Award-winning offices: PwC London Headquarters

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Painting & decorating association mark of quality

For this week’s piece on commercial office decoration we’re taking a look at an award-winning office: the recently refurbished London headquarters of PwC that sits above Charing Cross train station.

When PwC decided it was time to up sticks and relocate their office they had a decision to make – do they find a plot and build from scratch or do they move into an existing office. In the end they chose neither and decided to renovate the imposing and iconic building above one of London’s biggest train stations.

Their ambitious project paid off and now they get to spend their nine to five right on the bank of the Thames in one of the most recognisable buildings in central London.

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And the winner is…PwC

Whist winning design awards and accolades isn’t the be all and end all for companies, it does suggest that they have achieved something aesthetically superior to the standard grey office block; a status which can only improve a company’s image. PwC’s new offices have been awarded honours from The British Council for Offices and BREEAM, the latter of the two in acknowledgement of the office’s commitment to being environmentally sustainable.

PwC became BREEAM’s highest ever rated building with an overall environmental efficiency score of 96.31% –  which isn’t bad at all.

Of course going green is more important to some companies than others and some might be less worried about the impact their company is having on the environmental so long as profits are good. But a building that is known to be environmentally friendly is great for the company’s public image and corporate responsbilty showing that their cares extend beyond the boardroom. Clients might not know a great deal about waterless urinals or Biofuel Trigeneration CCHP but they certainly won’t argue if it means they are seen as a little more green.

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The ‘hostess with the mostess’

All great offices have reception areas that immediately give you a sense of the company’s culture and vibe. PwC is no different. A stunning semi-open atrium for their reception allows you to see the entire building as soon as you walk through the door.

This near open-plan layout and flashes of bright colour lends the lobby a vibrancy as clients and staff can be seen mixing in a variety of meeting spots, including a café. All this light not only makes the office feel airy but it also makes it feel welcoming, too, and gives the company a sense of togetherness.

Grand design

To do justice to such a beautiful building naturally proved a mighty big challenge but we think PwC have just about pulled it off.

They have opted for a simple interior design plan which incorporates a lot of white space to make even more of the light flooding in from the atrium. There’s a combination of wooden and carpeted floors, which seem to work whichever space they are used in. While the overall design is relatively simple compared to some of the buildings we have looked at, PwC’s sparing use of bright colours maintains a sense of excitement and vibrancy throughout the large building.

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Hopefully this look at a real renovation success story has given you an idea of what your next office might look like. If you need more inspiration, don’t hesitate to give our London team of painters and decorators and office decoration specialists then call – they’re always happy to help.

Images: HamlinsOverburyBreeam