R3 HQ - when one floor isn't enough

How 1200m2 turned into 3600m2 in three years

 

 

 

London, United Kingdom

1700 + 1700 + 1700 m2

Office/Commercial, 2017-2020

Industry: FinTech

The Brief

A steadily growing financial technology software company's HQ                  Meeting suites for both front and back of house use                        Ergonomic solutions to maintain wellbeing                                                  An open and airy aesthetic where everybody is part of the whole

My Role

Client relationship and workspace analysis
Concept development, space planning, FF&E
Specification & detailing
On-site presence & design supervision

 

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2016: R3 start to out-grow their sub-tenancy at Two Sigma, and seek new premises in Central London. They approach Morgan Lovell to design their new offices, and request that the same designer be put on the project. I start to build a workshop and educational relationship with Erika, their Head of Facilities. Throughout the year we test-fit different buildings and brainstorm concepts and mood developments.

2017: Construction starts on level 12 of 2 London Wall Place, ready to accommodate 137 staff by December. By the time they move in, they have started to discuss the expansion to level 11.

2018: Just as Gather is started, I am contacted by the MD of Morgan Lovell. R3 have requested that I design level 11, and I am contracted in to oversee the design stages of the project. We relocate the reception and design an incredible staircase to connect the floors. We carry forward the look & feel of level 12, creating a symbiotic workplace over two floors.

2019: R3 HQ New York City is confirmed. I am engaged directly to assist in building appraisals and test-fits. We finally settle on 1055 Avenue of the Americas, in the heart of Manhattan. While completing the design phase of this office, the second expansion-lease in the London office is signed. At current, we are looking at dual construction projects; one in London and one in New York. 

While the new HQ in New York is at 1600 m2 and designed for 104 staff, the London office is now starting to behave more like a campus-workplace. Shared facilities and encouraged movement between the floors becomes one of our biggest challenges while we try to avoid segregation and silo mentality between the teams. Floor plans and imagery of the three London floors can be seen in the slider below. 

Note: 3D Visuals of level 10 are not rendered by me, but by a freelance visualiser on behalf of Gather Research & Design. Photography of Levels 12 & 11 by Tom Fallon. 

Quirks of R3

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R3 are no doubt a special company. As the rebellious kid on the block of financial technology start-ups, they have grown hugely over the past 4 years. They are explorers, geeks, brainiacs and lovers of unique enviornments. Although the overall feel of the office is sleek, polished and "well behaved", on each floor we have found room for one room where we can go nuts. Where level 11 has it's hidden "monkey room", The Oasis, level 11's gentleman's library is my personal favourite so far. 

A representation of knowledge hunger, exploration and a work hard-play hard mentality, we created a haven of knick-knacks, plush armchairs and intricate wall coverings. A faux fireplace and chimney completes the image, crowned with a bespoke oil painting of the founder set in a 1700's scene. 

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New York's HQ will see us add a space-themed room with the founder's portraits superimposed onto NASA astronaut portraits. R3's technology has been a huge innovation within the financial technology sector, and this theme is again a reference to their exploring, boldness and pioneering culture. 

Moon Room NYC

Design Intent drawings, London