Designing a ‘workplace with wings’
Dthree Studio were appointed by the global giant, Red Bull, to create an impressive
and memorable London Head Quarters for their business and people to thrive in. The new HQ had to reflect the brand and portray not just the iconic energy drink, but the ethos of Red Bull as a whole.
This complex and fascinating business supports and invests in truly remarkable athletes, artists, and charities. Therefore we needed to create a space that could both support this as well as grow with it. Our main challenge during the project was to ensure the multi-faceted presence and personality of the business were all embodied and reflected by the new space. Essentially building on the idea of the design giving their staff and visitors wings.
Bringing out the brand
We started the design process by spending a significant amount of time in the Red Bull office, working across different parts of the building to observe and understand first-hand the ‘company behind the can’, immersing themselves within the business and providing an in-depth experience of what worked, what didn’t and the solutions that were required from the new space.
Red Bull didn’t necessarily want the whole space to be branded; it wasn’t about shouting
about the fact that Red Bull had landed in the area, it was about their presence being
spread by word of mouth. Therefore it was vital that “the company behind the can” was
not only seen, but felt. The challenge of this led to some clever and creative design
features that really imprint the Red Bull brand on the subconscious when walking the
Culturally the various strings of Red Bull’s bow had never been within one building before,
let alone across two working floors. The challenge and significance of this meant the
space had to accommodate the different nuances within the teams and provide flexibility
throughout as well as a choice of environments – not only to support individual working
roles, but each department too.
“Moving across town from Tooley Street to Seven Dials, Red Bull required a refreshed approach to its office interior. The space had to reflect the brand. But the brand is so much more than just the Red Bull product.
The ethos of the business as a whole, which includes investing and supporting truly ambitious and remarkable people to achieve, bringing people together and supporting charities, needed to come through.” Charlie Kent, Senior Designer
Despite the brand restrictions, we were able to design some clever solutions that really imprint the brand on your subconscious. Visitors invited to wait on the fourth-floor landing area get a subtle view of the office space through a slatted timber design. The significance? It’s all based on the rhombus image on a Red Bull can. Another subtle nod to the brand is by way of a specially-designed bleacher that wraps around the corner space of the room – the side edge of which is at the exact same 12.7-degree angle as the Red Bull rhombus. Product placement was also key, the availability of the can was hugely important, being at hand at any moment, and allowing the journey of each can to be spread by the people who visit the building. Fridges are changed regularly to represent new campaigns and the space allows for this.
Due to the different facets of the business never being under one roof, it was vital the space felt connected and offered a sense of togetherness as well as a balance of independence. As a solution we focused on adaptability using folding walls, fabric acoustics, and carefully selected product specifications to create collaborative and innovative areas throughout the entire building which could also be closed off when needed – varying in size, facilities and style to mirror the dynamic nature of the business.
A key feature of the new office and a differentiator from its predecessor, is that it offers a truly connected space. Both horizontally and vertically, the office interior offers fluid movement, accessibility and a feeling of cultural connectedness. To help enable this, a new staircase was designed and installed at the ‘buzzy’ side of the building, giving the fourth and fifth floors a new prime connection. This allows the vibrancy and energetic atmosphere of the area to flow between floors. In contrast, at the other end of the fifth floor is a semi-enclosed working space, intentionally kept separate as a focused working area for teams that generally require a very quiet environment.
Dthree also developed a strong and open relationship with the core Red Bull leadership team. After every development stage, Dthree went back to this team for agreement, sign-off and feedback.
This collaborative approach was a key factor in the project’s success.
Speaking to the individuals in the business and formulating a brief with them, as Red Bull let us do, allows us to get to the heart of what makes a difference to the team.
“I’m proud of the fact we worked truly closely with Red Bull and both entities came together with the same mindset, before either one had voiced it, to strive to create a space that was responsible and had a story and thought behind it. Together both Dthree and Red Bull have created as close to a workspace with wings that you will find”. Charlie Kent.