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Between two of the trendiest parts of London, Farringdon and Clerkenwell, sits 119 Farringdon Road. In the former offices of media giant The Guardian, in a building dubbed The Ray, a newly imagined set of offices is now complete. The Ray is now home to one of the most prevalent business-orientated social media websites in the world, LinkedIn. Walk the surrounding area to find London headquarters of such major players such as Tesco, Kurt Geiger and Save the Children UK. In keeping with this, The Ray’s latest update boasts some of the most adventurous bespoke design in recent years.
Firstly, RIBA Stirling Prize Winner (2015), AHMM Partners designed the exterior of the building. The genius team behind the New Scotland Yard building design. The building was originally modelled in the Flatiron style to use space economically on the busy London road. AHMM incorporated chequered style brickwork in dark and light earthy tones of red, contrasted by lines of horizontally running bright beige bricks. Gaps in the dual-coloured brickwork are filled with darkly tinted rectangular windows, which vertically run the length of the building. Consequently, the windows seem to both reflect and absorb sunlight. Due to this striking aesthetic choice, the building successfully poses itself as one of the most eye-catching buildings in London.
The natural sunlight doesn’t only influence the outside of the building. AHMM strategically placed the many reflective windows to allow sunlight to fill the interior space with natural light. This natural light also served the design illuminating the office colour scheme set out by both LinkedIn and McLaren. We worked alongside architects, Gensler and Project Managers, Gardiner+Theobald across the 83,000 Sq ft of space on 4 floors. Our goal was to build harmony between the exterior’s stylish and practical design, and the inside of the social media hub. We began by taking into account the lighting that had been considered when AHMM partners installed the exterior windows.
We fitted our partitions to divide several rooms on each floor, subsequently using space and light dynamically. Furthermore, this allowed for a light, bright working environment which benefits employee wellbeing. These spaces serve as individual rooms for focused work, board rooms and meeting rooms. Our glass partitions play a pivotal role in breaking up space and allowing for sunlight to flow into each floor, creating a light and airy set of offices for employees.
Working with Gensler’s design team, we installed our Revolution 54 Shoreditch Edition double glazed partitions to 3 free-standing offices, which were positioned in the centre of each floor. Our installations team fitted the Revolution 54 with 2 layers of 12.8mm laminated glass. In addition, our Revolution 54 Shoreditch Edition partitions proved dynamic in their aesthetic appeal as well as practicality with a high acoustic rating of up to Rw45dB. These partitions ran parallel to each other with three drywall partitions splitting the unit into 3 small office spaces. To finish the space, we fitted our sleek and stylish Edge Symmetry Shoreditch Edition doors which perform with an acoustic rating of up to Rw35dB. This further gives the central offices a deceptively high acoustic rating.
Another design technique employed by Gensler was to position our partitions facing the exterior windows. Most importantly, they allowed for a seamless transition of light through our Revolution 54 partitions and Edge Symmetry doors, which illuminated the entire floor. Furthermore, the natural light brought vibrancy to the office colour scheme. These design techniques were a method of improving employee wellbeing. Phil Leather has published his findings on natural light in the workplace, “The results showed a significant direct effect for sunlight penetration on job satisfaction, intention to quit, and general well-being”.
In support of this, we also considered natural light at LinkedIn’s offices with bigger offices and boardrooms, which line the outside of each floor. Similarly to the smaller offices, these offices are fitted with Revolution 54 partitions and Edge Symmetry doors giving a vast improvement to the light and acoustic performance inside the offices. AHMM also fitted the building’s exterior windows spanning from floor to ceiling creating stunning vistas of London. As a result, these exterior windows work in harmony with our partitions allowing light to cascade into the newly imagined space.
In addition, we wanted to further contribute to establishing LinkedIn’s space within ‘The Ray’ as a professional, fully functioning office. Consequently, we installed our state-of-the-art tech panels into our Revolution 54 partition system present in the building. This revolutionary technology allows for iPads and room booking systems to be installed directly into our partitions, streamlining the room booking processes.
Furthermore, one of the key points of LinkedIn’s design was their need for harmony on each floor. Designers specified an office colour scheme which ran from floor-to-floor. A unique design feature which our partitions played a key role in making a reality. Our Account Manager, Dan Fuller said this about the project, “The colourful Shoreditch systems on each floor added some fun to each level but not losing the modern look.” Bespoke design is something we are well versed in as a company and we relish a challenge. Subsequently, this meant each of our partitions was unique in colour, dimension and acoustic purpose. Employees in our manufacturing facility in Bath worked hard to suit the needs of the designers and of LinkedIn. In other words, producing a unique series of Revolution 54 Shoreditch Edition double glazed systems, as well as Edge Symmetry doors, in a variety of bespoke colours.
LinkedIn requested fire rated systems as standard on floor 6. With a fire rating of integrity and insulation up to 90 mins, we installed our Technishield 70 Shoreditch Edition. We also fitted our integrity only fire rated Technishield 70 double door set, which provides fire protection for up to 60 mins. Still stylish and sleek in black, this partition looks great whilst giving an added element of fire protection.
Find out more about our range of finishes and the colours we offer. Choose samples, or order a full set here