HCC Insurance Holdings

Location
Size

Fitzwilliam House, 10 St Mary Axe,
London, EC3

14000 sq ft

Size

14000 sq ft

Background

HCC Insurance Holdings is a leading specialty insurer with a total of 2,500 employees based in offices in the US, UK, Spain and Ireland.

The Project

Interactive Space acted as the project managers, and cost consultants on both premises, and had full design responsibilities, including space planning, interior design and mechanical and electrical engineering. Phase I of the project comprised the fifth and sixth floors of 1 Aldgate. There are approximately 90 people per floor, and the density level is 1:9.8. A space plan was created and carpets were used to highlight walkways, to aid the flow of people around the office. Interactive Space added some feature lighting in some areas such as feature strip lights and pendants above the reception and break-out pods. Modern furniture with white surfaces allows the light to bounce back. The pods are formed of a pair of high-back sofas facing each other with a table between them. Each floor has its own kitchen-cumbreak-out-space. The colour scheme here is a subtle white and grey, with different coloured mosaic tiles for the splash back.

The CEO, CFO and COO had been used to very large individual offices in the previous premises. On the sixth floor of 1 Aldgate they have smaller offices, but they are positioned in the corner of the building and have full-height glass windows, with glass fronts so that they have a sight line to their team. The walls are white and the furniture, including the L-shaped desk, is white with a hint of chrome. The careful space planning and effective use of colours and materials have resulted in a slick, minimal, crisp environment which disguises the density. Phase II, the front of house office at Fitzwilliam House, is being designed in harmony with 1 Aldgate. It will be a bright and productive environment that is also welcoming to visitors.

Client Objectives

The client’s lease on their single London premises was coming to an end. The intention was to house its front of house, clientfacing staff near to the Lloyds Building. Meanwhile, back of house facilities – including HR and IT – were to be located at a less expensive City address. Two floors in 1 Aldgate were acquired for HCC’s back of house staff, and one floor of Fitzwilliam House on St Mary Axe were acquired for front of house staff.

The previous spaces had been dull and dark, and Interactive Space was briefed to create a light and productive workplace. Interactive Space’s aim was to capture culture of HCC and reflect that in the design.

Key Facts

  • HCC’s office space at 1 Aldgate is 14,000sq ft, and at Fitzwilliam House it is 11,000sq ft.
  • Interactive Space carried out full-blown surveys of each building, identified some defects, and negotiated with landlord.
  • The commercial agent James Pickthorn, at Pickthorn chartered surveyors, acquired both premises for HCC.