Sky high style in Canary Wharf for the new Datatonic workplace.
In a truly collaborative relationship, we worked with Louis Decuypere, the Founder & CEO of leading tech firm, Datatonic, and his team to create a design concept for their new offices at One Canada Square in Canary Wharf.
The design combined art, science, a branding direction and a highly functional space that supported the needs of staff members. Also central to the design was maximising the panoramic views across London, ensuring that everyone benefitted from them as much as possible, rather than reserving them for clients and senior leadership.
Into the blue
At the time of engaging Maris, Datatonic was going through a complete rebrand and this formed the basis of the office design itself. The focal point was their blue cross logo, which became the leitmotif throughout the space, defining three core areas in the office and the pathways between them, encouraging communication between teams, activities and serendipitous interactions.
The three office segments required were:
- A quiet space for engineers
- A ‘loud’ space which would form the breakout area, space for training and social events
- A middle ground between those spaces
The cross logo was the key to the whole space. Each of the three areas is a circular environment with the cross running through the centre. On the floor, the cross marks the pathways around the office, connecting one space to the next. On the ceiling, where we have exposed the inner workings of the building, the cross appears again in a blue acoustic PET material, which aesthetically reinforces the brand identity but also absorbs unwanted sound. These spaces are anchored by circles created both on the ceiling and in the furniture formation.
You enter the office straight into the ‘loud’ space where, instead of being greeted by a reception, you are met with a coffee bar – it’s the first thing clients see, against a backdrop of the London skyline.
The collaborative ‘middle’ zone is reminiscent of the Google ‘Campfire’ concept. It is a multifunctional area with a range of tiered seating options from bar stools to benches, so it can work as an auditorium for the whole team, be used for hybrid meetings with remote clients and team members or operate as four separate areas for smaller meetings.
The ‘quiet’ space forms another circle round a cross, which is made up of individual booths for quiet, concentrated working or one-to-one conversations.
The style of the space is painstakingly clean and minimal, using a cool colour palette of light woods and tonal grey floors made of Bolon woven vinyl – which is both luxurious and sustainable. Accents of the brand’s specific blue are peppered throughout.
A favourite feature was our introduction of a winter garden. As the office has no outside space, we wanted to add to the sense of wellbeing and the chance for individuals to really appreciate the view. The winter garden is once again minimal in its details, delineated by plant life in raised planters that double as lockers, and featuring furniture chosen for its ergonomic lines. There are even sun loungers oriented towards the floor-to-ceiling windows.
In keeping with the brand, and Louis’ personal affinity with the meeting point between art and science, the office features art and installations that speak to the inner workings of the tech company. Paintings were commissioned by an American artist who employs the use of algorithms, there’s a working illustration of a tech stack in a glass case, and Maris’ own designs for the office space are now framed and on the walls of the finished space.
The result is not only a highly functional and inspiring office space, but one that lets the work, the location and the brand shine through in a quiet, understated but unequivocal style. In short, it’s beautiful.
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