A space that celebrates the joy of making, baking and sharing whilst creating a destination space for people to return to work in an agile and fluid manner.

A new workplace recipe with the same delicious taste, pladis’ new London HQ celebrates the joy of making, baking and sharing through a carefully crafted space, helping its people return to work in an agile, flexible and personalised way. With an assortment of settings for all work styles, the new office inspires people to do their best, engage in playful moments, and ultimately develops pladis’ unique corporate culture.

As one of the world’s leading confectionary and snacking companies, pladis’ move to a prime west London location required a workplace to showcase their iconic brands – including McVities, GODIVA and Ülker – helping support them in their vision of bringing ‘happiness to the world with every bite’. The new headquarters, which covers about 28,000 square feet, looks fresh and modern while still paying respect to Pladis’ history and legacy as a family of bakers. To encourage teamwork, creative thinking, and an inclusive, inventive culture, a carefully chosen variety of workstations, quiet areas, and collaboration settings have been created.

Designed and delivered during the global pandemic, this experimental project offered an insight into how the future of work could look. Gensler helped guide pladis through a dramatic shift away from traditional work models, listening and collaborating to facilitate the transition. Adding value with our workplace research, data, thought leadership, and expertise – distilled over more than 55 years of office design – we created an assorted ‘biscuit tin’ workplace with something for everyone and moments of happiness provided through different flavours, tastes and textures.

Gensler created a future-ready, feel-good space that celebrates the art of baking and captures the joy of sharing. The visioning process used a mix of pladis’ best ingredient – its people – assembling the whole team to discover fresh ideas. Through the engagement with HR, various ideas to champion wellbeing, and discovering the distinct ‘flavours’ of pladis helped unpack the vision, create goodwill, empower thinking and build strong relationships with all stakeholders.

The ‘heart’ space is welcoming, warm and convivial – a bakery-meets-hotel composition – with aromas of baked goods and coffee creating a multi-sensory brand experience. The open kitchen, with rolling pin light installations and ovens for baking and biscuit warming, provides a perfect hospitality setting where the products take centre stage and people can connect. A live digital screen links to the bakeries, celebrating the bakers’ key role in the pladis family, and showing the process behind the products.

The different pladis brands are accommodated with a range of customisable spaces. Brand hubs with flexible content and digital screens can be adapted and used by any group, and the ‘Family Room’ provides a large lounge space that teams can take over. Inspired by the leafy location, the space is filled with biophilia and maximises natural light to promote wellbeing. Maternity and wellness rooms form part of this people-led design approach, which prioritises happiness, health and self-care. The result is a landmark example of agile working which Pladis’ multi-generational workforce has embraced. This isn’t a universal solution, but a custom created space for Pladis’ people to celebrate and flourish in – a space that encourages everyone to create and harvest nourishing ideas and delicious experiences.

Project: Pladis Global HQ
Location: United Kingdom
Design Studio: Gensler
Photo Credit: Ben Tynegate
Website: gensler.com