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Oktra struck a balance between warm and sophisticated for the SmartBase coworking offices in Bournemouth, England. SmartBase is a revolutionary coworking business ecosystem that offers space for coworking, serviced offices and warehousing combined with eCommerce, marketing, and business accelerator specialists on site. Located at Bournemouth Airport, SmartBase aims to bring together a community of likeminded businesses, entrepreneurs, and consultants who can share ideas and access the many services and networking opportunities.

The client wanted to provide the best coworking facilities on the South coast, offering innovative, convenient, and flexible solutions for growing businesses. The unique combination of offices and warehousing all located on one site makes SmartBase the perfect ‘plug and play’ office for eCommerce businesses looking to launch or scale. As part of the offering, members will be able to access I-Fulfillment’s logistics solutions and on-site warehouses to store and distribute stock.

A range of amenities are available to help businesses create, innovate, attract talent, and support their staff. The ‘Hub’ features a photo and recording studio, gym, treatment room, 24/7 access, on-site parking, conferencing, and event space along with networking and a community feel.

As the client was moving into a new building, Oktra worked closely with the construction company during the build to ensure a seamless transition when it came to fitting out the workplace. Throughout the duration of the project, Oktra helped the SmartBase team to deliver marketing materials such as visuals, interactive floorplans, websites, and written descriptions to help sell the space to prospective tenants whilst the project was being built. By the time the project had completed, over 90% of the tenanted space was already rented out.

The hybrid flexible space offers pay-as-you-go offices ranging from single private use up to 5,000 sq ft, along with coworking and hot desking options. This includes the communal Sky Lounge, a destination in itself, with a beautiful roof terrace that overlooks the airport and provides space for networking, relaxing, and creative thinking. Both the Sky Lounge and coworking area feature a range of agile workspaces including focus rooms, four to six-person work booths, communal touchdown tables, traditional desking with task seating, and mobile single-person work booths. Flexible solutions such as movable furniture allow the space to be reconfigured for networking and social events.

As this was the first business venture for the SmartBase brand, Oktra worked closely with their in-house graphics team to design a visual identity and colour palette that could be rolled out across many sites and platforms. To reflect SmartBase’s core value of sustainability, they incorporated natural elements into the design such as moss walls, integrated planters, and natural woods and textures in all the furniture and bespoke joinery. Electric car charging points are also available to help members minimise their carbon footprint.

The reception boasts an impressive 12m high moss wall installation with integrated lights against an electric blue backdrop. The custom-built reception desk is a 3m wide, wing shaped joinery piece – a nod back to the brand’s aviation origins in the heart of Bournemouth Airport.

SmartBase provides spaces that promote the creation of a community that shares experience, cultivates creativity, and inspires success. The state-of-the-art office destination is built for today’s business needs and sets the standard for this exciting, new brand of flexible office spaces.

Design: Oktra
Photography: Oliver Pohlmann


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