Dezeen Magazine

Steelcase WorkLife by PearsonLloyd

London designers PearsonLloyd recently completed the interior of a new UK headquarters for office furniture manufacturer Steelcase.

Based on a series of cylinders which form partitions and furniture, the space incorporates a showroom, workspace and shop front.

The LED lighting system can be altered to accommodate launch parties as well as day to day running of the space.

Photography is by Ed Reeve.

The following information is from PearsonLloyd:


Steelcase WorkLife London

The new Steelcase London WorkLife is the 18th WorkLife within a global network of spaces that allow visitors to experience the company’s product portfolio and workplace knowledge.

Housed in a building on Farringdon Road that was heavily bombed during World War II, the WorkLife centre is a truly innovative space dedicated to the future of office environments.

PearsonLloyd were commissioned to design three floors of the building, which would meet Steelcase’s requirements to create an outstanding centre that would provide a showroom, workspace, shop front and an exciting and attractive venue.

One of the major challenges for the design team was to create a space that reflected London within the context of Steelcase’s global identity.

One of the key goals of this project was to create a space, which goes well beyond displaying products in a showroom.

It is an interactive space where customers can experience the innovative way space can be utilized in offices, and where Steelcase can demonstrate the results of their extensive research and development.

The primary design concept behind this project was to use white cylindrical forms in various heights and diameters to deliver different needs. These forms created a common design language throughout the space and a dynamic environment in which Steelcase products can be showcased.

On the ground floor, the three cylindrical drums hang down from the ceiling creating a sense of privacy without using physical walls.

In each area, PearsonLloyd experimented with different lighting, acoustics and furniture. Colour is introduced in the LED system, which can alter the space from formal to fun.

The key features of the WorkLife include: -

Showroom: The showroom not only showcases Steelcase’s products but also demonstrates the company’s expertise on working environments and work patterns.

Shop front: The space has been designed to capture the interests of passers-by and to promote Steelcase’s brand as dynamic and forward looking.

Workspace: The space supports the needs of Steelcase’s workforce, including desking, meeting rooms, technology, touchdown and informal areas. This space has been designed specifically to demonstrate how Steelcase implements its philosophy on office design and product usage.

Venue: The space has been constructed with the flexibility to host product launches and corporate and sales events.

Café area: A single space where employees and customers can meet informally.

Library area: Designed as a resource space for Steelcase staff and is filled with books on architecture, design, eco-design, sustainability, product design and London.

Gallery wall: This will contain a rolling programme of exhibitions, displays of research work and works by designers and artists.

Touch down column: Space where people can check emails or surf the web on the move.

Vaulted Spaces: On the Lower Ground floor, the concept of cylinders is developed within the vaulted spaces. The larger vaults are expressed with upholstered panels creating sound absorbent, private spaces for meeting and touchdown space.


The smaller vaults are transformed into a row of circular vitrines celebrating the iconic pieces from the Steelcase portfolio. And tucked in behind a column, one of the vitrines is lined with upholstered panels, to create a snug tunnel for a personal hiatus.

The Steelcase WorkLife network. Steelcase has 21 WorkLife centres around the world including Paris, New York, Milan, Beijing, Tokyo and Brussels. The WorkLife Centres go beyond traditional showrooms. Visitors not only to see products but also experience different work styles and meeting spaces as well as witnessing first hand Steelcase research and knowledge capabilities. The centres also demonstrate how Steelcase applies our methods and products to the company’s business.