Selfridges Buying and Merchandising Workspace

Designed by: Alex Cochrane Architects
For client: Selfridges Group Floor area: 1100.00 M² Year of completion: 2019
Submitted for: Small Office of the Year

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© Ståle Eriksen

Yellow communal desk with library lighting and magenta ductwork overhead. Bold geometric blue magnetic pin board.

About the Project

With laptop or tablet in hand a seamless ‘roam and work’ philosophy operates in this newly designed Selfridges’ workspace. Numerous ‘Plug ‘n’ play’ opportunities are placed around the open plan floor for Selfridges’ nomadic workforce. Such variety does away with the repetitive working patterns derived through traditional office formats. Instead connecting the various buying teams, encouraging new conversations and ultimately a shared knowledge of current and future trends that will fuel our desire to shop the fantastic and the sublime.

Staff can decide against a workstation preferring instead to set up in The Kitchen or at one of the two Café areas. Perhaps they might opt for The Library. On a warmer day they may decide to set up on the new terrace. If privacy is required, sound-proof telephone-like cubicles, break-out pods and secluded workstations are also available.

A bold use of colour defines this interior. High level ductwork painted a glossy green or magenta and shelves are lined in an electric blue laminate create playful accents. The Kitchen cupboard doors are a yellow backdrop to the midnight black island unit and communal table and bright red box-seats are off-set against the calmer grey walls of the Playroom.

Work is interlocked with playful interventions that spur on interaction. The Playroom doubles up as both theatre and a table tennis arena and The Kitchenette facing the new terrace is crowned by an unmissable limited edition table football.

What’s unique about it

With global environmental decline a serious concern a sensitive approach towards construction, systems and materials was adopted from the start. The innovative use of local, re-usable, second hand and green certified materials were prioritised.

Recycled paper compressed into boards was used as the material choice for the kitchen furniture. Wall linings and seats were constructed in boards derived from recycled plastic and bottle tops. Discarded building boards are given new purpose and brought back to life with new coatings and flooring surfaces are made from 97% raw and natural materials and are fully biodegradable. All lighting is low energy with kitchen appliances and AV monitors chosen for their A+++ ratings.

The design is perfectly tailored to Selfridges’ need for increased flexibility, spontaneity, idea exchange and collaboration reflecting today’s cultural work patterns and dynamics. This revitalised workplace showcases Selfridge’s ambitions in providing creative and dynamic A&D experiences while remaining aware of their obligations in safeguarding the wider environment.

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© Ståle Eriksen

Red communal desk with library lighting. Bright green ductwork at high level and blue fabric lined perimeter seating.

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© Ståle Eriksen

Kitchen acoustic cupboard doors are a yellow backdrop to the midnight black island unit and communal table constructed with boards made from compressed recycled paper.

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© Ståle Eriksen

Metal and fabric lined meeting booths provide a place for informal discussion or a secluded spot for quiet focused individual working.

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© Ståle Eriksen

Box-seating can be reconfigured to suit a range of activities in The Playroom.

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© Ståle Eriksen

Bright red box-seats are off-set against the calmer grey walls of The Playroom.

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© Ståle Eriksen

Coloured metal laminates line the walls and cubicles of the male and female bathrooms.

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© Ståle Eriksen

The physical mass of workstations is broken up by altering the colours within the pigeonholes of the desks resulting in a playful and colourful working environment across the floors.

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© Ståle Eriksen

Outdoor terrace with communal seating and Thomas Heatherwick’s Spun Chair.

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© Ståle Eriksen

Café style seating provides an alternative to typical office desking. Loose furniture is selected for its playful forms and positive colours.

Location of project:
McDonald Architects

Currie & Brown


Nulty Lighting





ISG Joinery

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