The entire scheme includes one main workspace, a library, boardroom, games room and canteen, all located within an existing office building in Windsor. Langland was previously based at another office in the town but had outgrown the space both in terms of capacity and ambition. ‘The client’s motivation in changing offices was to gain more space but with the company profile also evolving they realised this was their chance to do something special and really make an impression,’ says Jump Studios associate Markus Nonn.
Having found the perfect location in one of Windsor’s key commercial buildings situated adjacent to the famous castle, Langland commissioned Jump Studios to work on the main office space and other key areas. The Interiors Group was appointed to oversee the project management and construction of the fit out.
First off, the existing office floor had to be redesigned and, most importantly, reconfigured. Although the space itself had potential, the layout left over from the previous tenant was totally unsuitable. Meeting rooms and cellular offices had been placed around the periphery of the room, with open plan seating in the middle. ‘This really only benefited the people in the cellular offices and it blocked out the light for staff in the centre of the room,’ Nonn explains. ‘We decided early on that we wanted to invert the layout and place all the office’s main functions in the centre, within one key structure that we called the ‘spinal hub.’’
These main functions include meeting rooms, workshop, reference library, tele-conference rooms, post room and job bag area. ‘The spine is basically the backbone of the office containing all its hardware,’ says Nonn. ‘We saw it as a framework or grid in which to plug in all the essential elements.’ Seating was also built into the spine in the form of snugs and upholstered benches in green Tweed fabric by Bute. A selection of bespoke storage and shelving units were made to match.
At the top end of the spine is the reception area with a front desk made of LG Hi-Macs topped with dark green leather. A cluster of Boule pendant lights hang above the waiting area where there is more snug-like seating. All of the workstations, comprising Frame One bench systems by Steelcase, are positioned around the spine and are split into four main open-plan zones housing the account handling, creative, digital media and studio departments. In the previous office the departments were situated on separate floors but now staff can simply walk through the spine to reach each other. Five glazed offices, designed for maximum transparency, are neatly ensconced at the far end of the office
The spine itself is clad in pure-white porcelain tiles. ‘We wanted to show that while tiles generally have a conventional, domestic aesthetic they can be applied to unconventional effect,’ says Jump Studios director Shaun Fernandes. ‘And teamed with the green it doesn’t look too clinical, which was important.’ Although Langland specialises in healthcare advertising campaigns, they prefer to be known simply as an advertising agency, one with a global reach that just happens to be based in Windsor.
‘In commissioning the office design we really wanted to dispel a lot of the preconceptions that people have about healthcare advertising agencies,’ says Langland director Joanna Chin. ‘The presumption is that there are not a lot of opportunities to be creative in this sector and we’re on a mission to change that. We wanted to do exactly what we try and persuade our clients to do – be daring and take risks.’
It is also hoped that the new office will attract fresh talent to the company. The agency already has a great reputation for producing exceptionally creative campaigns, however Langland’s location, outside of London, has made recruiting a challenge in the past. Jump Studios designed four other main spaces for Langland. The first being the library – a meeting room/social space with the feel of a private member’s club, located in the listed part of the building. ‘We decided to work with the heritage of the building rather than against it,’ says Jump Studios’ Fernandes. ‘Apart from internal meetings and brainstorming sessions this is where
Langland bring their clients so it made sense that this should be a more informal, elegant space with an eclectic domestic feel.’ The library features a copper-tiled bar, bespoke buttoned furniture and a mixture of vintage pieces and design classics including Jean Prouvé’s Cité lounge chair. Leading off from the library is the boardroom, again, made to feel more like a gentleman’s club than your average conference space. The vast conference table with blue leather inlay was custom made while oversized GT5 lights by Santa & Cole hang above. To the back of the room is a seating area and storage wall with an in-built plasma screen.
More informal areas, including a games room, massage room and canteen complete with red- painted picnic benches and a black board wall, are situated on the next floor up, also in the listed part of the building. These, more social, areas have proved particularly popular with staff (Langland was keen to prize people away from their desks at lunchtime) as has the office floor. ‘It’s great that the different departments have their own areas and yet they can easily traverse through the spine to get to their colleagues,’says Chin. ‘The sense of team at Langland was always great, but now it’s even better.’