ID:SR completes new office for Commonwealth Bank of Australia, London

2nd June 2016

ID:SR Sheppard Robson has completed work on the major 44,000ft² interior fit-out and workplace strategy for Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) in London. The project delivers a design that places a global financial business within its local context as well as promoting high standards of wellness throughout.

Occupying two floors in a new development adjacent to the Old Bailey, the interiors have been carefully configured to provide dedicated client and staff areas, with ID:SR’s activity-driven design approach creating varied and flexible working environments.

Key design features include the prominent geometric elements, such as the tessellated triangular ceiling. These take their cue from the CBA logo, which is derived from southern star constellations. ID:SR used this as starting point to create abstract shapes and patterns for CBA London that are defined by star constellations visible from the northern hemisphere. This is one example of the design creating a subtle narrative that promotes the international scope and local knowledge of CBA.

Using feedback collated during the extensive user group sessions, the design also merges references to nature and technology: natural features, such as timber and green living walls, are integrated alongside materials such as reflective metal surfaces and backlit stretched fabric, which are representative of the cutting-edge technology used by CBA.

A new staircase has been added to the base-build, linking the first and second floors and promoting collaboration between the two levels. The dedicated client areas are located on the second floor, with the reception area and flexible meeting/presentation spaces positioned around a tranquil internal courtyard. An Innovation Lab also features on this floor, which has been designed to showcase and develop new products, with the interior supporting a wide range of technology, including a virtual reality table.

Staff areas promote a feeling of health and wellbeing, which – alongside the impressive sustainable agenda of the project – is one of the features that has allowed the project to target SKA Gold. All workstations are height-adjustable, which gives the team members choice on how to create the best environment for their specific activity. The traders also have adjustable LED lighting to create the right working environment. The floorplates has been configured to ensure privacy and discretion, whilst also providing large, open social spaces and catering facilities.

Helen Berresford, Partner at Sheppard Robson and head of ID:SR, said:

“Wellbeing was at the heart of our designs and we wanted the physical environment to support the CBA team.”

“Putting client and staff spaces on separate floors enabled us to optimise each level for its function. The client spaces are extensive; rather than being just drop-in areas, the dedicated level allows staff and clients to collaborate with each other throughout the day in a range of work settings.”