Kraken
14 May, 2024
Creating a whole new world for Kraken Technologies London HQ
Enveloping staff and visitors in their unique brand and their futuristic vision, we transformed a heritage building into a world of its own for a growing team.

The challenge              

Designing a space that welcomed clients into their world, supported and excited team members, all while protecting valuable IP and designing with a view to continuous growth.

The solution            

Breaking the mould of what’s expected from a working environment we submerged it in brand colours and plant life with dedicated staff areas and flexible team spaces, enhanced by glass walls so that privacy is preserved but there’s an instant sense of inclusion.

The result            

An entirely unique office that brings people together whilst respecting individual working preferences, feeling professional and complete but with the flexibility to allow the company to continue to grow at pace.   

Kraken

Kraken is a world-leading business running an advanced operating system for utilities. With 54 million customer accounts across 17 countries, they do everything from managing and optimising energy resources, to delivering excellent customer experiences at a lower cost.

Kraken’s main office is in San Francisco. However, when it came to creating a dedicated London HQ, they worked with Maris to design a space that welcomed clients into their world, supported and excited team members, all while protecting valuable IP and designing with a view to continuous growth.

Juxtaposing styles

For their new office, they chose a floor within UK House, a landmark, Grade II listed building on London’s famous Oxford Street that dates back to 1903. Kraken is amongst a number of companies taking up space in the iconic property, juxtaposing its heritage exterior with transformed spaces that, in their case in particular, herald their futuristic mindset and technology-driven work.

Kraken

Designing for experience

There were two sides to the office design – the first was to create a client facing area that made visitors feel embraced by the brand. The second was to design a sociable working environment that brings the team together, encouraging movement and giving people the space to change where they were working around throughout the day.

The client journey

As you enter the office, you’re immediately welcomed into a unique hosting area that’s principally for clients. There are access control gates on either side to preserve privacy in team spaces, but there’s an instant sense of inclusion thanks to glass walls and a line of site that runs into strategically curated areas of the office.

This is an area that’s all about the client experience, taking them on a journey from the moment they arrive.  A vast video screen is on the wall in front of you in the lobby, while mirror-wrapped columns complete with graphics in the brand’s distinct purple hues create the impression of being submerged into the brand and everything that it stands for. There’s also a coffee point flanked by dedicated client project rooms for meetings and collaboration. 

A large boardroom is filled with natural light and lots of opportunities to showcase technology. This is almost a portal between the staff and client areas, placed by both the staff kitchen and the client lounge so it can be used to host guests and help them to feel part of the business without accessing the inner workings of the office.

The employee journey

A lot of attention was paid to supporting staff in the workplace with the office sitting either side of the client hosting area. On the left is a large staff kitchen and breakout space, complete with a vast island, all bringing people together. A cafe area has been designed to be flexible, so it can be used for events, complete with projector screens at the back, whilst also being used on a daily basis for employees to have lunch and spend time.

Segregated by acoustic glass to allow for changes in noise levels is an open plan workspace with lots of different furniture styles. It includes open plan desk areas, lounge areas and phone booths to enable different types of work. Alongside that, there is a series of nooks and smaller meetings rooms for quieter working and collaboration, as well as wellness and focus rooms for when people need a quiet moment to themselves. Meanwhile, the other side of the floor plate has been set up to anticipate high levels of team growth with more desking, phone booths and lounge seating.

Large windows look onto the busy world outside, while the inside perimeter looks onto an atrium, supporting the flow of light in the office. Meanwhile, technology is at the heart of Kraken, so there are AV walls and screens throughout the office, making particular use of columns. As a result, you can see a screen from every seating area, keeping tech omnipresent throughout the working day.

Breathing brand identity

Aesthetically, the space has an almost oceanic feel, drawing on the powerful inky brand colours and reflecting elements of the squid logo in innovative ways. For example, we created a futuristic design in the front of house lobby complete with custom neon lights, pink cable trays on the ceiling and circular pendants representing squid suckers.

Plant life was also important to the Kraken team, supporting wellbeing and adding nuance to the space. We worked with a specialist to select large, carefully chosen plants that reflect the brand’s punchy energy. Spiked leaves and interesting tendrils add to that under-the-sea atmosphere, with hanging baskets and living walls adding a Zen-like, conservatory feel, perfectly offsetting the bold brand colours.

“As a designer it was a gift of a project to work on because the team were so invested in it. We had a real chance to build relationships with each staff member at Kraken and it was a pleasure getting to know them, seeing people who are that passionate about their workplace. The result was a space that the whole team was solidly behind – everyone had their part to play in the outcome.”

Ellie Mumford, Design Director at Maris Interiors

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