Microsoft Project Edison
Building 2 & 3, Thames Valley Park, Reading
BCO Award 2013, Fit out of Workplace, South West, Thames Valley & South Wales
Microsoft approached Perkins+Will to help re-furbish part of the UK headquarter offices in Reading with the focus to showcase its solutions to clients and reflect the future of technology. The aim of the project was to continue to roll out its global workplace strategy programme, Workplace Advantage (WPA), enabling a flexible efficient working environment and support their client and partner engagement.
The areas of refurbishment were looking tired and dated and Microsoft felt that their technology needed to be showcased in a more effective way. The team was charged with redesigning the two existing receptions in Building 2 and 3, a pilot working floor and collaboration areas in Building 2, client and executive briefing centre and auditorium, and external signage and wayfinding.
To ensure the design was future-proof, the team chose materials and technologies that could be changed and developed so the business could launch new products and de-vices with the minimum of disruption.
The design of the main reception area in Building 2 incorporates all of Microsoft’s latest technologies and trends with the Kinect and X-box play zone, customer device bars and experience space, connected open collaboration areas, large format video wall and a Tech Link, which allows on-the-spot technology support.
To encourage better connections between the spaces and buildings an architectural ‘ribbon’ was introduced as part of the design. The ribbon used different materials that connected different elements within spaces whilst also providing a fun playful route around the building for staff and visitors.
The WPA workspace on level 2 also allowed Microsoft to introduce new ways of working across the floor incorporating new meeting rooms, focus rooms, phone booths with both open and closed collaboration on a day-to-day basis with a level of desk sharing and agile working.
Project Edison won the Fit-Out-of-Workplace for South West, Thames Valley & South Wales Award in the 2013 BCO Awards. The judges at the awards said the project provided ‘a fresh environment fostering collaboration and creativity.’