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JOLIE embraces the ‘hotelisation’ of the workspace at Clarence House

At this listed Manchester workplace, elements reminiscent of a boutique lifestyle hotel create a sensory design that priorities wellbeing. 

11/07/2023

3 min read

Project Team

  • Interior Designer

    JOLIE

  • Furniture Provider

    The Furniture Practice

  • Flooring

    Havwoods, Amtico, Interface

Design studio JOLIE has embraced a shift in working concepts by incorporating elements reminiscent of a lifestyle hotel into the design for the revitalised Clarence House, located in the heart of Manchester‘s Albert Square conservation area. Traditional workplace design choices and materials are eschewed for the comfort and sophistication of hospitality and residential aesthetics, creating a boutique workplace within the 19th century building.

“Our goal was to make the office a destination with a purpose, embracing the ‘hotelisation’ of the office space by importing the comforts of home – such as relaxed dress codes, real planting, and soft furnishings – while maintaining a crisp, immaculate aesthetic,” says JOLIE CEO and Founder, Franky Rousell. “This trend reflects a broader evolution in how we at Jolie approach workplace design, and the recognition that employees thrive in environments that prioritise wellbeing, community, and a sense of belonging.”

The ‘hotelisation’ of office space goes beyond aesthetics, Rousell notes, encompassing a holistic approach that considers the entire employee experience. As a sensory-led design studio, JOLIE believes that incorporating scientific sensory research to emotionally drive people in their environment will allow workspace providers to differentiate themselves in oversaturated city environments like Manchester or London, and successfully attract potential clients over their competition.

“The target customers are global travellers and big earners who seek experience-driven spaces for their workforce,” explains Rousell. “At Clarence House, they will find a destination that offers a sanctuary akin to a luxury hotel environment, fostering a sense of belonging, pride, and exclusivity for their team.”

To achieve this, Jolie has designed every aspect of the space to create an immersive experience. Throughout the building, textured dark timbers, brass joinery openings, and soulful marble details ensure a seamless transition between spaces. Within the workspace, flexible and comfortable aesthetics take precedence, with soft furnishings, greenery, and residential touches creating a sense of ease and relaxation.

“Colour is intrinsically linked to the psyche,” says Rousell, “and plays a huge role in helping to define a person’s mood. Different hues and shades can make people feel creative, reduce anxiety, calm or motivate them. When used correctly and striking an optimal balance, colour has an incredible potential to influence how an end user feels and behaves in a space.”

An example comes in the gentle orange hue in the upholstery of the office chairs. “Orange is typically considered the most creative colour,” Rousell notes, “sparking open-minded solutions to creative problems. When overused though, it can induce anxiety and in turn hinder the creative process. So moderation and understanding of the effect of colour is key to creating meaningful spaces.”

Likewise, the considered use of green tones throughout the building – in the plush velvet upholstery of the lobby lounge, half height tiling in many communal areas and the abundance of foliage throughout the building – is designed to bring balance and security, helping to create feelings of optimism, health and calmness.

“As the trend towards ‘hotelisation’ continues to reshape the workplace landscape, business owners must recognise that creating an exceptional workplace environment goes beyond the physical space; it involves fostering a sense of pride, exclusivity, and belonging among their employees, to send a clear message to their teams: we value you, and we want you to thrive.”

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