Eco-friendly inventor, manufacturer and retailer of fresh handmade cosmetics, LUSH, opened its new corporate offices in March 2017 to celebrate the expansion of the company's online business, LUSH digital.
LUSH appointed Portview to relocate its historic offices on 32 Carnaby Street to larger premises on 67–71 Beak Street in Soho. The 4-storey building is comprised of an amalgamation of older buildings combined to create a 9,000-square foot office, with access through one entrance onto Beak Street.
The characterful scheme by interior architects Househam Henderson and LUSH’s in-house designers was executed by Portview Fit-Out, with an emphasis on enhancing the building’s original features to achieve a stripped back, rustic look that is synonymous with the cosmetic brand.
The complex specification encompassed challenges to do with lighting, spaces, flooring and ceilings, requiring Portview to demonstrate varied expertise in joinery, M&E and project management. The team brought a way of working with historic buildings and the highest-quality finishes that was effective in bringing this stunning new workspace to life, combining the concepts of modern technology with effortless craftsmanship.
Once through a hidden doorway, there is a multifunctional communal space with a pop-up bar and book nook to accommodate events and after-work activities.
The communal area then follows through to the Global Media Studio. This space is completely flexible and can be converted into a film set, workspace, cinema or event space for employees and collaborators. In addition, there is also a studio kitchen permanently set-up to allow for the filming of live shows and online videos.
Connected to this space is a series of media suites, including a hero-suite and editing desks.
At the front of the building there are three additional rooms that are available to book out for meetings. There are also video-phone booths for one-to-one internet meetings and the Nest - a self-contained meeting space with a kitchen, that can be set up for circle meetings or film screenings.
An integral element in the design is the communal canteen, which houses a ping-pong table and table football to encourage employees to leave their desks and come together in an inclusive, social environment at lunchtime.
BRIEF & CONCEPT
The retail design itself uses recycled materials for the kitchens and an earthy colour palette, using reclaimed FSC certified timbers, brick and tiles, which complement the injection of fresh, citrus colours in the vintage soft furnishings. The carefully crafted, contrasting textures help to add visual weight to the space and creates a sense of wholesomeness that encourages engagement and productivity amongst employees.
A large portion of the furniture was sourced from original, mid-century suppliers and British manufacturers to reduce carbon emissions and retain the authenticity of the brand's British heritage.
The kitchens were built and installed on-site with hardwood work surfaces and hand painted cupboards that are in-line with Lush’s sustainability principles of working with ecological friendly products. The kitchens resembled old style country kitchens with Belfast sinks and traditional splash back tiling. The kitchens were also sourced and hand-made locally, with eco-friendly paint and tiles made from 60% recycled content.
The design retains the integrity of the original building while digital elements and fixtures, such as crittal screens and skype booths, give the space a new lease of life that is compatible with modern work requirements.
To put a new and creative overlay onto the retro architectural background, a top-of-the-range music system and digital screens were used to express the future.
M&E works included the installation of data cabling, Wi-Fi, digital screens, an overhead projector and access control to doors.
With wireless technology redefining the workplace, the free-flowing space gives employees the freedom to move outside the traditional desk-based setting by embracing open workspaces to create a sense of community and encourage the exchange of ideas.
To facilitate this, Portview fitted casual meeting lounges, communal workstations and standing workstations to influence creativity and social activity within the workplace, while replicating the look and feel of a home environment.
For more formal occasions, petitioned space pods and a boardroom were also fitted to give employees the option of privacy when needed.
The incorporation of plants and fauna is prominent throughout as a means of visually enhancing the space to prompt a meditative, organic experience and overall feeling of wellness.
All of the spaces are flexible, to ensure the company can adapt the space to meet their future needs and not just their current requirements.
Works also included:
"Portview were extremely flexible, we started on-site before the designs were even finalised. They managed to phase the entire scheme so that we could relinquish the information as we had it, the spaces needed to be adaptable to suit the various requirements of the different teams using the building. We are very pleased with the results and their continued support on this project."
Melody Morton, Lead Designer at Lush.