Fitout of 360m² workspace for a real-time media software company in north London.
Green Hippo deliver audio visual shows and entertainment to a global market. The company had grown quickly, using three neighbouring office units which segregated their workforce. Core to the business is the Hippo School; a tutorial service where industry professionals would spend up to a week learning Green Hippo software. The brief included combining the three offices in an effective way, as well as providing dedicated teaching space, which along with a meeting room, could be visually and acoustically separated from the main workspace. As well as these uses, the brief included kitchen and dining facilities, a workshop space for repairing hardware and storage, and a defined entrance space welcoming visitors to the office. There was also a requirement to zone the three departments of the company; sales, technical support and development, according to how they interact with each other and the level of noise they generate. The existing office building benefitted from a continuous line of large format windows but the floor plate was deep, creating dark spaces that were impractical to work in.
Our design for Green Hippo splits the floor plate in two, with desks occupying the half closest to the line of windows, and teaching and meeting rooms located toward the centre of the building, within a new lightweight structure. Taking Green Hippo’s theatrical cue, a design was developed around ‘the stage’ with raised platforms to both rooms and blackout acoustic curtains segregating space. The curtain’s ‘ripple’ is mimicked in black corrugated steel cladding which covers the structure. At both ends of the ‘stage’ are technical areas; to one side a workshop space, cluttered with parts, can be cordoned off by the continuous line of black curtain. At the other end is a run of kitchen units, recessed within plywood lined walls to hide away from view, with adjacent dining and seating areas. The steel cladding continues around the structure, forming the wall to the main entrance which includes a hidden cloak cupboard. As part of this project, we also designed bespoke office furniture including a meeting couch and modular ‘screens’ with fittings for different uses and acoustic panels to provide the development team added audio separation from sales.