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Office Interiors

By The Drum | Administrator

November 20, 2003 | 4 min read

60 Watt's state of the art office

WWAV Rapp Collins Scotland

John Shannon, Head of Art

Once a grand old dance hall, The Assembly Rooms in Leith have seen everything from rock ’n’ rollers to the Bay City Rollers.

On first setting foot inside, we were handed hard hats then guided around a building site but could see its potential immediately.

The light, the space, the heritage.

Step inside now and you’ll see two commissioned sculptures of 50s dancing shoes on the walls of the elegant entrance hall. Into the reception and your first impression of WWAV should be one of professionalism and fun. You’ll notice award-clad walls and a “swivel” i-mac displaying our work.

Through the arch to the “bistro” area. This is an informal client and agency meeting area consisting of café-style furniture, a pool table and table footy. This leads to the main presentation room, featuring ambient lighting and a lovely table.

Up the sweeping stairs to the dance floor. On your way, you’ll notice the 1920s drum-kit and a large glitter ball. Another nod to bygone days.

Through the double doors and you’re at the heart. The mezzanine. Creative on top (lots of head space), account handling beneath (so we can throw things at them). The sense of space and light in this room is awesome.

From account handling through to a very long drawing room: you’ll find studio and production playing games. Hidden away, just beyond in the box room, you might hear the tapping of the accounts team.

The layout of each department was designed to create traffic. Get bums off seats. Get some banter going. There are other secret rooms for privacy, though.

The environment here is open. It invites you to fox-trot with every department. There’s no avoiding the social nature of this building. It says professional. It says fun.

Hey, if it was good enough for the Bay City Rollers ...

60 Watt

Pete Mill, Director

When we founded 60 Watt, we were based in a serviced office in Edinburgh’s West End. It had everything we didn’t want: high rents, no space, no amenities and no car parking.

“Let’s buy our own office,” we thought. So we got in touch with a property consultant, who found us a building that had everything we wanted. Just a stone’s throw from Haymarket station with its own entrance, parking and, best of all, a property with bags of character and plenty of space.

Er ... rather too much space for a business of our size.

The purchase was on and off for about six months while we hummed and hawed about whether we could afford it. Then one of our brighter acquaintances suggested that we refurbish the property to incorporate a research viewing studio. “That way, you can rent the building out at night, when most research groups are conducted, and dramatically reduce your overheads.”

No sooner said than done. Paul and Siobahn of Room Interiors came up with a simple but stunningly effective proposal: hard floors, plain white walls and white desks to make the most of the space, offset by a few brightly coloured pieces like the retro L-shaped Designer’s Guild sofa and Philippe Stark acrylic tub chairs. The round one-way viewing mirror was our idea (it looks like a feature rather than a necessity) and was enthusiastically developed by Room into a circular theme for the whole office. The result is a unique space that turns heads and drops jaws whenever people visit us for the first time.

The viewing studio business totally complements our core communication consultancy business. It enables us to work in a funky, stimulating environment with plenty of space and light. Without the research facility, we’d be able to afford little more than basic desk space. But with it, we have a formal meeting room, an informal meeting area and a reception as well as luxuries like air conditioning and a 42” plasma screen for presentations.

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