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We do love a stat. Regular readers will also be all too aware that we love an innovative, exciting project story. So, when our friends at Sheppard Robson and Sketch started revealing a number of astonishing statistics regarding the latest major project they’d undertaken for Deloitte, we were already clearing our diaries and hot-footing it into the City. 

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Above: Working floor

1 New Street Square now forms the central hub of Deloitte’s new City of London campus. The 270,000 sq ft UK and North West Europe headquarters is the culmination of a four-year programme. This amazing building comprises 15 floors, with some 5,500 people sharing 3,500 working positions – including 2,000 core positions and 1,500 flex positions. Eight working floors are allocated to Deloitte’s business units, four are given to client spaces and two shared floors with unallocated workspace are available for anyone in the business to use. 

Furthermore, there are 10 client environment choices, including client meeting rooms, event spaces such as The Greenhouse, The Orchard, The Observatory and The Academy, plus a choice of dining options.

‘There were five key principles that guided the design here,’ Devinder Bhogal, Senior Manager for Workplace Services & Real Estate at Deloitte, tells us as we make our way up from the stylish reception space to the new client-facing spaces at the top of 1 New Street Square. ‘Our space needed to be unique, connected, simple, relevant and inspiring. We needed an environment that better met the evolving and diverse needs of our people and clients. 

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Above: Client space, 13th floor

‘We’ve done this by providing more suitable, varied and flexible space, maximising efficiency and choice. From connecting us together through to enhancing our wellbeing, inspiring our people and welcoming our clients – this new space has completely changed the way our people are able to work.’

‘We have actually been able to accommodate 30% more people in less space,’ Devinder reveals. ‘We’ve also reduced on-floor storage by more than 60% and have removed partner offices, instead introducing a far greater range of both formal and informal work settings.’

In fact, as Devinder explains, the business has developed and delivered a strategy that encourages its people to choose appropriate locations or work settings for the activity of the day. This strategy means that people can now choose from no less than 10 different types of work settings – compared to the pretty standard choice of three (desk, breakout, meeting room) formerly.

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Above: 1 New Street Square reception. 

‘This is a big thing for us – and it’s worked really well,’ Devinder continues. ‘In fact, we’re currently connecting 1 New Street Square with 2 New Street Square via a series of bridges – to further enhance that connectivity and interaction. 

‘This is very much why we wanted two of the floors here to not be assigned to anybody, which is something we’ve never really done before. We knew we could add even more amenities here and really open it up to the rest of the campus – we knew we were going to have people working throughout the three buildings, but we also wanted them to feel a part of this new building. So these floors have restaurants, auditoria and flexible work settings. We also wanted to take internal meetings away from the client spaces. 

‘We always knew we were going to do something quite special for our client spaces. We had fine dining in our old building, and we’ve now brought that into here. You can now get breakfast, lunch and dinner five days a week – in a really nice environment with great views. We used to say that we were taking clients out – now we want to say that we’re bringing our clients in. This is radically different in terms of the look and feel. It’s an amazing facility.

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Above: Unassigned working space – available for any Deloitte people to use. 

‘We also have four different terraces. Some are given to clients, while the 12th floor terrace – which is the largest terrace – is given over to our people. It’s open all day and can be booked for events in the afternoon and evening, but is primarily for people to just get out there and enjoy the sunshine.’

While admiring the views, we ask Devinder about the origins of this forward-thinking project. ‘We had one lease end and one lease break coming together at the same time, ‘ she explains. ‘Then it was a case of looking at what was on the market – and actually it was a no-brainer to take this building because it meant that we could bring all our buildings here together. We had the opportunity to create a real campus – and that just made perfect sense.

‘We’ve seen a real change in how people work – and that’s fundamentally what came out of the surveys and engagement that we did. They wanted to choose how they wanted to work – and we wanted to give them those choices.’

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Above: Ground floor informal café area for staff and clients 

Sustainability and wellbeing were at the core of this fantastic project. Deloitte’s sustainability strategy for 1 New Street Square was to challenge traditional ‘green building’ thinking and deliver a workplace that would truly benefit its people and the planet. By putting these considerations at the heart of the workplace vision, the fit-out attained both BREEAM Outstanding certification – and with a score of 94%, became the highest scoring BREEAM 2014 Refurbishment & Fit-out project in the world at the time of occupation – and WELL Certified Gold, becoming the largest ‘New and Existing Interiors’ project in the world to achieve the standard – and the first to achieve BREEAM Outstanding/WELL Gold dual-certification. Great stats! 

