Located right in the heart of Manchester and at the centre of the city’s financial and business quarter, is the landmark No.1 Spinningfields development. This world-class office tower is the tallest commercial building in Manchester, rising to 19 storeys and includes the city’s highest restaurant.
The statement building is now also home to PwC in Manchester; one of the region’s top businesses and one of the world's largest professional services firms.
PwC recently relocated 920 staff to their new office space over the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of No.1 Spinningfields. The new space has been designed to allow PwC to break away from the restraints and conventions of the corporate office and to encourage an open and creative working environment. The concept was to create a fluid, multi-functional space without boundaries or divisions to accommodate any style of working or specific need.
PwC wanted to domesticate and soften their office landscape to create a relaxed and welcoming aesthetic. There are no walls or partitioning throughout the space, and quiet and personal areas are catered for by single booths, pods and larger demountable rooms.
Communal areas feature large modular seating and also diner style booths and stand up tables. There are no conventional desks in the new office space. These have been replaced with team tables and sit-stand benches. All work areas are unallocated and are reserved when required.
Flexible design offers employees a choice of work spaces to use throughout the day. The fluidity of space has many advantages for both employees as well as clients visiting PwC.
However with this flexibility comes challenges; namely lack of division, walls for presentations, personalisation of the space, local storage and acoustics.
Jones & Partners, together with TASK, developed a hybrid product solution for PwC called ARC. The multifunctional mobile product is designed to link the open spaces and encourage collaboration.
ARC is specifically designed to be an integral part of any collaborative space, allowing the user to quickly adapt their surroundings to suit changing work needs. ARC combines the feature of mobile whiteboard, pinboard, space divider, acoustic panel and personal storage. All of this is achieved within a compact footprint.
ARC can easily be used to create ad hoc meeting and project areas. It can be set up to divide space, reduce noise and provide a presentation or brainstorming surface.
The pinnable surface can act as a notice board for personalisation, while shelves and cubby holes provide individual and group storage.
TASK also supplied NoTable sit-stand tables which were programmed to specific height requirements to prevent contact with the wall mounted TV monitors. The meeting tables feature cream Fenix tops with contrasting matt black bases.
Marelli Joy chairs, upholstered in a bright pattern fabric were chosen for the main welcome area located within the framed wooden structure. Lara armchairs, also from the Marelli Italy range, were selected in a range of fabrics and leather for use throughout the informal soft seating areas.
The overall scheme included a wide variety of suppliers and design styles, to create a broad range of areas from relaxed breakout areas and soft seating zones through to more formal work spaces and meeting rooms.