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VALTECH LONDON HEADQUARTERS, ALDERSGATE, BARBICAN, LONDON EC1A Cat A and B Fit Out
area: 24,000sqft / 2230sqm A .com company took over the bottom 3 floors of a then recently completed building by the Barbican, London. As a company who ran day courses for visiting people the design brief was to accommodate various departments along with a number of ‘classrooms’. Key to the client’s vision of work place, was the incorporation of several communal areas, and a canteen, that with seating and various facilities would provide places for people to gather or meet accidentally. The primary concern was how to determine an aesthetic for offices whose company profile was pre-dominantly web based. Each floor was designed as a miniature urban plan, with a central square around which different departments, offices and ancillary areas were organised. In contrast to the ‘city squares’ service elements such as corridors, toilets and storage were freed from their usual utilitarian aesthetic to feature prominently in the design and elevated as places of equal importance. The interior here was conceived as a storyboarded series of journeys that oscillated between these 'behind the scene's spaces and a series of staged sets. With the explosion of the .com businesses in the early 2000’s, along with computer-based practices challenging traditional work environments, the themes of virtual and real worlds were explored to create an interior that challenged expectations and was less an actual place as a series of dematerialised spaces.