Samsung Design’s European arm marks its 20th birthday with a relocation to a minimalistic, human-centric London workspace by McLaren.Excell.

Key features

Seeking to provide its UK team with a ‘truly interactive’ workspace, the electronics company enlisted the help of McLaren.Excell. The interiors and architecture firm took to London’s 70 St Mary Ave, developing a studio in collaboration with design-and-build company Oktra that embraces hybrid-working modalities. The design supports a ‘more relaxed, informal and experiential place of work’ ‘We want the Samsung office to have all the qualities that are enjoyable about your home,’ says managing director Luke McLaren, ‘a softness, a sense of calm, a high degree of tactility, spaces to congregate, spaces to which one can withdraw. . .but all the while nurturing that sense of welcome, of belonging, of enjoyment.’

Devoid of colour but still exuding warmth, the design nods to the office’s central placement in the English capital, as well as Samsung’s South Korean heritage. A series of timber screens facilitate the flexible use of space possible in the interior, dividing it into group working environments and private meeting areas. Moveable linen curtain partitions help in this function, while adding a tactile element. McLaren.Excell avoided the use of harsh lighting for a more domestic feel, utilizing area-specific fittings over a general grid. Plants and soft upholstered furnishing further communicate the home-at-work concept. 

Frame’s take

The human-centric workplace is very quickly transitioning from a trend to a standard. Nevertheless, achieving design that equally champions user comfortability and efficiency can be a challenge. McLaren.Excell’s work for Samsung Design supports the idea that a workplace can have domestic comforts while still inspiring productivity. And the design visibly communicates that this balance is an important part of Samsung Design’s values. As Oktra design director David Bishop aptly says of the office: ‘it’s going to reinforce their brand image on a daily basis for staff and visitors.'