Arthur J Gallagher, The Walbrook Building, 25 Wallbrook, London
Arthur J Gallagher was the first tenant to commit to space in the Foster designed Walbrook Building, and its early commitment was well rewarded with this marvelous workspace. The international insurance company has initially leased 5,600m2 to accommodate around 700 staff, who were previously spread around three different office locations. The space comprises the ground and 7th floors in addition to back of house basement space.
Whilst the building’s large floor plates were an obvious attraction, the challenges that arose from the depth of the ground floor and the lack of natural light that penetrates through, required a clever solution from the fit out team. This need for creative thinking was also the case regarding the crystal like oculus shaped atria and unusual façade. The responses were intelligent and the innovative design solutions have grasped the challenges and turned them into opportunities. Staff benefit from an inspirational working environment in a high quality, flexible setting. The client arrival area features a sculptured meeting room reflective of the building’s geometry; this makes effective use of the deep floor space that receives little or no natural light.
The ground floor has the main reception, a variety of meeting rooms and a lounge where brokers and underwriters can meet in a relaxed and informal setting. Two open plan zones alongside the windows provide desks for two business units. The trading floors have adopted a non-conventional design which makes them seemingly spin out from the atrium. This enables the space planning to satisfy the intense densities that are required for such trading activity, whilst also introducing an efficient element of comfort and space; the adjacent kitchen and breakout areas, buzzing with activity, further boosts this.
The seventh floor client meeting and fine dining suite incorporates electronic glass walls, allowing the rooms to be obscured at the flick of a switch. The project has transformed the way the global risk management specialist does business and the way it is perceived by its clients. The environment is a credit to the vision, involvement and attention to detail of the Arthur J Gallagher team.