A new workspace to change a culture

St James's Place

Location Aztec West, Bristol
Client St James's Place Wealth Management

A brief history

St James’s Place Wealth Management (SJP) used their office relocation as the catalyst for the change they needed. The new space allowed them to move away from outdated, traditional cellular working to new ways of collaborating which focus both on wellbeing and supporting the business's core values. The aspiration was to deliver a space to attract the next generation of employees and partners. This was a pilot scheme for SJP.

Vision

With over 40 sites across the UK, the workspace was to champion a more agile way of working which focuses on equality, wellbeing and environmental values. The front of house space needed to send a corporate, traditional message with a modern twist, to portray a level of transparency but also to remain secure.

Design delivery

The central atrium space was opened up to create connectivity and transparency between departments. Removing the level of hierarchy, partners' spaces were located at ground floor: this space has a moss wall running up the building to the second floor.

With consideration to both acoustics and warmth, oak panelling lines the atrium, creating a space people want to inhabit. We also designed a focal bespoke seating area with planting and a tree at the foot of the atrium. This biophilic statement at the heart of the building can be seen on entry and from every floor as a symbol of connectivity and wellbeing.

Overcoming challenges

This project was delivered under unique circumstances - the country was in lockdown and we were all operating from home. We were able to design and complete this project remotely to the highest standard.

Sustainability

We are delighted that this project has successfully achieved SKA Gold, the highest SKA rating.

User experience

This human-focussed design provides varied and interesting settings which support activity-based working. The building design actively encourages general wellbeing: additional welfare facilities are carefully sited to increase privacy and employee comfort.

Wellbeing

Considerable thought was given to the colour scheme, material palettes and emphasis on employee welfare facilities. The base build has been brought up to BCO guidance from WC provision to showers, cycle provision and accessibility throughout. Each floor has a generous, fully accessible tea point as well as a huge variety of agile work settings.

Flexible future-proofing

The front of house area can transform into a space to hold events which would normally take place at an external conference venue.

We also worked closely with the MEP consultants to future-proof a number of private workspaces so they can be adapted to a collaborative workspace with a simple change of furniture solutions.

Communicating the business

With any client facing business, creating the right external perception is critical. The ground floor front of house for SJP delivers an appropriate corporate tone but with a work lounge that offers a comfortable hosting space as well as a working environment which doubles as an events space with a flexible security line that can be adapted to suit.

The heart of the business

The aspiration for the scheme was to create a sense of connectivity and to move away from cellular working. The building provided the perfect platform for a central atrium space to enable this. With the use of natural materials, planting, colour and acoustic design, this space draws you into the rest of the building.

“From the initial meeting with SJP, we understood the importance placed on giving back to their people both holistically and environmentally. Putting people first is a shared central value, consistent throughout the project within a stunning workspace."

Jamie Furse, Project Director

An agile office

Throughout the site, alongside the allocated desking there are over 40 alternative work settings, ranging from quiet private space, to team workspace with writable walls and pin up space. The floor plates have been designed to support the creation of zones but without dividing off spaces entirely.