Habit Action embarked on a unique client journey with Canadian-based global investment firm, CDPQ, on their relocation project from St. James to Soho. This stunning project designed by Habit Action turned a single 22,000 sq. ft floor plate into a vibrant workspace that not only caters for the needs of today, but for the long-term aspirations of the organisation. Initially the brief was very traditional in scope, but through a collaborative approach with the client, Habit Action were able to present ideas and creative solutions to transform their space from being just an office, to a beautiful people-centric hub for staff and clients alike.
A key element of CDPQ’s offices globally is incorporating local flavours into the space while maintaining a corporate feel. For Habit Action this opened a pool or opportunity to create something truly stunning, combining the vibrancy of Soho with the dramatic architectural envelope of the building. Sustainability was forefront in the design and delivery process from the outset of CDPQ’s new London office in terms of specification as well as the end result of this project. Products were almost all manufactured in the UK apart from a few products manufactured in Sweden and Finland. 90% of flooring finished were carbon neutral, and all ceiling acoustics were 100% carbon neutral.
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One of the overriding features of exceptional design in the CDPQ London project is undoubtedly the way the space is designed to accentuate the stunning location of the building, and the unique architectural beauty of the building. Throughout the space there are dramatic views across Soho with an outlook down Broadwick street as you enter the reception space and different perspectives of Carnaby Street from the pantry area. Everything Habit Action have included in the design has been consciously designed with the surroundings in mind, maximising daylight, views and architecture.
The reception space and hospitality lounge play to the geometric forms of the building through their bespoke reception desk, and the Julius timber frame sheer feature screen that divides the reception and client lounge. Using a range of natural tones and textures as well as living planting in the design scheme, Habit Action focussed heavily on the biophilic design of the space. Something that is unique to CDPQ’s offices is the artwork created by Quebec and London artists they display in them. From the outset of the design journey, Habit Action took on board the importance of maximising these magnificent artwork features through the colour scheme and lighting.
There is creativity, originality and impact everywhere you look in CDPQ’s new London office. What gives this space such impact is the way it has been designed to perfectly capture it’s surroundings and location, whilst drawing local flavours from the outside in, and playing to the many strengths of the buildings architectural envelope. From the beautiful picture windows that frame views of Broadwick Street, to dramatic lighting features, and the geometric shape of the reception desk mirroring the forms of the building.
To keep in harmony with the unique architecture of the building, Habit Action designed all the individual offices to sit below the exposed arc shaped concrete ceiling slab, accentuating this dramatic feature with lighting. The pantry area in this space acts as the heart of the space, bringing together the different subsidiaries within the office to one central space to eat, socialise and communicate with people right across the organisation.
With the shuffleboard and table football, as well as access to high-end eating and drinking facilities, an outdoor terrace that spans the entire left side of the building, and a rooftop bar area, these spaces draw people together, evoking a sense of community and culture. Another aspect of originality in this scheme is undoubtedly the artwork displayed around the office, adding something very unique to the design which reflects CDPQ’s culture, originality, and diversity. The central hub has impacted collaboration within the organisation and has enabled people to visit the office from different locations to work.
A fantastic space and an amazing journey that Habit Action is proud to have been a part of.