Sector: Technology
Location: Leeds
Date: 2023
Size: 9,000 sqft

The Brief

KnowBe4 is the world’s first and largest security awareness training and stimulated phishing platform that helps employers manage the ongoing problem of social engineering. The business was expanding rapidly and the new Leeds office was intended to not only provide a new local base for the business, but had to attract the best IT talent within the Yorkshire region.

As a customer of KnowBe4 we were excited by the prospect of working with them. We were introduced to KnowBe4 by Knight Frank who were managing their office move in Leeds and looking for companies to tender for the fit-out and furniture package. The project was a traditional tender, designed by Interior Designers Bluesky Design. We were delighted to receive the news that we had been awarded the fit-out package, we immediately got to work meeting the wider project team which included a nominated M&E consultant.

The Solution

One Leeds City Office Park was unusual as it had dropdown cooling ceilings, and all the pipe work and wiring was housed above the ceiling tiles. Detailed M&E co-ordination was identified as essential to the project’s success. The project team worked together to identify the best locations to place partitioning and our team paid particular attention to where the new partitions meet the grid to achieve sufficient acoustic value. Due to the ceiling grid, all the heating and cooling was fitted below the flooring, with this in mind, the majority of the flooring needed to be lifted to allow access to the system below. Once the system was reconfigured, the fresh air vents and grills had to be cut back into the floor with all the electrical grommets, so space was tight, getting them in the right position was essential as they would be difficult to move once the floor was reinstated and furniture installed. Bluesky Design and Ben Johnson worked together to mark up the desking layout on the raised floor, so the M&E contractors could clearly see where grommets and vents could be installed.

The Design had a strong emphasis on the distinctive KnowBe4 brand. Bluesky’s colour scheme and design features incorporated the KnowBe4 circle logo alongside the tangerine, charcoal, grey and white colour scheme.  Once the M&E was resolved our team could get to work applying the design features which really make the scheme. Bespoke manifestation was applied to all the office glazing, together with feature graphic walls. On-brand orange feature carpet was installed in key areas alongside the landlord existing re-installed grey carpet. Feature joinery included a kitchen and bespoke booth in the breakout area and a feature wall to visually separate the space. The space was further softened by the use of natural timber in areas, a brick slip wall, feature planting and fun neon lighting. The scheme included a choice of working areas including offices, meeting rooms, quiet rooms, phone booths, informal breakout areas and a games room.

The Finished Project

With an emphasis on down-time as well as work focused activities, KnowBe4’s new offices is a ‘fresh and vibrant’ place to work. The large breakout room creates space for informal interaction, while the adjacent games area provides a space where staff can unwind. The central games table converts from table tennis to pool and air hockey. Beanbags provide relaxed seating for staff to use the PlayStation, there is also a separate area for board games and recreational activities. KnowBe4 also installed a state of the art massage chair in their wellness room to keep everyone moving, and all the staff have access to power operated height adjustable desks.

The KnowBe4 team were keen to reflect the UK location in the scheme. All the meeting rooms and private spaces are named after references and characters from James Bond films, which reinforces the fun feel of the office. After homeworking for the previous six months, the staff were queueing to get into their new space at 7am on launch day! An excellent result and a fantastic client.

From design to completion, the Ben Johnson team worked flawlessly together delivering a scheme to budget whilst meeting an ambitious programme. All involved were extremely impressed with the project, and we look forward to working with Ben Johnson on future schemes.

James Green

Partner | Knight Frank

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