Workspace of the Week - Gensler Offices Birmingham
Gensler reflected their design prowess when creating a space for their offices located in Birmingham, England.
Embracing a hybrid working model, the new Gensler Birmingham office has been designed to augment the activities, behaviors and experiences that cannot be fulfilled at home, offering employees an alternative, progressive, flexible space to experiment with new ways of working whilst expanding their autonomy and choice. The studio is characterised by an open office environment supported by several distinct zones. Incorporating a high percentage of free address working, the focus is given to providing a choice to individuals and teams of where to work. Gensler’s smart space management system, Wisp, enables flexibility in the studio by supporting desk reservations, check-ins, hot-desk management and wayfinding.
A bold and playful aesthetic defines the interiors, juxtaposing it with the building and its historic surrounds. The Red Gallery – which speaks to the Gensler brand and showcases its projects and people – welcomes you into the space. An area for charrettes, design reviews, collaboration and informal gatherings offers a spirited glimpse of what’s to be discovered beyond.
In the Observatory, full height, openable windows offer panoramic views of the Grade I listed St Philip’s Cathedral and square. With plenty of natural ventilation and daylight, the space functions as a kitchen whilst also providing informal working areas where employees can enjoy the familiarity of home.
The Workshop is the nerve centre of the studio with an open-plan workspace, storage, focus space, meeting and collaboration areas. Utilising the adaptive furniture solution, Atelier – which is designed by Gensler in collaboration with Fantoni and combines a multiplicity of spatial functions and a lightweight modular structure – employees can easily reconfigure the space.
The Stage with its raised, tiered seating and built-in storage is a multifunctional, adaptable environment which can be utilised as a meeting room or event space. In addition to the high-spec conference rooms with technology geared towards hybrid meetings, the studio also includes two private, acoustically sealed booths for privacy and focus. One booth is non-bookable and functions as a wellness room. The booths have variable ambient lighting with adjustable colour temperature and levels – to help suit all moods. This also aids teams when matching sample palettes to the expected light levels and colour temperature of future project environments, ensuring true colour rendition when making material selections.
The design encourages movement and interaction, and the new location offers improved access to parks, high-quality public realm and the canal networks – further supporting active lifestyles and helping employees maintain the healthy behaviours cultivated over lockdown.
Photography: Tom Bird