Think Human

Gavin King, Director, SpaceInvader

At SpaceInvader, our ethos is that it is crucial to create workspaces that enhance the health and wellness of a building’s occupants.

Our designs always place well-being at their heart, so working alongside engineering consultants Hilson Moran, who share our focus on employee wellness, was very exciting for us. Together, we delivered an extensive fit-out of its new Manchester headquarters in NEO, the former Bank Tower owned by developers Bruntwood.

From the outset, emphasis was placed on collaboratively creating a design that emulated nature to create a vibrant and stimulating workplace. The plans were aligned to meet the WELL Building Standard™, which provides a robust framework for designing for well-being.

Design features included green moss walls in the collaboration area, and various wall graphics and features that invoke nature. Plants that have been shown to remove pollutants from the air, according to research conducted by the NASA Clean Air Study, were also carefully selected and placed strategically around the office.

Drawing on the guidance of the WELL Standard, all materials were carefully chosen to minimise the volume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from products and furniture in order to improve air quality.

Hilson Moran’s acoustic experts also used digital modelling to identify the office’s unique acoustic signature, allowing the team to identify measures to control sound and reduce unnecessary noise – rarely experienced within an open plan office.

Finally, the office layout was specifically designed to promote a ‘people-focused’ mentality, incorporating shared working and meeting spaces, including an outdoor terrace with meeting pods and a refreshment area.

Hilson Moran’s Manchester is now the first WELL Gold Standard accredited office in the North of England.
It’s truly rewarding to work with a client where the fundamentals of improving the wellbeing of everyone in the space is central to the design.

Our work with Hilson Moran embodies our approach of considering the whole person before putting pen to paper – not just as a worker, but as a human being. Everyone benefits from good design.

Chris Birch, Director of Sustainability at Hilson Moran, says: “Being our own client on the project meant we tested our expertise in MEP services, fit-out and acoustics, as well as our belief in WELL Standards to the limit in order to practice what we preach. Most importantly, the work showcases Hilson Moran’s understanding as a practice and mission to deliver high quality projects that meet the demands of the modern workplace. By ensuring our staff are in an office which showcases this ethos, we are clear advocates of this and will continue to use the office as a test bed for the WELL Standard and other technologies.”