Glass Bridge and Office Fit Out,  Telecomms Global HQ, London

SIZE: Approx. 390SQM

Bridge: 15m long x 3m high x 1.8m wide

Designs include: new glazed bridge, additional floor, new office and reception fit out.

A new glass bridge links the existing building to a new office space enabling the expansion of the global HQ of the telecommunications company. As well as centralising the reception (and its staff costs), the new construction sets out an identity that emphasises connectivity, whether in the highly visible and lit glass bridge, the office desk layouts, main conference room or the new refectory and its ability for small or collective meetings between staff and clients.

A tribute to Thoreau’s adage that simplicity takes time and discipline, the glass bridge’s structural ‘lever’ frames are pushed into the existing buildings’ outer leafs so hiding them, uses the largest available commercial sheets of glass on the market reducing the clutter of joints, and uses new planting to provide passive solar shading.

The bridge is angled to give dynamism, rather than relying on ‘frills’. Other constraints included high specification comms technology and cabling as expected for a telecommunications company. It is a sophisticated solution for a client that wanted a simple looking identity piece that reinforced their brand, and spoke to their international and institutional client base.

The new refectory is designed to promote informal connections between staff, and staff and clients. As part of the project, the architect achieved an additional floor in this high value location above the brief. Various office layout formations were created to suit use (software team, hardware team, sales team, accounts teams and shared meeting spaces), as well as inside to outside working. Designed pre-Covid, the flexible design layout allows for social distancing and safe working. And there is space for art installations including in the refectory, in the reception and externally, all designed to engage clients and staff and encourage return.