EA Sports
3 May, 2024
Designing a London HQ for EA Sports in the former Olympic Park
Working to a tight deadline, we set about to create a collaborative, dynamic and secure workspace for the globally recognised team.

The challenge              

To design a creative, dynamic and secure workspace that honoured the EA Sports brand whilst working within unchangeable elements of the building’s structure. 

The solution            

By working with the building and its key features, we used innovative approaches to create a vibrant, sophisticated environment that impresses visitors and inspires team members.

The result            

The result is a fresh, welcoming and creative space that encourages interaction whilst delivering the core requirements of flexibility, wow-factor and security as well.    

EA Sports

A division of Electronic Arts, EA Sports is a leading developer of sports video games ranging from football to ice hockey, golf, basketball, Formula 1® and MMA games. Famous for publishing FIFA, Madden NFL, NHL, UFC, PGA TOUR and F1 video games, their main headquarters is in California, in the heart of Silicon Valley, but they have offices around the world.

When it came to designing their UK offices they came to Maris for a fast turnaround and key criteria to suit their flourishing business.

Working to a tight deadline

Having already found a space in Stratford within the Here East media complex located in the former Olympic Park, EA Sports were under a tight deadline. Work was underway towards the end of the Pandemic, and they were keen to have the team back under one roof.

As an established global business, they had a lot of criteria that we needed to adhere to in terms of the brand, with key graphics and a sports focus front and centre of the aesthetic. 

EA Sports

First impressions

Key criteria were creating wow-factor for client meeting spaces whilst ensuring security and privacy for the inner workings of the business. This was handled with the creation of a formal reception desk flanked by high security turnstiles and separate entrances into a dedicated client entertainment space vs the route into the main office.

As a result, visiting clients enter a welcome area with a coffee bar. However, they don’t have access into the office itself unless they’re invited into the boardroom, which is accessible on the opposite side from the workspace through a hidden door in a feature wall.

Flexible spaces

A point of challenge was in the vast open area intended for town hall meetings, where a significant portion of the flooring was made up of a sunken space. There was a concern about the height of the ceilings being too low, which gave us the opportunity to play with ideas such as bleacher seating to allow for more people to gather.

We also combined this part of the office with the breakout space to optimise its use and flexibility. By using the drop as a zoning tool, we kept the office open whilst defining different uses through the change in height as well as using contrasting floorings from one area to the next. 

EA Sports

Creating collaborative opportunities at EA Sports                     

Surrounding the central part of the office we placed a variety of rooms and seating options. As a creative company with lots of functions in the workplace, EA Sports wanted areas for collaboration, with large tables and moveable boards scattered around. All the meeting rooms have the flexibility to become larger or smaller depending on requirements, with two even opening to become part of the town hall space. Flexibility was a fundamental part of the design, but always driven by the desire to create opportunities for collaboration and to bring people together.

Working with the building   

A corridor along the windows provided an invitation to make use of space that could easily have been wasted. This area connected all other parts of the office, and the team were keen to maximise its benefit. We therefore added long, bar-style seating along the windows, integrated into the building structure to offer employees a variety of settings for staff to spend time away from their desks. There are bar stools, benches and a one-to-one booth, so the whole elevation is optimised, uniquely exploiting the facade.

EA Sports

Brand identity

Aesthetically we had to work with the building as well. An imposing structure with orange columns and steel girders throughout, we weren’t allowed to touch the structural elements, so needed to work in harmony with them. We therefore needed to keep the orange within the scheme which worked well with the brand colours. So, we reflected this in furniture elements, softening the bold colours with the use of timber, black and white. 

The exposed ceiling meant we had to retain the industrial feel of the space, except in the big town hall area where we finished it with wood to improve the acoustics. Alongside these dominant details we chose simple furniture but used rough metals and textural finishes. For added character we placed street art by a local graffiti artist in staff areas, as well as a mural and a graphic of the London Underground as a nod to the office’s regional identity.

Technical infrastructure

Fittingly, there was a large audiovisual requirement in the space, complete with vast screens in all spaces from the entrance to the client areas showcasing their work. Our team provided the infrastructure for this, including the power requirements and ensuring the joinery worked with the items they intended to use.

EA Sports

Dynamic results for EA Sports

The result is a fresh, welcoming, and creative space that encourages interaction whilst delivering the core requirements of flexibility, wow-factor and security as well.

“It was an exciting project to work on with positive challenges that encouraged the creative execution of ideas to ultimately deliver an experience that would enhance the way staff feel and operate in the workplace. It’s at once highly professional but energised and dynamic – perfect for a growing business with EA’s global reputation.”

Luisa Russo, Design Director at Maris Interiors

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