbeing areas to enable people to work as flexibly as possible and make choices that satisfy personal and work commitments.

They include a series of agile and collaborative working spaces, with open plan desks and private rooms, project areas, touchdown areas, call rooms and informal meeting areas.

Office Principles’ design has been informed by the principles of both Fitwel Certification and the WELL Building Standard, reflecting best practice in sustainable design and the health and wellbeing of occupants.

Technology sits at its core, with ‘smart’ features embedded as a key design principle. The space is equipped with Arcadis’s own building intelligence software, incorporating a unified suite of apps, including environment and utilisation sensors, digital access, a branded visitor management system, and apps for mobile and digital signage.

Employees will also benefit from touch-free desk booking systems and the ability to control individual temperature and light settings in enclosed spaces.

The fit out and refurbishment of 80Fen was preceded by a twelve month workplace consultancy project that was delivered by Office Principles in partnership with Arcadis.

Tina Batham, joint managing director, Office Principles North, said: “The pandemic has given organisations the opportunity to take stock of their existing working environments and consider whether they are really fit for purpose or reflective of their culture. The office is no longer going to be about sitting in rows or clusters with colleagues, it’s about delivering a destination and an experience. Our design for Arcadis at 80Fen was informed by a huge amount of workplace data, which shaped the delivery of a sustainable and inclusive workplace, and embodies the firm’s people focused culture. It’s an environment that will bring people together to innovate, collaborate and socialise, giving employees autonomy to manage where they work, in a way that best suits their needs.”

Mark Cowlard, CEO of Arcadis UK and Ireland, added: “The move to 80Fen represents an exciting new chapter for Arcadis. Over the last 12 months, we have been helping our clients chart a path to recovery, and are now practising what we preach through a flexible, inclusive, sustainable, and digitally-enabled new London base. We firmly believe that we still need offices and office space, but it must be a different type of space that reflects the changing nature of the work-day and our workforce.

“For us, 80Fen isn’t just a one-time fit-out, it’s a step change in how we use and curate space. It’s about people working in a very different, more mobile, flexible and even healthier way; which they can do at 80Fen. This approach has been reinforced by changes to the way we work during the pandemic, but for Arcadis, the shift started long before, and we can’t wait to settle into our new home.”