London studio APA Architects has created a set of collaborative offices for credit card company Barclaycard at its headquarters in Northampton, England, which are designed for a specific way of working. APA spent 10 weeks transforming the office into what Barclaycard has named a CoLab space, ripping up the old carpets and up-cycling existing furniture pieces.
The studio’s intention was to create an environment of “rawness and robustness”, which workers could use while working in groups on technology projects and other business initiatives using a methodology called Agile. A series of wood- and metal-framed partitions break up the space into more intimate zones for project teams. The frames are in-filled with whiteboard panels – also mounted on existing walls – which employees can use for jotting down ideas.
The floor-to-ceiling panels also section off private meeting rooms of various sizes, where groups can present their projects. Elsewhere, smaller partitions create individual desk spaces to aid concentration. A variety of natural wood and medium density fibreboard (MDF) modular tables can be easily re-arranged by workers as needed. Chairs are mismatched in different styles and colours, while standing desks are also added for use during shorter informal meetings.
APA added greenery to meeting tables, and decorated walls with vintage clocks that display the time in different countries, as well as countdown to deadlines. Barclaycard’s Northampton office is the first to receive a CoLab space. APA is also working on converting the company’s offices in India, Europe and South Africa to include similar facilities.
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