Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)


Chancery Exchange, 10 Furnival Street,
London, EC4

11500 sq ft


11500 sq ft


Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is an NGO which delivers emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare.

The UK branch, MSF UK, needed to relocate as their lease was due to expire. Staff were previously spread over three floors, meaning the culture was fractured.

The well-considered move would enable them to change the way they worked.

The Project

Interactive Space’s workspace strategy confirmed that the client needed an area of 11,500sq ft. The premises at 10 Furnival Street was located – an old patent office with lots of character. This was a lower-ground floor office with good-sized light wells and two courtyard areas.

The single floor is divided into a traditional office space and different types of meeting rooms, broadcast rooms and pods for field calls.

Not all MSF UK’s 120 staff are desk-bound, so hot-desking was introduced as one type of workstation.

Interactive Space acted as project managers and cost consultants, and had full design responsibilities, including space planning, interior design and mechanical and electrical engineering.

Client Objectives

MSF UK briefed Interactive Space to rethink the manner in which the organisation used its office space. This was an opportunity to introduce new ways of working.

While the space should not appear to be opulent, it did need to be comfortable because staff work hard and very long hours.

Key Facts

  • The project fit-out was just 10 weeks on site.
  • Interactive Space delivered the project under budget and a week early. The budget was reviewed at weekly meetings.
  • The commercial chartered surveyor was Bond Woodhouse.
  • Interactive Space liaised with the landlord to install effective LED lighting, and to refurbish the air-conditioning systems. This resulted in a significant cost-saving for the client.
  • The client was keen to use a former employee to make items of joinery for the fit-out. The front reception desk is a boldly rustic piece, that has been incorporated into the design.