Five ways to create an Award-Winning Workplace



Ideas and methods are constantly evolving for creating a workplace that is both aesthetically pleasing, highly functioning and comfortable for staff and also inviting and impressionable for visitors and clients. From fit-outs to large commercial office projects, the BCO Awards set a benchmark for upcoming trends in office design, many formed from the simplest ideas. We take a closer look at some of the winning projects, highlighting key products and ideas that have made an impact and how they can be adapted for your project.

Working with a large reception and lobby: The Angel Building, London

This large and impressive building has a reception and lobby space that offers an equally impressive view from its central courtyard-style space. The main open courtyard features a sculptural element, with the main seating area to one side. The dedicated waiting area offers visitors leather upholstered sofas and is situatedin a space sheltered with exposed concrete, creating a welcome feel in this expansive area.

Angel buildings reception seating sofa dsign interiors BCo spaceis blogpost

By Spaceist:

Comfort and quality are both presented in the 46 office sofa system. Offering modest design, this contemporary office sofa system presents a high-quality option with its solid wood frame and contract-grade foam. The upholstery options include fabric, leather or a more economical faux leather that is easy to maintain and long-lasting. The 46 sofa can be supplied in various sizes and customised according to each specific project. The stylish seat-buttons and large choice of colours available makes it a seamless process to create a highly sleek and manageable reception area.


Working cleverly with small spaces: Made Brave, The Albus, Glasgow

Based in The Albus, Made Brave is a young digital creative agency serving both national and global companies with a fresh and innovative take on design. To match this young and highly enthusiastic company, the interiors of the office presents perfect synergy between nostalgia and modern office design. Vibrant colours have been used in blocks and contrasted against the concrete floors. To add varying workspaces alongside the bench desk seating, breakout style modular furniture and private high-back booths add to a well planned office format without the need to build further walls in the main central zone.

Madebrave office at the albus building glasgow spaceist blogpost

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Smaller office spaces demand further planning and design to coordinate the spatial zones to reflect all the needs of the company, from workstations to meeting areas with a mixture of private and pen areas. It is in these cases that products like the Float high-back sofa are necessary. Designed for the purpose of creating a private zone with an office and workplace environment, the Float sofa comes with a level of sound absorbency when specified in the fabric upholstery option. Choose from over 60 shades to create a specific brand-match shade. The Float sofa can be placed as a single element or with two face-to-face for further privacy.

For more open and informal meetings, the 93 sofa system is one of our most flexible options available. With multiple length sizes, corner units and the freedom to choose the colour of each element, the 93 sofa system can be customised on a project to project basis giving the designer a large choice of options. From bold colours to a backless seat, create a sofa system that automatically allows the user to engage with it as they please; breakout, informal meetings or to stretch their feet.


Dedicated meeting areas: PwC, Edinburgh

Based on the first floor of Atria One, the Edinburgh offices of giant PwC won the BCO Award for Best office Fit-out and with reason. Working in collaboration with the PwC team, designers aligned the feedback they received and created a bright and open workplace created for the staff, by staff input. A range of spaces have been created to allow staff to really use and shape the office space as per their requirements and choices. The key spaces for meetings feature designer products offering the highest level of support, whilst aligning with the simple design appeal running throughout.

PwC edinburgh BCO interior office meeting room JB Osprey table desk spaceist blogpost

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Key elements that are necessary for a meeting table include a solid, high quality form with easy to access cable management functions. The JB Osprey table offers both of these and more; power data points and cable management built-in where required, contract-grade solid laminate composition and solid wood edge detailing. Ideal for creating both formal and informal meeting zones, the stain resistant and robust laminate comes in over 100 colours so each one can be specified for various projects. The style of the base legs means either a bench seat or meeting chairs fit comfortably around the table.


Maintaining spacious workstations: WWF HQ, Woking

Working with a clear set values for creating highly sustainable and environmentally friendly Headquarters, the WWF offices in Woking take these ideals through and through. From the engineering gone into the building and heating and ventilation, through to car-parking rules, each element of the building has been accounted for, including the staff. In order to keep a healthy and happy working environment, six workstations have been dedicated for every ten people. This allows a more spacious area around the desks and also a comfortable working environment.

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A popular and simple workstation option is the Frame bench desk. A bench desk system characterised by its elemental features, the Frame offers modern simplicity with robust support. The clean-lined form is due to the steel square-legged base that offers spatial-efficiency and solid wood laminate top. Available in a selection of desk colours from block colour to wood finishes, the table also comes with necessary cable management. Further features include reasonable space for under-desk storage and a choice of dividing screens from solid to perspex.

One of our top choices for office task seating includes the fully adjustable Flow desk chair. Featuring an elastic mesh back rest, it offers breathable comfort supporting the user for long periods of time. As well as height adjustment, tilt mechanism and tension control are also included in the design. Colourful seat fabric options means the chair can be selected in a bright colour with either a black or white frame.


The ideal staff canteen and breakout area: Keynsham Civic Centre, Keynsham

Taking the BCO Award for the best Corporate Workplace, the Keynsham Civic Centre presents numerous qualities that made it a clear winner for the 2015 Best of the Best project. Considerations include measures for an environmentally sustainable design that would prove to be a harmonious and modern place to work. We choose just a single element from this dynamic project to highlight some of the award-winning qualities of this design: the canteen and breakout area. A bright and fluid space, the entire room is characterised by a very informal yet smart seating arrangement. Three zones can be recognised; lounge sofa seating, comfortable high-back easy chairs and dining space with benches, tables and café chairs. Through the use of complementary colours and materials, each space flows into another with ease, providing a uniform zone for staff to unwind, socialise and just take a break.

Keynsham Civic Centre Ideas interior design spaceist blogpost

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To create a space for high-back, semi-private seating, the Stealth chair is an ideal option with its angular form enhancing user comfort. The tilted back instantly allows the user to sit back and relax, whilst the form of the back form a slight acoustic cover. Chose from three upholstery options including fabric, leather and vinyl in a selection of colours to create a modern hotel lobby. The star base comes in 64 bright colours meaning the entire chair can become an essential element of the space.

For more open group seating, the highly popular and versatile Modular sofa range is fitting. This Sofa system offers a wide selection of elements to choose from to create the required sofa for numerous projects. Crate a classic sofa or an open-ended specification with the Modular sofa. Pick from three upholstery options and over 60 shades for the right colour or brand-matching. As well as the seat, the legs can also be selected from a  number of styles to create the right appeal.

As mentioned, multiple styles of seating have been selected at the Keynsham Civic Centre to offer staff a versatile space. For more café-style seating, the Catifa 46 cafe chairs are a suitable choice. The polypropylene material of the seat has been designed for a soft curved form to add user comfort while the slim metal rod base legs offers support with minimal design. Available in a selection of contemporary colours, the Catifa 46 chair is both practical and stylish.