Samsara
29 March, 2024
Creating an award-winning office for Samsara ranked in the UK’s Top 15 Best Workplaces 2024
Transforming 45,000 sq ft in East London into a three-floor, people-centric destination for a rising star in the tech world.

The challenge              

Creating a people-focused environment to support a busy, international sales team company against tight schedules and with complex construction details.

The solution            

A two-phased approach that allowed staff to start working on two floors while we completed a connecting staircase and final parts of the design and build.

The result            

An award winning office that nurtures a competitive spirit, and creates a supportive, sociable atmosphere amongst a busy and rapidly growing team.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Samsara is a vibrant American IoT company with offices around the world. When it came to developing their London office, which also operates as their European HQ, they took three floors over a 45,000 sq ft space at 1 Alie Street in the heart of Aldgate.

The location and the building are in keeping with the brand’s youthful and cutting-edge mindset, and they wanted to create an environment that reflected that energetic company culture.

Samsara

Going the extra mile

Having been to San Francisco to meet the team, we were awarded the project having shown a deep and empathetic understanding of Samsara and what they wanted to achieve right from the initial pitch.

A space for staff

A young organisation with its founding entrepreneur still very much at the helm, their energy and go-getter attitude are front and centre of who they are. The project was a wonderful opportunity to help Samsara establish details for its next phase of growth and development, contributing to their design language and setting a benchmark for corporate guidelines.

Additionally, creating connectivity between teams and nurturing a sociable atmosphere akin to a family-like dynamic was a high priority to offset an intense, sales-focused environment. The office was intended to be predominantly for team use rather than showcasing products and services to clients, so the design concept hinged on supporting members of staff, their wellbeing and career development.

Creating connections

With a view to rapid growth, Samsara had taken three floors in the new office and part of the brief was to instal a connecting staircase, linking all spaces. In the process, this pivotal piece of the build creates connectivity between a large team of people who could easily become siloed. That focus on human connection was a pivotal part of the design, presenting a recurring theme throughout.

While the construction was complex, it was also on a tight schedule as the company’s old lease had already run out. This led to the two-phased approach, which meant installing staff on the first and third floors as soon as possible, whilst completing works with them in situ. Part of that involved securing the staircase behind hoarding panels, making it the final element to be revealed at completion.

Samsara

Establishing a people-centric culture

As a young company intent on growth, Samsara is heavily sales focused, with most of its team spending large amounts of time on calls in telesales and marketing. They sell all around the world and are positioned in geographical pods, in a highly competitive environment.

Mindful of the pressure that this type of work entails, the company wanted to offset the high-octane job roles with a people-focused space that fostered balance and a positive working culture. For example, there are breakout spaces on every floor adjacent to the staircase, which lands in the centre of each space for a sense of immediate inclusion.

Samsara

Commercial drive and character

One floor is dedicated to community and training, helping team members to understand the business and the product to drive commercial success. The second floor is the primary workspace – an open plan office with clean uniformity and as much natural light as possible. This is flanked by small meeting rooms and a wall of private booths, all with a sense of comfort in design details such as bright colours, illustrated wallpapers, soft seating options and geometric shapes and graphics to uplift and enhance.

Bringing people together  

The top floor, which enjoys exceptional views of this part of London, is dedicated to socialising and bringing people together. It includes a large food service area where hot meals are brought in each day via a goods lift. There’s a finishing kitchen and two island units where food is laid out for people to help themselves. It’s complete with a large screen at one end to enable global gatherings with teams around the world. The entire space is completely flexible and moveable, with lightweight furniture, communal tables, acoustic ceiling panels to soften the noise and a variety of seating.

A visual language

Reflective of the company’s young age and its impressive growth to date, Samsara was still defining their branding at the point of design. Too young to have established clear corporate guidelines, part of our role was to help create a language that they could use to define their presence in London and set a benchmark for their other offices.

In line with their sales-oriented outlook, they wanted team members to live and breathe the brand while at work. With that in mind, we used their colours – blues and yellows – throughout, to create visual interest on surfaces ranging from the staircase to parts of the exposed ceiling. 

We also created a graphics package in collaboration with their internal designer, which we applied differently in each meeting room, and on walls and glass partitions throughout. We also utilised their owl logo on screens and in lighting features, particularly above the reception as you enter the office.

A leap into the future

The development of Samsara’s new London premises marked a seismic shift in their company evolution, referencing not only their journey to date but heralding their commitment to a successful future as well. From their former site, which stood at around 10,000 sq ft to this 45,000 sq ft headquarters, the team grew dramatically over the course of the 34-week project and are set to expand further. The office is a physical representation of that trajectory, celebrating their fresh outlook as well as their growing professionalism as a company to be reckoned with in their field.

Maris Managing Director, Paul Sherwin said: “Samsara is a successful young company which is clearly on an upward trajectory. Their energy is infectious, and they needed a space that harnessed that skill and enthusiasm whilst also creating a strong sense of community amongst team members. Working with them to meet the objectives they knew they had, as well as defining and answering needs they had not yet articulated, the space we have delivered serves who they are today and sets them up for their future aspirations as well.”

Speak to the team at Maris