HLW worked with leading City based insurance firm Aviva to create a home for their new digital team in the heart of London’s Tech City - the Aviva Digital Garage. The new workplace strategy and design vision has enabled Aviva to spearhead product innovation and development from their Hoxton Square based space.
The 12,500 sf refurbishment, completed in July 2015, included the scope of interior fit-out, all MEP services and structural alterations, linking two separate buildings. The project, including planning, was completed in 7 months allowing Aviva to exit temporary accommodation and build the team within their new home.
The vision centred on creating a ‘Garage’, the hub of the Digital teams home and includes reception, a large ground floor event space, customer lab, meeting facilities, tech lab, open plan fully agile workspace, bike store, shower facilities, plus a large flexible kitchen as a social heart to the space. Next door is the ‘House’ which combines traditional high specification meeting facilities with more innovative collaboration spaces such as an agora, library, roof terrace and meeting booths.
The concept for the space was to reveal the existing character of the building, mixing Aviva’s corporate heritage with a new Digital future. Exposed services were installed to maximise height and light through the deep plan and also to allow for a flexible power and data solution to be installed, allowing desk positions to be moved around as required. This meant that a raised access floor was not required meaning the original floors could be retained and ceiling heights maximised.
Two new and one refurbished stairs were included to enable full connection between the two buildings and various floors and activities. The existing façade was replaced to improve the thermal performance of the building and roof lights reintroduced to improve natural light – the buildings energy performance and sustainable future have been hugely improved.
The’ ‘Garage’ side of the scheme was developed to present a ‘rough and ready’ aesthetic. In contrast the ‘House’ side, although also retaining the original buildings character, was developed to a more ‘rough and lux’ styling that reflects the areas personality as a highly creative and social environment, where workplace meets private members clubs, meets exciting boutique hotels.
The spaces are subtly branded to reflect Aviva’s wish to integrate with authenticity into the local community. HLW worked with Aviva’s archive team to present a number of heritage prints, books and signage around both buildings which echo the organisation’s provenance, whilst supporting their future business objective.
Following the opening of the Digital Garage in London earlier this year, Aviva have opened a second Digital Garage in Singapore. Much like its twin, the Singapore Digital Garage will be where the best minds – from across Aviva and the industry – come together to turn innovative ideas into real products and services for our customers.