Deloitte worked closely with ID:SR (Sheppard Robson’s interior design team) and Sketch, developing a variety of solutions that could provide the wide range of work settings desired. 

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Above: Stairs connecting working floors 

With over 27,000 items of furniture and a 50% ratio of height adjustable desking, the programme has achieved an exceptional end user experience, with the integration of tech into furniture elements helping maintain a clean and fluid aesthetic. Sketch worked closely with suppliers and in many cases developed pioneering solutions to meet the project objectives – not least those sustainability criteria that BREEAM and WELL require. ‘You’ll find a lot of biophilia and ‘well’ throughout the building,’ Devinder considers. ‘We didn’t originally know whether we were going to go for the WELL Gold – and from the project team’s perspective it was a lot of hard work – but we always aspired to put in all the principles because, from a wellbeing point of view, why wouldn’t we? It’s our people who are at the heart of what we’re doing here. So whether it’s through the food, the stairs we’ve put in to connect people in a different way, the lighting, the air quality or how we procured our furniture…all of this just came together. 

‘We were learning as we went along – nobody had done this before. We were able to push the team and they pushed us back. If we were going to do this, we were going to do it properly. It challenged us in terms of our offering and also how we engage with our people.’

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Above: Breakout space on a typical working floor 

Here are some more incredible stats for you: over 750 purchase orders to the supply chain, 300 design drawings, over 1,000 pages of product presentations, 404 deliveries and 32,000 hours to install the project.

Ellen Garrod, Account Manager at Sketch, tells us: ‘On this scale of project, having a great relationship with all the manufacturers involved made a huge difference. They really exceeded our expectations – their attention to detail and support was phenomenal.’

‘The project has been a truly inspiring experience for the entire team, and I am proud of what we have collectively achieved,’ Fritha Selwyn-Jones, Deloitte Project Director at Sketch Studios, now on full-time secondment to Deloitte as Workplace Design Manager, tells us. ‘The sheer scale and varied workplaces at 1 New Street Square are exceptional and every time I walk through the building, I am delighted to have been a part of this project and witness to the space being fully utilised and enjoyed. 

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Above: Working floor – a perfect example of one of the 10 working styles 

‘What’s more, in collaboration with Hoare Lea and ID:SR we have completed groundbreaking work as we targeted WELL Gold and BREEAM Outstanding accreditations, which we are delighted to confirm, has been achieved. Deloitte has been a fantastic partner and it’s a privilege to have been part of such an amazing scheme.’

It really is an amazing scheme. Heading down to the assigned floors, we see an incredible number of settings, from open informal meeting space through to private booths. Importantly, each and every one of these settings and facilities is being used. Walking into one of the generous, bright neighbourhoods, we can instantly count no less than eight different (genuine) work settings being adopted. 

The attention to detail throughout is also well worth mentioning. From the smart, intuitive wayfinding and the elegant client floors, through to the furniture and product selection, every element has been carefully considered. Even the oft-forgotten stairwells are immaculately dressed!

When you consider the scale of this project and the numbers involved, it really is a testament to everyone involved here that such consideration has been put into every element. There’s a real buzz to the place as well – from the Benugo café on the ground floor, through to the energetic working floors above. The stats can tell you an awful lot – but not that! 

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Above: 12th floor terrace for all Deloitte people 

Project Team

Client
Deloitte 1NSS

Architect & Interior Designer
Sheppard Robson (ID:SR)

Contractor
Overbury

Furniture Provider
Sketch Studios

Flooring Suppliers
Milliken, Interface, Altro Floors, Tarkett Floors, Element 7

Furniture Suppliers
B&B Italia, Bisley, Bla Station, Boss, CMD, CMS Industries, Davison Highley, Forza, Gloster, Hitch Mylius, HK Design, Inform, Interstuhl, Isomi, Knoll, Kusch, MA Design, Ocee Design, Opus Magnum, Steelcase, Vitra, Walter Knoll

Storage Suppliers
Bisley, Rapid Racking, Treston

Other Suppliers
Clerkenwell Screws, Evoline, Hoare Lea, GIA Equation, Sefton Horn Winch, OE Electrics, PTS Consulting Group Plc, Screwfix, Workstories, Presco