Badoo.

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Badoo.

  • Size: 15,000 sq.ft.
  • Location: SOHO
  • Type of Project: CAT ACAT B

Programme

7 weeks design development.

15 weeks construction phase.

 

The Brief

Badoo wanted to create a space that was very much for the team.  Emotionally, Badoo wanted their staff to feel at home within their environment, the word “cosy” became the overarching guideline to the brief and embodied everything Badoo wanted to create.  Everything was considered against the guideline, from the CAT A technical installation, the CAT B aesthetic work and even the approach Dthree would take to delivering the space – a strong consideration as Badoo were in situ on the floor as well as the floor above.

The CAT A infrastructure was a highly important aspect to the project as the current offering simply did not work for Badoo.  The mechanical system was installed below the floor and presented at floor level; this impacted heavily on the available footprint of the space, it also created a level of discomfort for the staff with constant air transfer below desks.  Alongside the project team, Dthree went through a process of consultation, advising Badoo on what was possible within the space, the benefits and disadvantages of the system as well as the aesthetic impact of changing the installation style of the system.  The ultimate decision was made to extend the existing system from below the floor up to the ceiling, providing the space with a more even distribution of heating and cooling – improving the day to day experience for the staff – as well as adding a more architectural aesthetic to the space.  The biggest challenge was keeping to our design guideline against a lower-than-most ceiling height, paired with frequent and inconsistent semi-exposed beams across the ceiling.  As part of the solution Dthree designed each ceiling bay individually minimising the size of the pipework feeding to the fan coil units, sizing fan coil units individually and provided a flanking track system for the lighting.  The track system was installed flush within the ceiling, losing the heavy weight of the track completely from eye sight, each bay could take the correct number of light fittings needed for the space – more light fittings within the darker, tighter spots and less in the brighter – allowing for an even distribution of warm inviting light across the space.  To retain a sense of height within the space, the entire mechanical system was wrapped with a pre-fabricated casing.  Firstly, this would not degrade over time (as a paint finish would) but allowed the light to wash over the entirety of the ceiling.

Staying closely connected to the guiding design principle, we created our design palette.  The cosy aesthetic rings true with every finish within the space; warm timbers – amplified by hidden LED lighting – run across the flooring and within the joinery, rich carpet finishes below the workspaces and earthy tones throughout the crittall framework, teapoint worktops, tiling and door units.  Across the floor there is ample space for the team to “bespoke” their area – with bookshelves, posters, picture frames, planters – all areas for people to add small items which are personal to them in the same way you would in your own home.  We also worked very closely with the furniture team, specifying warm, inviting fabrics, finishes and rugs throughout to further enhance the design.

In addition to the bespoke areas, each meeting space – albeit a one person booth or a 30 person boardroom – holds its own name and unique personality.  Each space named after cities in which Badoo is present – all assigned accurately from a geographic perspective across the floorplate.  Elements such as bespoke joinery, furniture selection, artwork, feature lighting create layers of personality and allow the user a different experience as they travel across the floor, from New York to Kiev, from Moscow to Jakarta.

With a total focus on the staff, Badoo provide a high level of amenity areas and it was important that these were readily available across the floor.  Multiple teapoints offer refreshments, with a wide choice of drinks and food as well as healthy snacks readily on display to entice you in.  There is a designated powder room also, named after Marrakech, where staff can have their haircut weekly, have their nails done or get ready before an event or their own evening plans.  Ornate lighting, opulent fabrics and Moroccan inspired tiling bring this space to life.

The Dthree approach to delivery was very specific and sensitive to the ongoing needs of the business.  As the space was occupied, our key concerns revolved around time efficiency and noise levels.  Across the 15 weeks we created a four phase plan, starting with the required mechanical and infrastructure changes to the floorplate – carried out outside of business hours to eliminate impact to Badoo – and moving onto the remaining aspects of the build, rotating around the floorplate space by space.  Our delivery team were very specific and transparent with the Badoo team, especially with regard to noise, this enabled the Badoo project team to successfully set internal expectations.  Alongside our own programme, we included the Badoo event calendar, an exciting series of events in which we seamlessly worked around again eliminating impact on the business and staff experience.

As we all know, to feel at home, you must feel familiar with your space.  Ahead of completion and into the first few weeks of occupation the Dthree team were present and in attendance every day to introduce the staff to their new home.