CDC Group Cat B Fit Out | Oktra Case Study
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  • CDC Group

    London SW1 / Investment Management / 10,000 sq ft / 7 weeks

  • Culture change

    CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, were looking to consolidate their desk space and create a more dynamic and vibrant work environment that would promote creativity and collaboration. The international organisation wanted their workplace to reflect their respect for the cultures of the countries where they work and provide an inviting space for people to come back to after returning from travel. Another driver behind the project was our client’s need for a more cost effective workspace that met the needs of its growing employee population; moving from 1:1 desks to a more flexible workspace that supported deskwork and collaborative working.

  • Workplace consultancy findings

    The new design is shaped by workplace consultancy insights; CDC Group underwent a thorough consultancy process with HATCH to investigate their core functions, working styles, communication patterns, and what changes they needed to make to stimulate a culture change in their workplace. The consultant’s findings informed their decision to create an agile and collaborative work environment that would introduce new ways of working.

    As a business that supports companies in developing countries around the globe, the nature of their work involves a lot of travel and CDC Group recognised the need to support remote working before the pandemic. The surge in hybrid working models cemented their brief for a flexible and open workspace, and we designed and delivered the project over lockdown.

  • Curated workspace

    A development-focused mission is at the heart of what CDC Group do, and they were keen to design a workplace that embodied their purpose and values with playful uses of bright, earthy colours and textures that link to the countries where they focus their investment. Material choices reference Africa and India, with vases, textured cushions and patterned rugs adding depth and richness and giving our client a starting point to make the space their own. Curation was a key principle in the design, and we installed bespoke joinery shelves where staff can place their own artefacts collected from their travels.

  • Furniture for collaboration

    The sixth floor office layout features very few fixed meeting rooms or cellular offices, with open plan meeting spaces, divides in the form of tables and planting, and a large breakout area. Oktra’s furniture specialists sourced pieces that were radically different from CDC Group’s current furniture – designed to spark collaboration and creativity. The colourful selection includes high back booths for informal meetings, tiered seating for touchdown meetings, modular seating for agile working, and soft sofas and armchairs in the coffee lounge.

    Flexibility is built into the space with screens that can be moved to customise the meeting experience, and a flexible auditorium that can be converted into a town hall meeting space for the whole company.

  • Sustainable design

    CDC Group are passionate about sustainable business practices and work with their investees to help them meet Environmental Social Governance (ESG) standards. Therefore, it was important for their new workplace to represent these values.

    Our designers specified suppliers that used recycled materials in their products, such as Tarkett Linoleum; one of the greenest flooring solutions on the market, made from 94% natural raw materials. Other sustainable products include Actiu’s chairs, Senator’s under-desk storage units and insulation which all have over 50% recycled content. We minimised the carbon footprint of the build by recycling 100% of construction waste and ultimately achieved a SKA Silver rating that communicates CDC Group’s commitment to responsible business to their stakeholders.

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