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BDG uses natural materials with a clinical twist at Tate & Lyle’s new office

The data-backed design by BDG reflects Tate & Lyle’s determination to implement a radically different way of working.


2 min read

BDG architecture + design has completed the new headquarters for Tate & Lyle PLC, a leading global provider of food and beverage ingredients and solutions. The brief called for a design that distils the best of the company’s current working culture while inspiring and connecting staff to embrace ‘the art of possible’.

BDG developed a data-backed response by gathering insight from questionnaires, stakeholder interviews and online polls, discovering that over 70% of London-based employees see themselves in the office 1-2 days a week but also expect a 20% increase in collaboration activities. The new workplace represents a 33% reduction in floorplate compared with its old offices in Holborn, reflecting Tate & Lyle’s determination to implement a radically different way of working.

Accommodating a large volume of hybrid virtual and in-person meetings, the floorplate is engineered around the needs of the people who use it, with the warmth of a clean modern home but in an office environment. A communal Hub provides the cultural heart of the office, with flexibility to host a mixture of events, meeting and celebrations throughout the day. A mix of seating ranges from the tea point bar – formed of smooth and rough cast concrete and oak – to the ‘family table’ and booth seating. The Hub is oriented to maximise connection to the terrace, blurring the line between inside and out.

The Lounge sits between a series of meeting and quiet working spaces and provides a comfortable breakout, waiting, hosting and meeting destination. The use of natural materials such as timber furniture and clayworks wall finishes nod to this environmentally-minded company that specialises in plant-based ingredients.

Elsewhere, the colour palette incorporates the dark leaf tones found in the adjacent terrace and park, with flashes of coral, stainless steel and crisp white referencing a labratory setting and the science side of the business.

Away from the buzz of the hub are a series of quieter supporting spaces that assist the wider activity and wellbeing of the office. The Wellbeing Room was one of the most wanted spaces from BDG’s workshops with Tate & Lyle employees to support their physical, emotional, occupational and spiritual needs.

The Open Plan areas provide a bright and unfussy aesthetic, with a range of work settings. Workbenches and high benches wrap the building’s curved perimeter, while a picture window accommodates a near circular sofa, creating a special place to gather, or host multiple small catch ups with expansive views over Hyde Park.

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