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AKQA is an internationally recognised ideas and innovation company with offices in Europe, America and Asia, the digital agency employs over 2,000 members of staff.
Location4th Floor, St. Johns Lane, London
ArchitectBDG Architecture + Design Ltd
ContractorStanway Interiors Ltd
When looking for a new office space in London, AKQA partnered with BDG Architecture + Design Limited. They were enlisted to help them turn 16,145 sq ft into remarkable office space that was just as stimulating and inventive as AKQA themselves.
Renowned for their inspiring ability to design and enhance space for creative businesses, BDG were selected as the architects for this exciting project. Their vision for AKQA’s offices was to capture a clear sense of identity that paralleled the client’s bold and exciting nature.
Being an ideas agency, the key to AKQA’s functioning is collaboration and agility. Accordingly, BDG’s bold themes all revolved around a clear and direct openness. At the same time, the space needed to be highly functional to accommodate this globally operating company’s range of working patterns. These ranged from normal 9-to-5 routines, to night sessions, to group projects and to client hosting. Kitchen areas, communal spaces and private conference and meeting rooms were also required.
To fit the requirements of this project, BDG envisaged an office which had a clear sense of identity and openness whilst being shrouded in innovation. To match this, Optima designed and built ergonomic glass screens that were engineered to mimic traditional Japanese Shoji screens; perfectly complementing AKQA as a globally exciting business.
In response to the growing trend for black aluminium framed partitioning, particularly in creative and inner city spaces, Optima has developed single and double glazed ‘Shoreditch’ screens. These screens are enhanced versions of our 117 plus single glazed and Revolution 54 double glazed systems, but this time featuring a lattice framework.
Traditionally constructed out of a wooden grid and overlaid with translucent paper, distinctive Shoji screens were used to subdivide large open spaces in Japanese homes. Optima, however, has taken this classic design and modernised it, allowing it to now lie at the heart of AKQA’s main space in London.
These unique screens were installed as partitions to form meeting rooms and offices. Their bold presence allows staff members to feel enclosed and private – which is enhanced by their excellent levels of sound control – whilst the glass panels let a collaborative and open feeling to flow throughout the office. Being able to achieve both of these necessities for AKQA is a real triumph.
Optima’s ‘Shoreditch’ screens bring a unique industrial feel to the workplace, whilst retaining a sleek and stylish appearance. The slim line aluminium framework is bonded onto the glass, thereby retaining both the structural stability and high acoustic performance and sound control of the partition, whilst at the same time giving the appearance of cutting through the glass.
In addition to these highly stylistic yet exceptionally effective partitions, Optima built and installed single glazed Edge Symmetry doors, Axile-Pulse doors and Kinetic Align sliding doors. These serve to create a modern, elegant office space, which possesses a clear sense of space and identity, perfectly reflecting AKQA’s ethos.
Working on-site with the main contractor, Stanway Interiors Ltd, Optima was efficient and flexible in working to meet the needs and requirements of the client as creatively and effectively as possible. The glazed partitions were expertly designed and installed to help create a truly unique and inspirational space.