We began by assessing the roles and the functions of the existing workforce, addressing the sequence of interior spaces needed to accommodate them and putting them into an effective and emotional working environment. As Valtech themselves said: ‘many of our employees have specialist sought after IT skills. Therefore it is essential the company retains a happy workforce. Whilst salary, training and prospects are key to staff retention, Valtech has found that the office environment is essential in creating a company culture which people can identify with, wish to be a part of and will enjoy working within.’
We were asked to design a UK headquarters to compete with those already in existence in other countries.
In order to produce a building that surprised as well as functioned we employed unconventional materials and experimented with surfaces, spatial sequencing and incorporated elements of architectural surprise into our design at Archer Architects.
The end result was of a challenging and enjoyable sense of disorientation. Each floor was given over to a different function with the key emphasis for each being the quality of user experience.