Peldon Rose has been providing award-winning office design, office refurbishment and workplace consultancy in London for over 30 years. Their in-house team of talented industry specialists strive to deliver inspiring office designs and transform businesses.
in.Design take a look around the new Pret A Manger offices in Victoria. Peldon Rose have created a modern and honest space which not only celebrates, but truly encapsulates Pret’s history, success and unique global brand.
Pret A Manger wanted to create a people-centric London office which would capture and reflect the vital ingredients of their brand and culture. Pret chose a 31,500 sq ft office space at Verde SW1 in London, named 75B in honour of the first Pret shop that opened 30 years ago at 75B Victoria Street, only meters from the site of their first store. As one of London’s latest state-of-the-art office developments, Verde SW1 needed to provide the perfect base for over 300 employees, as well as visiting staff and business partners from the UK and overseas, and offer a true Pret experience for everyone who entered the space.
To ensure the office matched the soul of the brand, workplace consultants Peldon Rose worked alongside Pret’s Creative Director, James Cannell, to understand the Pret culture as well as his vision and inspiration for their new London office. James is central to Pret’s branding and values, so it was essential that Peldon Rose worked in close partnership with him. This relationship would then be key to ensure the office design and fit-out was a complete success.
One of the largest challenges facing the project was that Peldon Rose and their partners were trying to build an office while the very fabric of the building was still being finished. “It was like building your living room before the house is built,” reflects Jitesh Patel, CEO of Peldon Rose.
Despite this, Peldon Rose was able to closely collaborate with developers Tishman Speyer, main contractor Multiplex, and consultants including Aukett Swanke, WSP, MACE and Arup, to complete the project on time. “Through close collaboration we were able to coordinate our deliveries and works with other contractors and have access to the necessary services to ensure the office fit-out work continued with minimal interruption,” says Patel.
To create a new office for Pret that was reflective of its people and culture, the Pret project team began by conducting an extensive workplace consultation. This brought together a leadership group of managers from each department, undertook a time and motion study examining the overall use and efficiency of each work space, an online staff profile survey, and a ‘Pret Forum’ consisting of representatives from each department to act as sounding boards as the creative process took place.
To highlight Pret’s unique personality, the office design sought to tell the story of their success with design features and installations through numerous central touchpoints. All of these culminated in a space which was to be practical and fulfil a purpose for Pret staff where they would be given the trust, freedom and space to immerse themselves in the Pret brand and celebrate their individuality by choosing where to work in the office.
At reception, a blue plaque emblazoned with 75B sits on the reception desk to commemorate Pret’s first shop opening at 75B Victoria Street. Off reception is a meeting room with their first shop sign in glorious neon pink.
From reception, their history is celebrated in at the amphitheatre; a versatile breakout space used for company-wide meetings
The centrepiece of the office is a striking 30-year journey of Pret around the central glass atrium which lives and breathes their business and history in architectural form. This is a continuous piece of bespoke joinery, graphics and feature pieces which act as a timeline, telling the story of Pret.
Coupled with the right tools and technology, this truly agile working space is completely varied and allows staff to break away from desks for meetings and lunches. They are empowered to select the space which is perfect for their mood and the work they need to focus on.
Features on the timeline include a model delivery van which symbolises Pret’s unsold food donations to the homeless; fish light shades to demonstrate the use of pole and line caught tuna; classic American style booths with neon signs represent Pret’s first shop in the US; and a feature ‘PFT’ wall celebrates the Pret Foundation Trust which aims to alleviate poverty in the UK by helping break the cycle of homelessness.
In the lower level is a development kitchen where the food development team create new products and test recipes. This helps bring the magic of the brand in to the office. To celebrate their global shops, close to the development kitchen are striking country themed meeting rooms – all connected to the Pret brand.
Furniture was an important ingredient for the design, with large communal desks in the brief and seating and lockers provided by the Peldon Rose office furniture team. Pret took the lead with selecting the soft seating and bespoke statement furniture, with its personality shining through in quirky pieces including a flexi-canvas framed picture of a chair leaning against the wall which you can sit on.
“With a brand as unique in history as Pret, Peldon Rose had to ensure that the company’s new office was truly a celebration of everything that the people at Pret have accomplished and stood for over the last 30 years,” explains Patel. “This project focused on fully understanding their people, behaviours and culture to provide them with an office that puts individuals at the heart of the company and truly embodies Pret’s simple, natural and honest values. It was a pleasure for Peldon Rose to work alongside their talented team. We’re very proud of the work which the whole project team put in to create 75B. It’s a landmark office perfect for the people of Pret.”