Case Study: Energy Systems Catapult X Boss Design

Boss Design’s philosophy of ‘workplace habitats’ and furniture solutions has helped the Energy Systems Catapult scoop a Regional BCO Award for Midlands and Central England in the ‘Fit out of Workplace’ category for its new offices located in Birmingham. The Energy Systems Catapult is part of a network of elite technology and innovation centres set up by Innovate UK.

ESC Albany range

In conjunction with leading Birmingham architectural and interior designers, Monteith Scott, Boss Design rose to the challenge of helping create a contemporary and non-corporate environment based on a series of habitats specifically designed to adapt and flex as the organisation grows and matures.

The BCO judges agreed that the ‘workspace lab’ for the Catapult is a collaborative and creative space that both encourages collaboration with the wider industry, and provides a centre for debates, conferences and cultivation of ideas. They also noted that the careful use of ‘earth tone’ colours found in the city and crisp detailed timber surfaces brings a warm, calm environment that ripples out from the central welcome space.

ESC Agent range

At the heart of the space is the ‘Welcome habitat’ – a transparent reception. Within this dynamic, shared space, Boss Design supplied a range of furniture to meet the demands of a variety of transient and customer-facing roles. Luxurious soft seating from the Marnie and Albany collections help bring a boutique hotel feel to the area, along with timber framed Agent tables, chairs and stools. For added vibrancy and energy, bold fabrics were used on the upholstery throughout.

Boss Design Albany ESC feat

As a knowledge-based business that works continuously with many outside agencies, collaboration and meeting space was paramount for the Catapult. To accommodate such meetings, a ‘Collaborative habitat’ featuring Boss Design’s Entente private meeting booths features as an alternative to formal built rooms.

‘Home habitats’ are also vital for when people need to concentrate, make phone calls or conduct confidential interactions. Boss Design’s best-selling high-backed Peek single person work booths fulfil this requirement, providing comfortable and informal work areas. As well as creating private headspaces in open plan areas, Peek can be grouped together to enhance collaborative working.

Phil Whitfield, Property Project Manager at the Energy Systems Catapult commented:

“Having visited Boss Design’s manufacturing facility, it was nice to see traditional handcrafted skills still being nurtured and utilised. Their approach to sustainability was very important in our decision making process, as well as being able to work with a local business.”

Stressing the importance of creating habitats in the workplace, Andy Tatton, Sales Director at Boss Design said:

“Office workers need to be able to continually switch between various modes of working throughout the day. By introducing habitats to the workplace, the choice of office furniture will not only serve to support these modes of working, it will foster individual and corporate wellbeing. When applied successfully, some workplaces such as the Catapult don’t even look or feel like an office at all.”


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About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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