Architecture and interiors practice Jump Studios, a Populous Company, has delivered a new London office for Saatchi & Saatchi, the renowned global communications and advertising agency.
Situated in the heart of London’s legal district on a large corner site, 40 Chancery Lane will be the new London home for the company, which is part of the Publicis Groupe.
This move means the agency will be leaving its offices at 80 Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia after more than 40 years.
Working closely with Saatchi & Saatchi, Jump Studios has taken a 9200 square metre, seven-storey blank canvas, and created a bespoke and welcoming workspace that evokes the spirit of the brand as soon you enter the building. In doing so, Jump has also found space to re-open the agency’s in-house Charlotte Street pub, The Pregnant Man, named after Saatchi & Saatchi’s much celebrated 1970 campaign for the Family Planning Association.
Entering through a landscaped courtyard off Chancery Lane, the company’s employees and their visitors will be welcomed by the exact same stone step from the 80 Charlotte Street entrance, incorporating the famous Saatchi & Saatchi motto, “nothing is impossible”, which has been moved to the reception area of the company’s new home. Looking up from the courtyard, they will also see this statement repeated in large steel letters affixed to a fifth-floor entertainment terrace.
Inside, a traditional ground floor reception area has been dispensed with in favour of an open-plan social hub which enables visitors to mix with employees as soon as they arrive and gain immediate insight into the philosophy of Saatchi & Saatchi and its creative approach.
The reception area is intended to reflect a more open and collaborative working space than the enclosed welcome of more traditional offices, with a central bar and café area dominating the entrance space. Moving away from the more cellular and partitioned feel of the agency’s former Fitzrovia HQ, Jump Studios has designed an open-plan space that is informal, stylish and practical in equal measure.
“Saatchi & Saatchi wanted guests to feel as if they are stepping directly into the agency, not a holding reception before the real thing,” noted project architect Andre Nave. “They were keen to subvert the traditional office in multiple ways like this, which meant we could create a truly effective space. It’s not every day that a client allows you to use Rachel Whiteread’s Ghost House, Grayson Parry pottery and Paul Smith suits as inspiration for their HQ.”
‘British with a twist’ is the theme that underpins the design approach, which Jump Studios has conceived in order to bring Saatchi & Saatchi’s unique character to life. From bespoke herringbone Bolon flooring in the boardroom, to wainscot panelling upholstered in houndstooth cloth lining the office walls, different materials and patterns have been employed to catch attention and provoke reaction, similar to the agency’s work.
High spec and bespoke lighting, furniture, flooring and finishes have been combined to distinguish neighbouring areas for different activities without the need for floor to ceiling partitioning. A range of mid-century furniture and lighting gives a stylish feel, while bespoke finishes, such as the individually assembled brass tiles encasing the reception bar, reflect the required level of detail in everything Saatchi & Saatchi does.
Reflective steel tiles cover a central void which is illuminated by candle-effect lighting by industrial designer Ingo Mauer, suspended from the ceiling of the first floor.
Jump Studios worked with Belgian furniture design company Bulo to create bespoke desks and shelving units for a variety of workstations. The units have been designed with a modular system, incorporating writeable and pin-able panels for brainstorming and collaborative working.
Each floor features flexible seating with bespoke pink leather booths designed by Jump Studios, encased in pre-cast concrete and walnut tables aside data and power connection points, providing space for employees to ‘break out’ but still work collaboratively within the office.
Jump Studios’ work has also extended to the neighbouring Tooks Court, a 19th century building that was retained as part of Derwent London’s re-development at 40 Chancery Lane. The listed space was refurbished and incorporated into the new construction around an internal atrium. This will be the new home of Fallon London, the creative agency also owned by Publicis Groupe.
Photography by Gareth Gardener.