Entering at the upper level, a public-facing reception and coworking space creates a large social hub for staff use and events, as well as being open to the organisation’s community of grantees, who can use the space to grab a coffee or touch base with Open Society Foundations’ colleagues. The muted tones, ambient lighting and biophilic design are immediately inviting and create a characterful welcome to the space.
The lower level is deliberately more subdued, providing a calming environment for focused and individual work, with access to a private library. This is supported by a wellbeing suite comprising a parenting room, no-tech sanctuary space, sleep pods and flexible contemplation rooms for private or group prayer, meditation and low-energy wellbeing activities, such as yoga. Focus rooms and unassigned ‘home office’ pods in the deepest part of the floorplate form ‘in between’ spaces used as touchdown ‘nooks’ to support wellbeing.
Fluid, flexible workspace across two levels is linked by a feature staircase, which encourages connectivity and casual interactions – increasing productivity and a sense of community. Open plan hotspot desks are located near windows to maximise daylight and views, with soft screens between desks, personalised bookcases and planting used to create a homely atmosphere where workers feel comfortable.
A large wall-to-wall library, packed full of books, creates a significant focal point whilst providing a useful resource. A propagation wall encourages colleagues to grow their own plants from cuttings; once matured, plants are transferred into pots and moved into the main working areas.