In The Times on 21 June 2003, Jon Ashworth said
‘A Barrister’s chambers has turned the tables on some of Britain’s biggest companies with an innovative office makeover.
The chambers of Mark Platt-Mills, QC, who represented the Beatles in a landmark action over amateur tape recordings, is among the top entries in The Times & Gestetner Digital Office Collection 2003. This seeks to showcase visually exciting and inspirational workplaces.
The chambers specialises in intellectual property. Justin Bere, of Bere Architects, says the interior of the Grade I listed building was made over with glass, oak, and leather, all far removed from the legal profession’s Dickensian image.
Glass also features prominently in the London offices of Bloomberg, the financial news and information provider, which takes top honours in the 2003 collection. The architect, Powell Tuck Associates, has used glass to reveal the working dynamic of the company and encourage interaction between employees.
Nike’s London office, designed by Jump Studios, uses different colours and materials to mark out meeting rooms, conference areas, cafes and “huddle zones”.
The office literally “lives the Nike brand” with industrial resin, sports rubber flooring and other materials included in the design.
Others in the top ten include Diageo’s office at Park Royal, West London, designed by Aukett, and Pfizer’s office in Tadworth, Surrey, designed by Sheppard Robson, which features floor-to-ceiling windows. ICI, which last year moved its offices from Westminster to Marylebone, has swapped long, dark corridors for a bright, airy feel. Walls are either painted white or made from glass panels. The architect is Tilney Shane.
Nigel Palmer, managing director of Gestetner, says a well-designed office can bring out the best in a company’s workforce. He says: “Office design has evolved dramatically over the last few years as more and more businesses understand the need to offer a ‘place to work’ rather than a ‘place of work’ to get the best out of their people and systems.”‘