Aiming high with Allianz
14,000 sq ft
- Services Involved
Design and Build
Allianz wanted to move their flagship Manchester office into a building that could support their new flexible working strategy.
TSK were appointed to design and build the new workspace, with a brief for a much quicker turnaround than a company of their size is historically used to.
Everything begins with insight
To begin with, we ran a workplace consultancy workshop with key stakeholders to understand the drivers of the project and establish what they wanted to achieve with their new workplace.
It’s now interesting to note that the initial consultation was before March 2020.
The Time Utilisation Study we carried out at that time concluded that the team didn’t need as much space. Allianz were confident that they could successfully reduce the size of their office – but make the space better.
The Covid effect
After we completed the engagement exercises, the world was put on pause by Covid. Allianz placed a complete emphasis on home working while they re-evaluated their strategy.
The greatest testament to the initial pre-Covid designs for the new workplace was that they didn’t need to be changed. Everything was already focused on being agile.
Design demands decisions
Allianz wanted to create an amazing experience for their people, focused on wellbeing, collaboration and connection.
To do this successfully, they needed a better building to create a better workplace experience.
Building for experience
The new home of Allianz is in Manchester’s Landmark building. This is a state-of-the-art Grade A office space located in the premier business district of St Peter’s Square, with enviable connectivity to the city’s tram network.
Importantly, Allianz and Landmark have a shared outlook on the importance of wellbeing in the workplace:
“Landmark acknowledges that wellbeing has a direct influence on productivity. They have embraced this by integrating everything from huge natural light sources for improved productivity to excellent air quality and ventilation rates. In addition, mindfulness and wellness classes, fitness and mental health support workshops are also provided.”
Sustainability is also a key value for Allianz, and they were suitably reassured that this building can support them and their workforce in this area. Designed by architects Squire & Partners, the 13-level Landmark building has been rated excellent for its sustainability, according to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).
Equipped with solar panels and electric car charging points, as well as sensors for lighting and taps, it includes storage for recyclable materials and a hub to park and maintain bicycles.
As an award-winning building for sustainability, it represents the most modern space you could possibly get in a thriving city.
Meeting the challenge
Time was of the essence for all involved in this fast-track project of only eight weeks.
To complicate things further, the building also had two other fit-out projects taking place simultaneously. This meant that logistics needed to be considered, planned and executed to a precise level of detail to deliver on time.
The first floor was the only floor in the building with a vaulted, high-level ceiling (4m). To address this, we brought features down to a 2.7m level so when you are in a breakout space or a client lounge, it doesn’t feel like such a vast area.
Continuing the drive towards a more intimate and welcoming space, we also treated it with acoustics and created feature lighting as a key focus.
Achieving the best working environment in this feature-rich building required the utmost creativity, commitment and coordination from our team.
An office with purpose
There are two distinct functions of the space: as a training area and as a secure micro office.
Two-folding walls have been created to allow for open-plan meetings and presentations that can respond to the requirements of both of these functions.
Applying the appropriate technology meant designing and installing a future-proof AV solution that met their needs for the long term. Amazon devices are synced with all hardware for voice activation and control, and each meeting/focus room has independently controlled lighting and scene-setting.
Good to go
Collaborative space, training areas and breakout environments account for most of the 14,000 sq ft footprint, with workstations only taking up around half the footprint of the floorplate.
This workplace supports development, growth and learning. Taking lessons and cues from the contemporary world, it’s ready to meet the challenges of an evolving and adaptable future.