Specialist Group was delighted to speak to the lead designers of the impressive IPG Mediabrands new office space.
Terri joined MCM in 2012 and is responsible for leading projects from brief to completion. Terri heads up a tight knit team and thrives on brainstorming and building concepts with them. She builds strong relationships with clients who know they can rely on her for anything. Liana has been with MCM since 2013 after graduating in Interior Architecture and Design. Liana takes an active role across all aspects of projects; working with clients, contractors, internal teams and she is passionate about creating exciting spaces.
Read below what the ladies have to say about their work on Mediabrands and their thoughts on the winder interior fit out industry.
Q. All professions change over time. What are you seeing as the key challenges in the Interior Design and Architecture industry?
Terri: “I suppose lots of people would think similar things, but I think with the pandemic people are tending to work from home more and reduce time in the office and we’re finding that Mondays and Fridays are the quietest, so that’s a challenge. Our clients are re-evaluating how much real estate they need and so we need to work alongside them to make sure that they are getting as much out of the space they have.”
Liana: “I think the draw to come in is a big issue – we need to give people a reason to come into the office and actually be with their team and people they need to work with and not struggle to find a desk, which I think can be a problem in big companies with large teams who may have decided to downsize their office space.”
Q. How would you describe the theme of IPG Mediabrands?
Liana: “The front of the building is the listed section, so we wanted to do some research into that part of building and the area in general because it was built in the early 1900s. We looked at the proximity to the train station and the trains at those times would have had rich deep colours in their upholstery and metal work. So, we wanted to bring those elements into the project and create a bit of contrast between that old part of the building and the new part as well and the client really liked the history and the background behind how it got to that concept.”
Terri: “It was a real story around the materials that we selected and the textures. All of the architecture in that area is something that we thought was very modern and very old, and it was that kind of contrast that we kind of took in our finishes palette. In terms of the joinery there was these really beautiful veneers but then there was also mesh and metal work that referenced the railway. So it all had a story and a reason – every time we specified something it always went back to the very early concept that the design team developed.”
Q. What is your favourite part of the project?
Terri: “I think my favourite is Level 7 and 8 because they are wow factor spaces and that is where all the employees migrate to, especially Level 7 because it has got the terrace. But then Level 8 is just as special because that was designed around the client experience, it is for everybody but early on in the brief our client said that there are so many different clients coming into the building. From that we came up with a concept called ‘flick of a switch’ and it was the idea that there’s lots of different agencies within IPG, every different agency had different clients in, and they wanted to have either lighting or technology to transform something so you can personalise it for those coming in. So there was a portal that we designed that changed colour and that leads you around to Level 8, so that whole journey is quite special. When you get to Level 8 there is so many different great spaces, there is an exhibition space that they can set up for their pitching, there’s the chemistry space with a full height video wall. There’s lots of different experiences there between the two levels of wow factor.”
Liana: “A space that we didn’t necessarily intend to be a wow space, it just happened to get to that point was the lower ground space. That space went through quite a few rounds of value engineering and so we had to create some interesting ways to make it work but on a bit more of a budget on that floor. I think that was the one that surprised me the most looking into that space, because its dark and doesn’t get any natural light but the lighting was really cleverly placed, and it all worked really well.”
Q. You worked with Specialist Group on IPG, how would you describe that working relationship?
Terri: “It was fantastic, I think all of the joinery installed was very high quality and there was some real challenging pieces of installation. We love the UM red portal and it photographs really well but in terms of the design it was all different angles and different textures. I think it was a real challenge to do but the client is really happy and it’s a great success.”
Liana: “There is some nice joinery on Level 7 and 8 as well, those spaces are some really wow spaces with the views and everything. A lot of the joinery helps structure the space and are some really stand out joinery elements of this project.”
Read the full interview here: Meet the Designers