ACCA, the world’s most forward thinking accountancy body moved their Glasgow team of over 650 employees, in a 24/7 operation, into brand new office space at 110 Queen Street, Glasgow in 2016. A challenging project meticulously planned, right down to the plants. Creating a natural and positive working environment for the team was top of the agenda when designing the open plan office space whilst incorporating the company’s brand into the design.
In order to create that ‘natural feel’ the design included the installation of storage cabinets with incorporated planting, which also served to create divisions in the open plan office, whilst saving space and preventing clutter.
‘We wanted to bring the outside environment indoors.’ comments Gwen Ball, ACCA. ‘It was necessary that every employee, no matter where they were sitting would have a view of ‘plants’ to allow a connection with nature and functionally plants would also be used in the open plan space to absorb sound.’
GP Plantscape were successful at the tender stage of this project as a result of our horticultural expertise and our previous experience working with interior designers and project managers to tight time schedules on large scale interior landscaping installations.
The remit to incorporate green foliage in the cabinet tops with subtle tones to blend with the office environment was fulfilled with mixed planting to a specified height including succulents, dracaena varieties, ferns and aglaonema, all topped with grey slate which blended with the corporate colours. Additionally to the cabinet tops the final solution included 6 specially built containers in more prominent areas with character planting and a reception desk bowl to create a visual impact.
The ACCA interior installation project provided its challenges not with the horticultural expertise required but with ensuring that strict project deadlines were kept. ACCA occupies three floors of the building and had planned a staged occupation floor by floor, with staff leaving their old office on the Friday and coming into the new space on the Monday, completely finished, providing an instant WOW impact. Our installation therefore took place over three different weekends, floor by floor, working alongside various contractors all trying to complete on time. Logistically having only one lift available presented its challenges, but the installations team worked through the weekend using their expertise to install the solutions with minimum dirt and dust, leaving the office space immaculate.
Stunned with their new office space, staff embrace the plants in their indoor environment. In an open plan office with so many operational teams, phones constantly ringing, photocopiers and printers operating the low noise levels within the office are quite amazing, largely down to the presence of the plants and their ability to absorb sound. Furthermore the plants at the specific height level of no more than 30cm are visible throughout the office and create natural divisions affording individual spaces an element of privacy.
When surveyed, employees gave extremely positive responses to having plants included in the design.
This project has since received a Gold Leaf at 2017 eFig Awards for interior installation. Pictured below is Gwen Ball with the award for ACCA.