Sky Headquarters – London

Sky has transformed its expansive London headquarters into a connected environment by creating smaller "neighborhoods" that suit the needs of individual departments without losing the sense of the greater whole as Europe's leading media company.

  • Client Sky,
  • size 484,375 sqft
  • Year 2016
  • Location United Kingdom, London, England,
  • Industry Film / Media / Publishing,
  • HASSELL was engaged by media company, Sky, to create a fresh design for their headquarters located in London, England.

    Sky transformed its headquarters in West London to embody the media company’s ‘believe in better’ vision.

    Sky Central – a vast, 45,000 sqm workplace unites more than 3,500 people across three levels as they work together to deliver world-class entertainment to millions of customers globally.

    Responsible for the workplace design, HASSELL worked closely with design partners AL_A, PLP Architecture, Mace and Arup to meet Sky’s aspiration to “create a unique building and activity-based workplace that would be responsive, inspiring, intuitive and amenity-rich – catering to the energetic, fast-paced Sky way of working”. Sky wanted to encourage the flow of people and ideas around the business, and to nourish their greatest asset – existing and future talent.

    With each floor averaging 11,500 sqm – the equivalent width of three jumbo jets – the space represents one of the UK’s largest agile workplaces. These generous spaces with room to move are great for Sky – but a challenge for our designers, who needed to create a sense of connection and belonging for Sky’s workforce.

    Sky looked to HASSELL to bring the most progressive, international design thinking to create a ‘game-changing’ headquarters which would act as a corporate centre to the expansive Sky Campus, home to 7,500 employees. Sky Central, a completely new design and build, would bring news production into the heart of the building.

    Drawing on experience designing some of the world’s leading agile workplaces, the HASSELL team worked with Sky to develop a highly flexible, connected space that was both energetic and surprising, yet simple, intuitive and people-centric at the same time.

    To achieve these goals and meet the needs of individual teams, we worked with the client to establish a series of ‘neighbourhoods’ housing around 200 people each. These include a range of individual and team settings – from interactive to focused – to suit every type of activity.

    The neighbourhoods are supported by ‘home zones’ – arrival spaces that include small kitchens, meeting tables, and casual sitting areas. These more ‘residential’ settings blur the boundaries between work and home and bring an intimate, human scale to Sky’s expansive workplace.

    Key landmarks – including bespoke meeting structures made from metal frames, mesh, coloured ropes and trees placed at 20-metre intervals – help to break down the space even further. These elements, in addition to the extensive planting, help shape quiet areas for individual working, without breaking the sense of connection to the more vibrant, active spaces.

    For Sky Central to succeed, the company had to ensure employees would embrace their new working environment from day one. Sky undertook a significant change management program, which included developing a ‘live lab’ in partnership with HASSELL. This precise mock-up of the workplace enabled employees to experience agile working before they made the permanent move.

    The pilot was supported by a dedicated website, roadshows, technology training and the advocacy of 160 change leaders within Sky.

    It’s an approach that has paid off. Since moving in, Sky employees have been exceptionally positive – and vocal – about their new workplace, with many of them raving on social media.

    Design Team: Anna Pogorelova, Catherine van der Heide, Celia Moreno Marcos, Colin Hockley, Felicity Roocke, Giang Le, Julia Chang, Kaja Swiezewska, Sheena Molloy, Tiago Arieira
    PhotographyHufton and Crow, Mark Cocksedge