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When global engineering firm AECOM chose to consolidate more than 1,000 employees from across the City into its new office in Aldgate Tower, the big idea was to encourage interaction amongst staff and collaborative working across all departments, including Strategy, Design and Engineering.
Levels 7, 8, 9,10 and 16 - Aldgate Tower, London
Agile working was to be a key feature of the new culture, with 100% of all staff moving to this new workspace model. With an average of 150 visitors per day, both internal and external, this had to be a space that made an impression on staff and clients alike.
The workplace design for the new Aldgate Tower office was developed in-house by a fully integrated AECOM team. The carefully considered design ensures that there is a range of public and private work spaces across the five floors; with an abundance of breakout areas for informal meetings and collaboration, along with numerous meeting rooms for private, focused work, conference calls or confidential meetings.
With such a high level of daily visitors to the new office, there was a clear need for a number of bookable meeting rooms. AECOM turned to Optima to design, manufacture and install a number of glazed partitioning solutions to create these meeting rooms.
With the exception of the impressive reception area, the 16th floor comprises mainly client meeting rooms. Optima’s striking new 117 plus – Shoreditch Edition screens were selected for these areas, along with Shoreditch Edition Single Glazed Edge doors, which feature unique integrated handles.
The Shoreditch Edition glazing system is an enhanced version of Optima’s 117 plus single glazing and features an elegant industrual style aluminium framework, which is bonded onto the glass, thereby retaining both the structural stability and the acoustic performance of the partition.
The Shoreditch Edition Glazing was also used to create two client meeting rooms on the 10th floor, to stunning effect. These meeting rooms are located in one of the community spaces around the central open staircase; a striking feature which links four of the internal floors. The design of these community spaces further encourages staff interaction and wellbeing, with tea points, catering facilities and games areas.
In the general office areas on the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th floors, a number of smaller meeting rooms are located towards the core, for staff or client meetings. For these rooms, AECOM opted for Optima’s 117 plus single glazed system, with single glazed Edge Symmetry doors incorporating room booking panels.
This sleek and elegant glazing system has minimal framing and discreet Nebula dry joints between the glass panels for a seamless effect. Additionally, in the lobby areas, Optima installed stylish framed glass doors on rails with side screens.
Whilst Optima’s glazed partitions help to achieve visual connectivity across the office floors, it was essential that the glass partitions offered advanced levels of acoustic performance in order for confidential meetings and focused work to take place.
Optima’s acoustic expertise is renowned within the industry and all of Optima’s systems are laboratory tested for acoustic performance in a UKAS accredited laboratory as full height screens, ensuring that credible test data is achieved.
Optima’s 117 plus system – both the standard and Shoreditch Edition – are able to accommodate a variety of glass thicknesses to suit the desired acoustic performance. AECOM specified 12.8mm acoustic laminated glass for the meeting room fronts and the results were impressive.
Optima worked closely with main contractor Overbury throughout the project, and thanks to careful planning and meticulous attention to detail, the Optima team delivered a high-quality project which surpassed expectations.
“The whole process was seamless throughout the entire Optima team who were involved. They did a fantastic job of managing the programme and delivered an exceptional project.” Alan Russell, Project Manager, Overbury Plc.
As part of the project’s SKA rating requirement, Optima provided ISO14001 certification and a SKA Sustainability Statement for Optima 117 plus. The project went on to achieve a SKA gold rating for its environmental performance and for enhancing the health and wellbeing of its employees.
Optima’s glass partitioning systems have helped to create a unique and innovative working environment for AECOM, which fosters collaboration and communication between staff and clients alike. Design aesthetics and acoustic performance were paramount and Optima’s 117 plus system didn’t fail to deliver.
The clean lines of the Optima 117 plus system, along with the sleek black aluminium framework of the Shoreditch Edition glass screens, and the carefully considered details of the Shoreditch Edition glass doors with their unique, integrated handles, have brought to life AECOM’s contemporary design scheme, whilst offering effective sound control.
The end result is a truly inspirational space which exudes quality and sophistication; one that Optima is proud to have been part of.