Design Insider is excited to spotlight a remarkable project where global communications giant Edelman has joined forces with the esteemed design studio Gensler. Together, they’ve partnered to envision and design a next-gen workplace for its new London office, as part of a broader reimagining of its office spaces across the globe.
Francis House is designed to support and attract Edelman’s creative talent and establishes a new paradigm for engagement with clients. Utilising a warehouse from the 1900s, Gensler designed Francis House to be a creative space that sets Edelman apart from its competition and ushers in the next evolution of the firm.
Francis House is a curated destination that embodies Edelman’s values and brand, and transitions both clients and colleagues into the next evolution of work
“From the moment we walked into the empty warehouse building, we knew it was the perfect blank canvas to bring to life the vision we had for a post-pandemic workplace. We wanted to create a space of various zones and ambiences to reflect the full breadth of needs of our employees and clients” said Ruth Warder, CEO Edelman UK & Ireland & Brand Chair EMEA. “We worked with Gensler to create an environment that truly fosters collaboration and creativity. Its flexibility allows us to embrace the diversity of work and thinking we have, and want more of, within our agency. From attic bars to expandable boardrooms, we believe it’s a space that’s truly inclusive of the broad spectrum of work and culture have at Edelman.”
The new London headquarters is centred around the intersection of experience and co-creation. Located just a few doors down from Edelman UK’s previous office, Francis House is a former warehouse from the early 1900s that presented a unique opportunity to reimagine a space that offered inherent character, but also the freedom to customize and positively impact the firm’s carbon footprint. The adaptive reuse of the original building uncovers and celebrates the structure’s nuances while embracing functional additions to the floorplate. Gensler’s design team expanded the 35,000-square-foot building by 10,000 square feet through the addition of five new mezzanines and five new staircases that aid building circulation and offer more spaces for collaboration, meetings, and hybrid co-working hideouts.
In line with both Edelman’s and Gensler’s long-term sustainability goals and emissions reduction targets, the new hub incorporated 15 percent of the building’s existing heritage and has been fitted with newer furniture from the firm’s previous workplace as well as 10 percent reupholstered vintage furniture. Inspired by Edelman’s core principles of excellence, curiosity, courage, and positive impact, Francis House creates macro-zones across floors that suit the needs of employees, but also clients. Spanning five floors, the space includes eight mezzanines, double height ceilings, and a spiral staircase that serves to encourage organic connections across different levels. Gensler has also incorporated over 700 seats with 24 different seating typologies, spread across the interior.
Carlos Posada, Workplace Leader, Principal at Gensler, said:
“We are delighted to have partnered with Edelman to co-create their new London headquarters. As creative companies worldwide seek to redefine the purpose of their offices, Francis House is the destination that embodies all the attributes of a workplace of the future – ushering in a new era which brings employees and clients together in a collaborative and sustainable environment that celebrates individuality and culture-building.”
Intended as a homebase that can serve a multitude of workstyles and event formats, the space contains dedicated, yet flexible floors that encourage serendipitous encounters as well as the cultivation of a shared purpose. The new London office exemplifies the trend of crafting experience for a new era of meaning and belonging in the workplace. Francis House caters to the hybrid work revolution and presents a modern solution to this shift by providing flexibility for Edelman UK’s 700+ employees. The multi-modal workplace is fitted with high and low energy zones designed to match and amplify employee energy. Areas for introversion and extroversion (12 different zones in total) cater to the diverse needs of the workplace – such as a high energy games room, and a myriad of places for both group and solo working.
Alongside its commitment to its employees, Edelman’s clients also sit at the core of its business. Francis House encourages new ways for the firm to ideate and entertain their impressive roster of innovative clients. Throughout the space, an entire floor is dedicated to client relations, where clients can work for the day, alone or with their Edelman teams.