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News UK made the decision in the summer of 2014 to move all of its London-based subsidiaries into one building for the first time.
This included the transfer of its newspapers – The Times, The Sun and The Sunday Times – their news agency Dow Jones and book publisher HarperCollins, all of whom operate under the media giant.
1 London Bridge Street, London
Perkins + Will
Today, News UK occupies the whole of the 430,000sq ft of the 17-storey ‘The Place’ building at the London Bridge Quarter – informally referred to as ‘The Baby Shard’ for obvious reasons.
ISG Plc was named as the main contractors for this £50 million fit out programme where Optima was selected to design, engineer and install all glass partitioning, screens and doors from the sixth to seventeenth floor.
The project had a tight deadline and had to be delivered in just 12 months from concept to completion, due to lease issues. This meant that efficiency and accuracy would be key.
Perkins + Will, the designated architects, envisioned a building which united all of News UK’s businesses under one roof, thus creating a world-class destination for staff and customers. In order to achieve this, an open plan design, complete with fluid and versatile space with great visibility would be needed.
Perkins + Will’s design brief challenged static work practices. This was achieved by encouraging internal mobility and collaboration via transparency and interaction between businesses. At the same time, the individuality of the different brands needed to be celebrated.
As a result, glass was central to the functioning of this building. This is because the very nature of glass, by allowing natural daylight to penetrate each floor and visibility to organically spread, encourages openness and transparency.
Optima was a perfect fit for the job and was commissioned to install glass screens, sliding glass doors, magnetic glass panelling, secondary glazing and our market leading high acoustic double glazed doors.
Our glazed partitions were also used to create offices, meeting rooms and client hosting areas around the core of the building. This naturally brought to life Perkins + Will’s design by serving as a heart for the offices from which transparency, openness and collaboration could flow.
The use of applied manifestation allows the different brands throughout the building to differentiate themselves and celebrate their own unique and highly successful stories.
The installation was completed to the highest level of accuracy, complete with the most precise level of sound control. This outstanding acoustic performance meant that both privacy and openness could become part of everyday working life for News UK.
Being in one of the most iconic buildings in the Capital, the interior had to be just as impressive as the exterior and News UK certainly has a very impressive office space. Optima has truly exceeded the brief, installing glazed partitioning systems that are not only functional and high performing, but aesthetically stunning too.
The design intent was to create a flexible, open plan workspace that encourages collaboration, communication and movement of staff and that is exactly that ‘The Place’ today is.
At Optima we are extremely proud to have worked in such an iconic building with such a powerful brand and we are delighted to have been awarded a 10/10 Quality Award by ISG for our installation.
Stephen Atkins, Project Manager at ISG, when reflecting on the project from a delivery and efficiency perspective, explained that the project was “very well managed by Optima from start to finish and required minimal input from ISG’s site management team in order to maintain the programme and achieve suitable quality.”
All in all, we feel that this was a project where Optima truly excelled both from a product and service perspective.
The completion of the project saw News UK occupy ‘The Place,’ 1 London Bridge Quarter, following an official opening by the Mayor of London at the time, Boris Johnson.