The last several years have seen a transformation of the Swarovski brand. While still primarily associated with crystal, the firm is now also perceived as a youthful women's fashion brand. The company's previous UK headquarters, however, had found itself increasingly out of step, with a layout which inhibited communication between staff members, and a design that did little to convey Swarovski brand values.
Swarovski's brief for their new workplace therefore emphasised open rather than enclosed architecture. Detail items included provision for a staff of up to 135, a boardroom, executive offices, small meeting rooms, a staff café/pantry, and a ‘mock shop' environment. M Moser collaborated with Swarovski to select a new space in the Richard Rogers-designed Chiswick Park business estate. Besides its proximity to central London, the site was viewed as ideal due to its contemporary architecture, sustainable infrastructure and amenities.
The finished office wraps partly around the building's service core and atrium, with the reception area - and its eye-catching ‘crystal wave' chandelier - visible through the atrium's glass walls. Reception's internal boundaries are loosely demarcated by two ‘islands' accommodating a luggage/cloakroom and a pantry. As well as preserving the office's openness and flow, the curvaceous islands serve to express the femininity of the Swarovski brand. Three larger islands within the floorplan - containing a staff café, executive offices, and a ‘mock shop' - exert a similar effect in the open-plan work areas. Colour also plays an important role in the design's strong ‘feel' for the brand. While predominantly white, the palette is enlivened with dashes of purple-blue and pink via selected furniture pieces and rugs. Graphic films applied to the curved wall sections add a hint of the prismatic effect of crystal. The project was completed and handed over to the client on April 20, 2012.