Provoking the nexus: the office built to inspire

From easily adaptable spaces to beer gardens and classrooms, the new Thames Tower building is designed to inspire and provoke collaboration. Recruitment firm Austin Fraser are the first tenants of this new space created by Area.

The first occupiers of the landmark Thames Tower building in Reading, UK, recruitment consultants Austin Fraser, have moved into state-of-the-art new premises, tipped to be the most vibrant, exciting, and inspirational office building in the Thames Valley.

Workplace design and fit-out specialist Area has created a forward-thinking space to accommodate 100 office workers at Austin Fraser. The space has been carefully designed around the theme of ‘provoking the nexus’, as well as the existing features within the new Thames Tower building, including a restaurant, sky lounge and a 4,000 sq ft rooftop terrace offering panoramic views of Reading.

Provoking the nexus means developing a series of connections linking two or more things. For Austin Fraser, this theme represents a workplace that connects people with each other, to the business, and to the environment.

The workspace takes inspiration from, and blurs the lines between, a modern home, boutique hotel, and coffee shop…

The office benefits from several design characteristics which aid overall employee wellbeing including an open-plan concierge area which instantly connects staff and visitors. Through intelligent architectural zoning, the primary dining area can serve a number of functions to encourage staff to interact with each other, both on a social and work level. Bespoke furniture in the dining area can easily be modified to create mobile work stations, while the entire space can quickly be turned into an entertainment area for special functions.

This video shows the design process of the office space and the final results. The space was imagined with the principles and values of Austin Fraser at the core of the design process.

Further internal spaces include a beer garden and a classroom, which both feature semi-private screening that offers a visual buffer and acoustic rafts which enable both spaces to become a feature within the open-plan environment.

Foam blocks can be used to create bespoke room sizes, or used as additional seating if necessary. The main work areas have also been designed with employee wellbeing in mind, complete with sit-stand workspaces, and a layout which facilitates the creation of individual working neighbourhoods within the open-plan space, connected by supporting spaces.

The vibrant new space is very much about inspiring candidates, clients and anybody who walks through the door…

Peter Hart, Founder and CEO of Austin Fraser, said that the new vibrant space is not just about encouraging people to interact with each other, but also about inspiring candidates, clients, and anybody who walks through their doors.

He commented: ‘We really believe that what Area has created represents the future workplace. It will play a huge role in helping Austin Fraser reach the next level of growth with the right people, technology and environment.

‘Working with Area, it was important for us to have an office environment which offered different types of space to accommodate the different types of people and working practices that run throughout the business. This inspirational workplace will therefore play a key role in helping us to attract and retain the very best talent.’

Laurence Shanks, Creative Manager for Area, added: ‘Austin Fraser are considered a disruptor in their field and wanted a workspace that reflected this originality. They want their workspace to be the very best in the industry and by delivering the vision of provoking the nexus, we truly believe that they have a flexible and inspirational workspace that will evolve with the business as it continues to grow.’

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