The result of Bumble’s renovation for their London office reflects the same adaptability required to operate in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a forward-thinking space to represent the online dating application’s unique brand.
Dthree designed the Bumble offices taking into account the changing needs of their employees for both their personal lives and their work needs in London, England. Bumble wanted a workspace that would reflect the varying needs of their business and people. This project has constantly evolved and developed over the course of the last two years. The original brief provided in 2020 has changed drastically in response to the pandemic, as well as the adaptive nature in which Bumble responded to it.
The original planning exercise was built upon a maximum capacity desk layout, with the primary intention of the space being to maximise the number of desks across the two floors to support their rapid growth that was happening at the time. However, as working remotely became the new normal for us all, the way in which their teams were collaborating with one another completely changed, and with that so did the purpose of their workspace. Therefore, the new space was designed against a brief to cultivate and enhance this level of flexibility. The key goal of the new brief was to create a floor that focused solely on collaboration and adaptability, to provide their employees will complete autonomy over how and where they worked throughout the day.
The implementation process came out of very close collaboration with the client throughout the initial stages, which were conducted during the height of the pandemic. In order to gain trust and agreement on the investment of real estate in a time when people weren’t using offices, a series of scenarios were planned out to show all eventualities of the space usage and future adaptability, as well as a series of COVID plans to further increase trust and design buy in. Various virtual design and ‘future of working’ presentations were made to the board and project team to fully communicate the design intent for the project. With the gradual lift on lockdown restrictions, these eventually became in-person technical design workshops, which were all conducted on site.
During the mobilisation period, very intricate coordination was required between multiple contractors to ensure the space was fully functional and efficient for what they required. The entire mechanical system was replaced due to it being inadequate, all new LED lighting was installed and a new AV system was integrated to allow employees across the globe to collaborate with the teams in London as if they were in the room themselves.
The result is a workspace that not only aesthetically reflects Bumble’s unique brand and personality but is one that intrinsically supports as a forward thinking, technological business focusing on the future and wellbeing of their staff.
Photography: Peter Ghobrial