Explore the latest projects from the UK’s commercial interiors industry, featuring the best of workspace, hospitality, living and public sectors.

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Perkins&Will takes cues from London landmarks at Beazley Group’s new HQ

At 22 Bishopsgate, Beazley’s pioneering workplace embraces new ways of working for the insurance group.

01/08/2022 3 min read

Perkins&Will London has designed the interiors for the new headquarters of insurance group Beazley within the City of London’s 22 Bishopsgate building. Moving to a new location allowed Beazley to approach their workplace with a new mindset and choose a premises that supports their sustainability commitments. Occupying the building’s 12th and 13th floors, 49k sq ft of forward-thinking interior designs sets Beazley’s new workspace apart from traditional insurance firms, reflecting the business’s position as being ‘different to the rest’.

Despite being designed before the pandemic, the new office space anticipated several trends in workplace interiors that have since accelerated due to hybrid working practices. Encouraging staff to return to the office as the industry transitions out of the pandemic, the welcoming office is arranged into neighbourhoods so that teams can connect with each other on a smaller scale and create a ‘home from home’ environment. Each neighbourhood provides a wide range of activity-based work settings and amenities, with varied levels of privacy and openness.

“We wanted to create an immersive experience that pushes the limits of what an insurance office can be,” comments Richard Jordan, Principal at Perkins&Will. “A desire for a new way of working was part of our client’s mindset prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on working practices. Although the design was created before anyone knew the impact the pandemic would have, adopting an activity based, agile workplace has served the business well in supporting employees desire for a more flexible work pattern.”

Celebrating the insurance group’s birthplace and home, the designs of each of Beazley’s international offices are inspired by London. Rooms are arranged around the core of the building, with staff able to enjoy 360° views of the city, and the main circulation route around the office reflects the meandering nature of the River Thames.

A grand staircase was introduced in the deepest part of the floorplate, around which a new staff social hub has been created: pool tables and giant garden games are available all day whilst listening to bird song subtly playing in the background. The space has been designed to host town hall events with tiered seating integrated into the staircase and is furnished with predominantly loose furniture, allowing for maximum flexibility. Although the new space was designed with an original concept, it cleverly incorporated furniture from the previous office. Much of the furniture was reused, and all unwanted furniture was given to charities, with none going to landfill.

22 Bishopsgate has sustainability at its core, and the move to a new headquarters signalled an important step in Beazley’s net-zero journey and an opportunity to move the dial from their previous approach to a new, forward-thinking outlook with sustainability at the heart. The building is rated BREEAM Excellent, procures only renewable energy, and employs circular economy principles.

The interiors also use cutting-edge, smart building technologies, providing staff with key metrics to enhance their activities. Conference room booking systems intelligently adapt to site conditions and occupancy levels to optimise the user experience and health.

“We had been looking at the designs of our offices before the pandemic, understanding the need and desire for spaces specifically suited to different tasks, but also that people wanted  to spend time in, socialise in and feel proud of,” says Beazley CEO Adrian Cox. “We carefully designed the environment to feel welcoming and inspirational as well as technologically advanced and functional. Since its opening in March, it has attracted our people in increasing numbers, and we hear our colleagues talk about it with delight.”

This project won the Project of the Year: Workplace Interiors 30-70k sq ft Award at Mixology22. See the finalists and winners from the event here.

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