Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent is a global leader for science and enterprise with world-class laboratories and exceptional office space. In late 2018, it engaged IE to rejuvenate its shared tenant areas.
We observed and identified the main drivers for the project, suggesting a cohesive scheme to merge the layout redesign with rebranding and wayfinding to enhance the user experience.
After agreeing the concepts with the client, we worked closely with them to deliver the project within eight months. The contrast between the modern science labs and the local coastal area influenced the concept of defining two distinct themed zones. The 1st being the upper-level foyer: “The Exchange”, a junction point for interaction and ideas exchange.
This transition space offers quick touchdown work zones with accessible power and screens for content sharing. We also counterbalanced the increased sound levels in the space by using high back seating and hooded booths to baffle noise.
The 2nd zone “The Market” was codesigned with Discovery Park’s catering team defining the flow and key focal points to draw people into the restaurant. We created a holistic design aesthetic integrating graphics, furniture, lighting and finishes into the final plans. In contrast to the “The Exchange” a warmer natural colour palette sits alongside coastal imagery to create a relaxing retreat from the laboratory office areas.
Seating capacity was increased by 25% and by offering a variety of settings, usage is now consistent throughout the day. The Market can now accommodate large groups, small informal meetings, 1to1s, touchdown working (with accessible power) and sole focus space.
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