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When it came to designing and fitting out the interior of a new workplace for the 2,500 employees of Google, the world’s largest search engine, architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), needed to create an environment that reflected the creative, diverse and exciting workplace staff had come to know and love. Optima collaborated with the professional team to deliver this innovative project in 2 phases, providing a range of stunning glazed partitioning systems.
6 Pancras Square, Kings Cross, London
The building was created with a three-pronged analogy in mind – theatre, stage sets and props – helping to deliver a versatile workplace that could be easily modified as the occupants needed change. The shell of the building is the theatre, with a lifespan of more than 50 years, whilst the larger fixed assets such as gyms, restaurants and events spaces are the stage sets with a planned five-to-10-year lifespan. The smaller fit-out functions such as workspace and meeting rooms are the props, which needed to be flexible and adaptable.
With the theatre (structure) already in place, the focus of the project became the stage sets and props – the fit-out of the internal spaces. Understanding that the requirements of workplaces change with time, AHMM’s vision was for an environment that could adapt and evolve; to be reused, to reinvent itself, and importantly, to become a living, breathing space for Google to overlay its own creativity over time.
To help deliver this flexible working environment, AHMM specified a range of demountable glazed partitions from Optima. Supplied in two phases, lower ground floor to level 5, and floors 6 to 11, the partitions can be taken down and relocated as the need for space changes, thus helping to provide a sustainable way of evolving the workplace.
We provided a range of products including our stunning Revolution 54 double glazed partitioning system, along with double glazed Edge Symmetry doors, which offer marketing leading acoustic performance. This design-led project also required a number of specialist products including high acoustic double glazing for the spinning studio, acoustic timber framed screens to the observation laboratory, and one-way privacy glass, all of which was designed, manufactured and installed by Optima. To complete the project, we also provided a series of fire rated and smoke sealed doors and screens, as well as a bespoke portal light well, which was a striking feature between the lower ground and upper ground floors.
Now complete, the 11-storey, £1 billion headquarters has a stunning, state-of-the-art workplace that fosters collaboration and innovation. Thanks to Optima, the flexible interior not only excels in style and comfort, it also provides a source of inspiration for the creative minds which are needed to maintain Google as the world’s most effective search engine for the remainder of the 21st century.