Engine’s London Innovation Labs

After designing The Engine Group‘s offices in 2008, Jump Studios set out to create an innovative environment for the London offices of the communications firm in 2011. The innovation lab uses a number of interesting elements like tiered seating, breakout/casual seating spaces, and spinning ‘Waltzers’ to allow for casual interactions to occur.

“Three years after the successful completion of Engine’s new offices at 60 Great Portland Street in London Jump Studios was called up once again by integrated marketing communications agency Engine to help revamping the existing reception as well as creating more space on the previously unoccupied ground floor of their building. Following a recent re-branding Engine was hoping to imbue their existing reception space with a new spirit captured in their slogan ‘Engine loves change’.

Labelled as the ‘Innovation Labs,’ these spaces are designed to offer alternatives to the more traditional meeting rooms on the upper floors. They have been conceived as rooms for workshops, brainstorming sessions, seminars and presentations and offer different ways of working, communicating and presenting to each other.

Two circular seating clusters offer seating space for up to eight people each. They have been kept simple in terms of colour and shape in order to harmonize with the multicoloured wall behind.

The second challenge Jump Studios were faced with was the conversation of a 640m² retail space adjacent to the ground floor reception into an additional office space and a new suite of meeting rooms for workshops and seminars.

Innovation Lab One features two flexible clusters of low seating which can be rearranged to suit different numbers and sizes of groups. Together with four small meeting tables and a wealth of round stools in different colours this is an ultimately flexible space for working in smaller groups between two to six people. In addition there’s a long workbench with high stools along one of the side walls for more individual work on computers or laptops.

The room can be opened up to the adjacent Arena space. The Arena is a round, stepped seating ‘dish’ designed for smaller seminars or presentations. Its three tiers provide seating for up to 20 people which can be upped to 36 if the recessed seating blocks are pulled out.

The last of the three rooms, Innovation Lab Two, is yet another space. It consists of four round, red Waltzers which spin around. Jump Studios conceived this as a highly energetic area for workshops and brainstorming sessions. Four smaller groups can work individually and with a higher degree of privacy when the Waltzers are rotated facing the corners of the room. By spinning them 180 degrees to face each other the space can be transformed to facilitate open discussions and presentations to the other three groups. All Waltzers are padded which on the one hand provides ample pin up surfaces while improving acoustics in the overall space at the same time. A connective element between all three rooms is a series of identical display screens facing the street facade. These elements play with notions of transparency and opaqueness, concealing and revealing. Made from translucent acrylic they filter the sunlight shining into the rooms during the day and reveal their inner grid like structure. At night the displays become glowing boxes when viewed from the street allowing peeks into the inside through round cut outs which act as windows, graphic displays, open shelves or LCD screens.

The open buffer space with adjacent tea point situated between the three labs and the open plan office offers additional informal meeting opportunities and can be used for lunches and receptions as well.”

DesignJump Studios