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Apollo Court

Described as ‘the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer’, Ocado required an office fitout to match their status. They acquired the remaining 25,000 sq ft of Cat A floor space in Apollo Court on Hatfield Business Park.  This gave them the whole building including a full height atrium. The new space was to become a contemporary workplace that would bring their teams together. Starting with a Cat A blank canvas, Woodhouse listened to Ocado’s key requirements and the detailed design process began. Part way through the project a key challenge emerged: Ocado agreed a joint venture with M&S and Apollo Court was nominated to be the HQ for this new partnership. This required a raft of changes to the design and subsequent fitout after the project had commenced on site.

Starting with a Cat A blank canvas, Woodhouse listened to Ocado’s requirements and developed the workspace in collaboration with them. Key elements of the new layout include a refreshed reception area providing a welcoming introduction to the company. Leading from the reception is a central atrium café which then flows into the outdoor area. Meeting rooms, breakout spaces, collaborations zones, tea points and open plan desking were all part of the Smarter Workspace that was created for Ocado to enhance collaboration, communication and concentration. Ocado have a space that is both modern and practical and equips the teams to perform to their best.

Retail / Media & Technology
Office design & fitout

A fast and flexible response to the changing nature of work

The onset of the Covid pandemic presented both the client and ourselves with an unexpected new challenge when it came to fitting out the third floor. Gone, at least temporarily and possibly long term, was the presence of large numbers of staff working typical office hours. The challenge therefore was not only to meet the need for flexibility and social distancing while pandemic restrictions prevailed, but also to deliver a working environment that could quickly adapt to whatever ‘new normal’ might develop in the longer term.

With such an unprecedented situation to respond to, it was more vital than ever to work closely with Ocado to ensure our design would meet all the potential scenarios which they might encounter. We presented a range of options, then worked further with them to refine the one they preferred.

The results

The resulting space features unallocated desk spaces allowing employees to work anywhere within the office , with more areas given over to encouraging group activities. As well as traditional meeting rooms, mobile whiteboards enable impromptu meetings to take place anywhere, while dedicated pods offer further, more structured options. Individual, soundproofed booths also enable phone and video calls to be conducted in privacy and without disturbing other members of staff.

Woodhouse have been fantastic across the project lifecycle on all the projects I have done with them. From their innovative designing, budgeting, right through to the project execution and close out I've been very pleased with the service received. The end product is of exceptional quality and replicates exactly what you expect when you first see the designs.

Callum Curtiss
Real Estate Project Manager

A new space for the technology team

Our solution to the brief set by Ocado was to add space by extending the building’s first floor by creating a new mezzanine level within the existing warehouse and redesigning the layout of the existing floors. New windows have also been added to the first floor, to improve the amount of natural light, provide a pleasant outlook for staff, and complement the bright colour scheme and interiors.

There are two breakout areas, including a newly enlarged canteen, and a large meeting room with foldable glass walls that can opened to create a large ‘town hall’ space, complete with tannoy system and projector – ideal for large group presentations and gatherings. Further flexible features such as the modular furniture and soft seating can be easily reconfigured to provide employees access to a range of different space typologies in which to work or socialise.

The main office area on the first floor is made up of single desks arranged in U-shapes that are assigned to employees, to suit their pod-style working. There are more additional meeting rooms and collaborative spaces as well as phone and video conference booths which have height-adjustable desks to suit different styles of working.

Exterior works included ground works for footings and aircon extenders outside, which were needed to build a new fire escape on the first floor. Woodhouse also installed new mechanical and electrical systems throughout the interior.

Project summary

The result is an attractive workspace which perfectly fits Ocado’s needs for the foreseeable future but can also be adapted very quickly to any new working patterns that may materialise in the longer term.


Awards and accreditations

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