The new headquarters for specialty (re)insurance group Chaucer have completed. Designed during the pandemic, the scheme evolved to reflect the shift from traditional desk-based work to more flexible and collaborative ways of working. Occupying 44,000 sq ft of office space, the new HQ accommodates over 450 employees and plays an important part of Chaucer’s development as a leading global underwriting group.
Our Design Strategy Unit team undertook a detailed workplace strategy study to understand Chaucer’s requirements for the new office. A bespoke Workstyle Profiler alongside other Design Strategy Unit tools were used to determine employees working patterns, user requirements and employee profiles. During the design phase a further study was undertaken to incorporate changes to working patterns as a result of the pandemic. Consequently more spaces for collaboration, social interaction and training were added to the new office landscape.
The move coincides with Chaucer’s decision to rebrand, enabling them to roll out their new brand identity across the office. Chaucer’s HQ is based on levels 6, 7 and 8 of The Scalpel, 52 – 54 Limes Street. The floors are linked by a central cantilever staircase which provides an impressive focal point to each floor as well as enabling staff to easily travel around the office, supporting Chaucer’s collaborative culture. On level 6, Chaucer have included a large Brokers Lounge to provide a welcoming space for trading partners and clients as well as place for entertaining and events.
“Chaucer has ambitious plans to cement its global reputation as a leading (re)insurance specialist. Establishing our new headquarters marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the firm.”
John Fowle, CEO of Chaucer,
Chaucer wanted to pay homage to their parent company, China Re Group, by incorporating Chinese architecture across the office. We proposed a unique design based on the Chinese Hutong concept and the British Marketplace. The spatial arrangement mimics the Hutong concept with ‘streets’ convening in a central social area such as the employee cafe. Incorporating a hospitality approach to the office design, the open plan space consists of a variety of micro working environments, each designed to encourage interaction and cater to individual need.
Design craftsmanship and joinery echoes the British market place. Designed by Scott Brownrigg and delivered by contractor Parkeray, great care has been taken to ensure internal finishes are high-quality, reliable and sustainable. A cool palate of neutral colours, natural woods, and tan vegan leather seating harmonises with recycled terrazzo glass worktops. Even the ceiling rafts are well crafted and sustainable, ventilation ducts on level 6 have been celebrated to mark the entrance.
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