SpaceInvader, a renowned architectural firm, has once again demonstrated its prowess by transforming the lower ground space of the newly re-developed ‘Glasshouse’ building at Alderley Park into a highly-desirable and unique concept called ‘Nest.’ Developers Bruntwood SciTech sought the expertise of SpaceInvader to find the best usage for this challenging space, which was part of the world-leading life science and innovation campus. The result is an exceptional co-working and collaboration area that stands out not only for its innovative design concept but also for its focus on employee wellbeing. In this article, we will delve into the brilliant minds behind the project and the design approach that made ‘Nest’ a remarkable success.
The Vision of SpaceInvader
When Bruntwood SciTech approached SpaceInvader to revitalize the lower ground space at Glasshouse, the architectural firm was given the freedom to explore and innovate. John Williams, SpaceInvader Director/Founder, stated, “Rather than giving us a brief, our client simply asked, ‘What can be done here?’ Our response was to find the light within the dark and seek to transform the feel completely. At the same time, we realized we could also make a virtue of its safe and cozy feeling of enclosure, creating a kind of hideaway that tied in with some elements of the rest of the building for the sake of integrity but which was also distinctly individual. It was the kind of challenge we love.”
The Design Concept: Serene, Uplifting, and Biophilic
The Glasshouse building primarily caters to technology and innovation businesses. SpaceInvader’s plan for the new ‘Nest’ space was to create two small, dedicated work suites that could be rented out to smaller-scale tech companies, while the rest of the area would serve as a collaborative co-working space open to all occupants of the building.
Mollie Ruttle, the Interior Designer on the project, explained, “Our overall design approach was to design a space that immediately felt serene and uplifting when you entered it, through the incorporation of great lighting and biophilic cues, while also making the best use of natural daylight.” The goal was to create a design-literate space for people who appreciate high-quality interiors, with a strong focus on promoting wellbeing.
The Role of Lighting
The success of the ‘Nest’ project heavily relied on thoughtful lighting design. Taking inspiration from the hospitality sector, the designers ensured that even in spaces with minimal natural daylight, a warm and inviting atmosphere was created. The lighting elements included diffused light from track lighting, light panels, curved lighting features, backlit planting, dramatic wall-to-floor lights, and curved suspended lights.
Furniture and Color Scheme
To achieve the desired comfort and tranquility, ‘Nest’ features soft furnishings and a color scheme that embraces oranges and greens alongside aluminum and brushed steel. The color scheme relates subtly to the atrium space, creating a seamless transition while maintaining the overall feeling of tranquility.
Incorporating Art and Nature
SpaceInvader incorporated art prints, created by their Branding and Graphics Associate Jenny Crossland, into the design, reflecting themes of Modernism, Plants, and Data. The prints not only enhance the aesthetics but also tie the entire concept together. Additionally, the design embraces biophilic cues with large plants in pots and a circular table with a tree at its center.
Notable Features: The Yoga Room’s Light Wall
One of the most captivating features of ‘Nest’ is the Yoga Room’s light wall made of white Corian, illuminated by backlit LEDs that change colors on a spectrum. This mesmerizing feature serves as both an art piece and a mood-defining element.
SpaceInvader‘s transformation of the lower ground space at Glasshouse into the ‘Nest’ co-working and collaboration area is nothing short of a masterpiece. The architectural brilliance combined with a focus on wellbeing, biophilic design, and innovative lighting concepts has resulted in a highly-desirable workspace that exudes serenity and uplifts the spirits of its users. ‘Nest’ stands as a testament to SpaceInvader’s creativity and ability to turn challenges into opportunities, making it a coveted space for all who step foot into it.
Photography: Andrew Smith at SG Photography
SpaceInvader Team:John Williams – Director/Founder
Mollie Ruttle, Main Designer
Jenny Crossland, Branding and Graphics Associate
Wincey Lam, Senior Technical & Interior Designer, Technical pack drawings/on-site meetings/feasibility
Technical Drawing Overseeing – Sarah Dabbs, Associate Director and Beth Gibson, Senior Interior Designer
James Lyons, CGI Artist
Cubic Works – Shan Khambata – Director / Gareth Robinson – Senior Project Manager / Thomas O’Brien – Site Manager
Feature carpet insets – EGE Mark of Time range
Suites & meeting room focus workspace carpets – Tarkett Linon range
Rubber flooring throughout – Nora Interface Norament range
Teapoint feature terrazzo flooring – Amtico Spacia Range
Brushed stainless steel for joinery – Formica
Timber Laminate for joinery – Natural Mandal Maple
Green solid surface kitchen counter tops – Hi-Macs Maui
The Corian back-lit wall from CDUK – Mario Ramano Walls Honey