The global media agency Grey were looking to transform their workplace into an efficient, agile and highly collaborative interior environment. As they had outgrown their current premises in North Sydney they began searching for a new city-based head office space that met a set of criteria. 80 Clarence Street satisfied what they were looking for. Soon after we were engaged as their preferred design partner, set to deliver their new workplace.
Grey had investigated Activity Based Working and saw the great benefits and impact it would have on their business. Grey’s parent company WPP were excited by their eagerness to explore these new ways of working and their aggressive approach to making this work, as this approach had not yet been explored from within Grey’s global network previously.
We started the process of investigating this new workplace strategy for Grey and devised the different work settings that suited Grey’s business. As they had never worked this way in the past, their was a buzz of excitement within the wider Grey audience therefore the leadership team were very conscious to communicate the new workplace strategy transparently to avoid confusion. With our assistance they provided the education on ‘how to use the new workplace’ and the amazing benefits it would bring.
Grey wanted a blank canvas for their workplace and didn’t require installed brand reinforcement unlike other agencies. A large digital portrait screen displays the branding and this is interchangeable for for various events and clients. The arrival space needed to evoke the sense of collaboration and also provide the ‘town hall’ space. The central bar as you enter from the lifts provided this integral element to the open breakout area beyond. This large open breakout is always a hive of activity and is really the heart of the business. From teams meeting together on the picnic tables that nestle behind the bar to the regular hum of the coffee machine, this space is well used. The large blank wall to the left of the entry boasts a projection of content which again creates the buzz of this space and a dynamic sense of movement. The polished concrete floor, plywood, and the open off-white ceiling provide a simplistic palate, where the projected content can be hero.
The two large meeting spaces are to either side of the entry point and clients can seamlessly enter these without the need to traipse through the bustling workplace beyond. A variety of workplace planting played an important role for Grey and added to the flavour it could bring to the agency. The checked carpet tile patterning created a dynamic backdrop to the boardroom, where walls were left white to highlight Grey’s creative work.
Tucked behind the plywood structure and adjacent to the unique bay window a series of booths reside. As expected these have been well received by Grey and are used for collaborative meeting and working. They were designed high enough to incorporate a screen to enhance their functionality, but not completely acoustically separated to avoid blocking off valuable natural light to the breakout.
A series of ‘hush rooms’ for 1 – 2 people assist more focused work and are designed with inbuilt screens for videoconferencing and on screen editing and viewing. The engine room behind consists of a wide expanse of team tables of different configurations, a central high bench and tiered seating overlooking the much loved ‘ping pong’ table. Low height lockers hug the ends of team table clusters and provide the essential ingredient for the functioning agile workplace environment.
Together with an amazing, progressive and passionate client The Bold Collective was able to successfully deliver another Activity Based Workplace for WPP and create a unique home for Grey.
We chose them, not only because they have a proven track record in this, but their creatively, thinking and approach really lifted them above the competitive set that we looked at as alternatives.
They made the process interactive and fun and they were completely committed from the outset of the design process – all the way through to until handover. Despite being warned this process could be daunting, it was actually the opposite. It was efficient, enjoyable and highly successful.
The Bold Collective team are reactive and responsive and nothing ever seemed ‘too hard’ for them. They were a joy to work with and I couldn’t recommend them more highly. If you are thinking of engaging a partner to design and then implement, a large creative fit out like ours, The Bold Collective are a brilliant choice.
Chief Operating Officer | Managing Partner
Grey Group Australia