Small but mighty: five compact office spaces
Five of our favourite small-scale workspaces prove bigger doesn’t necessarily equal better.
PlayStation Liverpool’s office celebrates what it means to be ‘a Gamer’ with a destination-centric and vibrant workspace.
With a presence in Liverpool since 1993, Sony PlayStation isn’t a recent arrival to the city. But their 65,000 sq ft residency on St Paul’s Square is, curated state-of-the-art by MCM. An example of how a business can reimagine their status quo, the creative direction of PlayStation’s new workspace was born from the engagement of the people who work there, and MCM’s vision to transform the original aesthetic into a non-conventional yet innovative space.
A bold exclamation of the gaming giant’s commitment to Liverpool following a low-key presence in the region for the past three decades, PlayStation has been stripped back to expose a concrete structure with generous ceiling heights. Inside, the material palette has been left neutral to complement the property’s base build architecture, and to serve as a contemporary and timeless foundation for PlayStation to layer on their personality – through design aspects including lighting, branding, commissioned murals and PlayStation IP.
Destination-centric, employees have collective ownership of the space including breakout areas, quiet rooms, a café and gym, all of which reference the scale, shape and circulation derived from game play. Whereas the prior office was characterised by segregation, PlayStation Liverpool’s new city centre premises evokes a sense of coming together for focus work, collaboration and social interaction.
Acknowledging PlayStation’s DNA, MCM created a dynamic showcase reception. Inside, guests can pick up a controller and play on a console which is projected across four giant screens above the main desk. The “playground” faces Liverpool’s commercial streetscape, reminding the public that PlayStation is strongly woven into the city’s fabric and is proud to be so.
MCM’s decision to reflect the base build in PlayStation’s refurb plays a huge part in meeting Sony’s ‘Road to Zero’ global sustainability plan. Laid out by the business to achieve a carbon-zero footprint of their products and business activities by 2050, a big part of achieving this goal is removing the need for excess materials in office fit-outs.
This includes the building’s windows which were left without blinds and large sheets of film despite the need for privacy internally. Instead, following a brief from PlayStation on their need for confidentiality, MCM structured the rooms by bringing social areas to the forefront facing the streets, and positioned private rooms towards the back of the building where the view is more discreet. The careful positioning protects PlayStation’s work while enabling employees to feel the benefits of natural light flooding in.
Inspiration for your next read
The software company avoided a ‘simple copy paste’ approach to their design by creating a workspace that embodies their brand, culture and location.