Interior architecture and design
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First Light Fusion, Oxford

We wanted our new offices to be an exciting environment with a modern, tech-led look and plenty of space to create, write formulae on walls and communicate ideas. We are seeking a solution to the world’s energy problems and wanted the “green” aspects of what we do to come out too.

- First Light Fusion

An exciting commission for an Oxford high-tech innovator working on the science and technology to make fusion energy a reality.  

As well as normal desk spaces, the client required a “stand-up” area for daily brainstorm sessions with white-board walls where ideas and formulae can be written down as they occur.  A key aspect of the design, these boards allow mathematical analysis to be spread out over many metres.  The offices have three levels of security, and the white boards form part of the highest level, so sadly we’re unable to show you photos of this aspect of the scheme.  Additional areas include a cafe, showers, and a series of casual meeting spaces, and also snugs where scientists can curl up quietly with a book.

The offices are spread over 800 square meters.  The dominating feature of the design was the need to differentiate three different security zones whilst maintaining a natural flow.  To achieve this we stripped the space back to its structure, including removing the ceiling and designed a series of elements to break up the space and create a more organic feel  

Colour is used to mark the different security areas. Colour selection was guided by the sunlight spectrum and the cooler palette of the company logo.  The security aspect influenced the design of the “pin-wheel” desks with all the services coming in from above.  These enable the scientists and engineers to be part of a community while at the same time ensuring that each individual’s work is not overlooked from behind.  All the materials specified were natural, and the bespoke furniture organic in shape.   We added a new extension for the communal areas including a double-height cafe.  In the reception area, are bespoke display cabinets to show artefacts from the company’s development  where again organic materials are specified, including a logo made of moss!  

As always, the lighting is an important part in creating the “feel” of these elements and we were delighted to be able to incorporate furniture and some decorative light-fittings from brand-new local British designers.  All the artwork is blown up abstract photographs taken from experiment targets.

Photography: pcraig.co.uk