British Ecological Society Offices – London

  • Client British Ecological Society,
  • size 8,439 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Location United Kingdom, London, England,
  • Industry Education,
  • AIS was engaged by the British Ecological Society to design their offices located in London, England.

    As the oldest ecological society in the world, the British Ecological Society needed a workplace that would improve their organisational capabilities while highlighting the heritage and enduring values of their organisation. Their new HQ is an environmentally sustainable nod to their efficient and environmental way of working all while they serve the community and the natural world.

    We wanted to create a vibrant new home for the BES to better support their staff and members. We referenced nature throughout the design, for example using floating birds above communal areas to dampen noise and recreating the BES logo on a moss-covered wall in the entrance.

    With a goal to fit out the space in an environmentally sustainable way, the BES’s new home has achieved a SKA Gold rating that demonstrates that both AIS and our client take sustainability seriously and seek to achieve these standards with our spaces. SKA Gold certification means that this workspace was created with environmentally friendly materials and products, as well as considered design theory. This is particularly important for the staff here who place great value on these credentials, reinforcing staff morale and CSR activities.

    The BES wished to consider their environmental impacts and staff health and wellbeing from the outset of the design process. With this in mind, we evaluated the environmental performance of the final space closely with the client throughout the entire process. Each detail was carefully considered, including planting throughout the office to enhance employee wellbeing and improve air quality, in addition to a moss feature wall at the entrance that encouraged a connection with nature. Meeting rooms were also planned on the lower ground floor to maintain the natural light and views on the ground floor level for the staff at their desks.

    The BES values the diversity and multiple perspectives that people from different backgrounds bring to their work, ecology and to the Society. With this in mind, their diverse team needed a workplace that would respond to the needs of such a varied group of individuals. Moreover, the new HQ will help the BES to progress as it places them in their own environment where they can demonstrate what they do through seminars, lectures and various events that highlight environmental efforts.

    As an organisation with a very specific and focussed mission, it was important that their workspace reflected the passion behind their work. A range of bold colours and images reflecting the natural world were used throughout, with five meeting rooms uniquely identified by different habitats: Amazon, Serengeti, St. Kilda, Yukon and Gobi. By incorporating biophilic design elements, social areas and soft furnishings, the new HQ also allows the staff to organise more casual meetings.

    Additionally, throughout our process we employed energy and environmental strategies using design management initiatives. Paints, carpets, adhesives and sealants used were selected carefully to minimise emissions typical of these materials to ensure no adverse impact on occupant health.

    Design: AIS
    Photography: Tom Fallon