Kinnarps flagship office in Clerkenwell, London

Tom White, senior designer at Kinnarps said: “The new premises had no infrastructure, so we were effectively starting from scratch.  I was particularly interested in how the latest technology could be incorporated into the final design, making it a 21st century, collaborative, working environment.”

The project team (and subsequent steering groups) was keen to understand how the advent of BYOD, cloud-based services and the increase in people working from home has led to a fundamental change in office design. After visiting a number of facilities and discussing the lessons learnt from these new installations, the team produced a detailed briefing document for the design of their new flagship space.

The briefing document outlined the three most significant technological considerations for the new design – a high degree of power integration with loose furnishings, the capability to work from anywhere and the inclusion of a digital meeting space booking system.

“At Kinnarps we believe in a holistic approach to design – one that takes into account various parameters, such as the physical office environment, management and organisational culture and technological developments. The design had to be flexible enough  to allow anyone to use practically any area of the building to work from if they so wish. The sofas, for instance, had to have built-in power sockets, to make it more convenient and practical to use them as awork space,” added White.

“Adaptability was one of our key objectives. Real estate costs in London are some of the highest in the world, so it makes sense to maximise every available space within a building. For example, we designed a quiet area where phones are not permitted, but when this section is not in use, it can easily be changed into our seminar area for up to 60 people. We can do this within less than an hour and without the need to get in specialist fitters. The loose furniture can be moved to conveniently located storage areas, a screen – installed in the ceiling – is used to show the presentations, and the audio system is programmed to complement that zone without affecting the rest of the building.”

The new design incorporates a drop-in area, called the Fika Lounge, for their customers, partners and suppliers to use whenever they are in the vicinity.

The working spaces in the quiet zone can be booked using the AMX Modero room management system – either online or by using the touch controls on the panel installed in the framework of the work space.

The traffic light system on the panel lets users know if the workspace is available. The system comes complete with an analytical package enabling Kinnarps to gather statistics on usage.

By installing AV technology from AMX and CYP, Kinnarps can create appropriate atmospheres in different parts of the building from a single, centrally managed location.

“Playing music helps to create a relaxed atmosphere. We often give our guests an iPad and ask them to make up the playlist – it is a powerful way to break down any barriers,” adds White.

One of the meeting rooms has a Smart interactive whiteboard, which enables presentations to have unlimited digital whiteboard space with the ability to write notes over any application using digital ink.

“Interior architects and specifiers love the fact that we can design a space with their customer and display it on the Smart Board. Using MeetingPro software they can annotate over the plan incorporating the fabric swatches, loose furnishings etc. discussed in the meeting. The customer can clearly see how the space designed will look, and it is easy to tweak the design as required. It has become the creative nerve-centre and made the process far more interactive and effective,” said White.

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