The new London headquarters for Saatchi

Jump Studios’ headquarters for communications and advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi occupies a seven-storey, 30,500-square-metre building in Chancery Lane, London, designed by Bennetts Associates for developer Derwent London. Entered through a landscaped courtyard, the reception features a stone step inscribed with Saatchi & Saatchi’s ‘Nothing is Impossible’ motto taken from the entrance to its former Charlotte Street premises in Fitzrovia. This statement is reiterated in large steel letters on the fifth floor entertainment terrace. The company’s in-house Pregnant Man pub – named after the celebrated 1970 campaign for the Family Planning Association – has also been imported from Charlotte Street.

A traditional ground-floor reception area has been eschewed in favour of an open-plan social hub, which allows visitors to mix with employees upon arrival and gain an insight to the company’s creative approach. Intended to promote open and collaborative working, the space is planned around a central bar and cafe area. “Saatchi & Saatchi wanted its guests to feel as if they are stepping directly into the agency, not a holding reception before the real thing,” explains project architect Andre Nave.

“The design approach is ‘British with a twist’”, continues Nave. “From bespoke herringbone Bolon flooring in the boardroom, to wainscot panelling upholstered in houndstooth cloth on the office walls, different materials and patterns have been employed to catch the viewer’s attention and provoke a reaction, similar to the agency’s work.”

High-specification lighting combined with changing furniture, flooring and wall finishes are used to delineate the various functional zones, obviating the need for floor-to-ceiling partitioning. Mid-century furniture and lighting is used in social spaces to create a stylish aesthetic, while bespoke finishes, such as the brass tiles encasing the reception bar, are intended to reflect the company’s exacting standards and close attention to detail. Suspended candle-like luminaires designed by Ingo Maurer illuminate reflective steel floor tiles covering the central double-height spaces.

Designed in collaboration with Belgian furniture manufacturer Bulo, bespoke desks and shelving units with fully integrated power, data and cable-management systems provide a range of different workstations. The modular units incorporate writeable and pin-able panels for brainstorming and collaborative working. Flexible seating is located on each floor, alongside pink leather breakout booths. Encased in pre-cast concrete, the booths combine walnut tables with and data and power connection points.

Good levels of daylight are supplemented by LED luminaires, with linear systems used in the workstations and pendants and feature fittings employed in the meeting rooms and breakout spaces. The aim is to create clusters of light with different intensities and colour temperatures, says the architect. Designed to BREEAM Excellent, the building features what is said to be the UK largest chilled-ceiling installation.