Willis Towers Watson is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients turn risk into a path for growth. The firm’s decision to combine two locations into one at 5 Wellington Place provided the perfect opportunity to better enable colleague collaboration and enhance the client and visitor experience. With Claremont’s help, Willis Towers Watson now has a highly distinct and professional working space unlike any other.
Claremont was tasked with designing an open plan and agile workspace that would bring two of Willis Towers Watson’s previously separate teams together in one building, across two floors. Allowing the business to make better use of the available space and improve collaboration, the new office had to support the company’s vision for growth.
In particular, Willis Towers Watson required a client suite that reflects the importance of its clients to the company, and that gives clients the most welcoming experience possible. The workspace needed to accommodate a large number of colleagues in an open plan environment, around half working in an agile way, and half with a 1:1 workstation ratio.
Willis Towers Watson’s vision also called for a distinct design that did not replicate facilities across both floors, in order to encourage circulation and interaction throughout.
The end product is a statement office that has not only captured the hearts and minds of Willis Towers Watson’s colleagues and visitors, but also the building landlord, who is now using the office as an example of best practice office design and fit-out.
Using a biophilic design concept, the new office is a celebration of nature and wellbeing and includes a plethora of stand-out features. A bespoke spiral staircase with a living plant wall connects reception with a team breakout space known affectionately as ‘heart’. A 7m high indoor waterfall provides dramatic visual interest in the client suite.
Unique design features and high-quality finishes are plentiful within the client suite. Bespoke furniture from Hands of Wycombe has been used in the reception and client suite to give a high-end, almost hotel-type feel, whilst offering clients a welcoming and relaxing environment.
Made by J Carey of Crosshills, the impressive reception desk is made from corian, fumed oak and brass. Radial veneer finishes appear on the meeting room tables. The result is an individual and eclectic design style which also makes use of unusual macaron-inspired lights, custom wallpaper and a selection of unusual flooring and upholstery finishes.
Willis Towers Watson’s employees now enjoy open plan working, with consultancy colleagues on banks of 6 desks and core teams on banks of 9 and 12. The addition of small coffee points provide staff with alternative spaces for activity-based working and informal gatherings. High-back sofas, high-top project tables and breakout areas cater for a multitude of uses and provide visual interest.
A ‘heart’ space is home to the onsite employee kitchen and lunch area. Contemporary in design, it provides a flexible space for employees to eat, meet and work, depending on the time of day. Able to seat 30% of employees at any one time, this area features informal soft seating, dining-height tables and chairs, collaborative benches and a high bar counter.
Private ‘cabins’ allow for up to 4 people to have privacy as required, and the ‘cinema’ area is a creative way of presenting an internal meeting room.
Overall, Claremont has created a flexible and agile workplace complete with a client suite featuring 7 good-sized meeting rooms, a hospitality space and lounge, a project space consisting of 3 meeting rooms, 8 internal meeting rooms, 6 ‘grab’ rooms for impromptu meetings, and 8 informal breakout spaces.
Despite the challenges of delivering such an ambitious project in a short time frame, Willis Towers Watson now has a memorable, welcoming and agile office environment to support the company’s continued growth.
Claremont’s interpretation of our brief to create a bright and visual agile workspace was excellent. We were impressed by their attention to detail, but also their ability to bring big ideas to the table – like the design for the spiral staircase that now seamlessly connects our whole space. The new work environment delivers the agility, flexibility and individuality we were looking for.Jo Alford
Real Estate Manager, Willis Towers Watson