KCOM is one of the longest-established providers of communications services in the UK, connecting both businesses and residential customers and investing in better digital solutions for everyone. They started as the telephone department within the Hull Municipal Corporation in 1904 and over the subsequent years have evolved and transformed into the business they are today, serving commercial and residential customers with telecommunications infrastructure in the East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire areas.
Famous for its iconic cream phoneboxes, KCOM is a part of the history and fabric of Hull and the wider region and wanted to transform its city centre headquarters to reflect its past, present and future.
The team at KCOM were looking to create a unique working environment that aided collaboration and flexibility across the business, as well as improving the layout and flow across the ground floor space, which is visible to the public from the street level.
They wanted to refresh the entire scheme, integrating modern technology into the workspace and providing staff with multiple areas to work, as well as a brand-new tech area and helpdesk used to welcome customers in and provide tech support and product assistance.
Meeting and training areas were also a priority and making better use of their available space was high on the team’s agenda. This was to include meeting rooms, a relaxed cafe-style environment and a larger space used for bigger team meetings, education and events. In addition, KCOM sought a new multi-functional reception area that would be both public-facing and corporate, with well-being facilities and break-out/agile space.
The vastness of KCOM’s ground-floor was an incredible opportunity for us to do something truly amazing and our team took to this with both hands, creating a bold, modern and instantly-recognisable scheme that represented the KCOM brand. Utilising the space to its fullest potential was hugely important to the team, so we got to work on understanding the flow of traffic around the space and made decisions accordingly, looking to improve the journey throughout the space and ensuring the whole area made more sense.
Our plans included an auditorium-style meeting/training space (for use in and out of hours), cafe-style break-out areas, coworking/agile working desk areas, meeting rooms and their requested technology area, all done in a way that kept costs sustainable but the impact high.
The KCOM cream phone booths became a focal point and we used these within the space to add a playful element whilst also being highly functional, such as using one of them to create a Tardis-like entry point into a meeting room at the main reception area.
The shop-front part of the space was used to create the technology workshop area and the team really wanted to actively welcome customers in through the design. The tech area is key to allowing customers to pop in and speak with technical experts, seek product advice, submit repairs and browse the KCOM product range in a clear, stylish environment. We made this instantly recognisable as a customer-facing space and through the design created a familiarity that customers would understand thanks to seeing similar on the high street.
In terms of colour ways and branding, we utilised the KCOM orange throughout the space, however, this was toned down and complemented with colours and finishes, as well as leaning into the natural warehouse-style of the environment and its exposed ceiling and vast windows. Preserving natural light was important and it’s something we’ve been able to maximise throughout the space through space planning and partitioning.
The Finished Project
We had immediate synergy with the KCOM team and it was a pleasure to work with them on this exciting project, which marks a bit of a new era for the brand. The transformed space really embodies what they’re about as a business, with customer-facing and corporate areas that correspond to and complement each other, and there are endless things to catch the eye and create interest, from biophilic design to the use of photobooths, café style seating/open plan areas and amazing meeting spaces, fit for a variety of purposes.
Check out the project video below – don’t forget to click to view full-screen to see the project in all its glory!
Ben Johnson Interiors were a pleasure to work with, their ideas were creative and inspiring and really captured the essence of our brand.
I’d highly recommend Ben Johnson Interiors to anyone looking to transform their office space.