Brodies LLP are a leading Scottish Law Firm providing legal expertise to clients near and far from their offices located across the UK and in Brussels.
Working in collaboration with Michael Laird Architects and The Bureau Group, we were delighted to offer planting solutions to help deliver a greener office space for Brodies that should encourage conversation, collaboration, and action.
Client: Brodies LLP
Location: Capital Square, Edinburgh
Size: 43,000 sq ft
Photography: David Cadzow
We were approached by Michael Laird Architects (MLA) last September to assist with Brodies move across the city from their traditional home at Atholl Crescent in Edinburgh’s West End. They wanted to make use of our creative planting expertise to complement their design for Brodies new space within the top three floors of the distinctive Capital Square building in the heart of the city centre.
Brodies move to Capital Square was driven by their desire for a space which reflects their commitment to an enlightened way of working with clients and colleagues in the years ahead. Their ethos of ‘Enlightened Thinking’ systematically unites expert views from all areas of the business, to create new knowledge and new legal possibilities that are uniquely suited to each of their clients. In contrast to the cellular Georgian Town House they previously occupied; Capital Square is a modern, bright, and flexible space providing the ideal canvas to achieve their objectives.
The office was designed to WELL building standards, incorporating solar panels, energy efficient lighting and numerous energy saving initiatives to enhance the health and wellbeing of those working in and visiting Capital Square. The building benefits from a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and EPC ‘A’ rating, meaning that not only is it highly sustainable and environmentally sound, from an occupier’s standpoint it is future proofed and highly efficient in terms of running costs.
Plants play an important role in helping to achieve these certifications and numerous studies have proven the various benefits plants can bring to an office setting such as improved acoustics, cleaner air, and increased productivity and creativity.
A University of Exeter study found that by incorporating plants into office design productivity improved by 15%. Their research demonstrated how plants in an office can also significantly increase workplace satisfaction, self-reported levels of concentration, and perceived air quality.
Based on the planting precedents sent to us by MLA, we prepared a detailed specification with visuals of the planting styles we could implement. This specification also included plant species, pricing, sizing guides and information on maintenance requirements.
Brodies hoped their new office would optimise the sharing of ideas and collaboration on projects. To promote this, MLA designed an office which employs many of the “Resimercial” design principles that have become increasingly popular in corporate settings, blending traditional residential and commercial design techniques to create a feeling of familiarity and comfort at work. They accomplished this by including a variety of seating types, tactile textures, and soft, ambient lighting in quieter areas of the office. We followed their lead by using an eclectic mixture of smaller, potted house plants to occupy desks, tabletops, and shelving to add to that homely feel.
“Our modern Edinburgh office design brings together everything we’ve learned about smart working into a dynamic and flexible space supported by the latest workplace technology.” Damien Behan, Innovation & Technology Director at Brodies
Furniture was supplied by The Bureau Group, a market leading office furniture and workspace solutions consultants, and we made use of the stylish grid shelving and cabinets they had provided for the office.
Grid shelving offers flexibility to workspaces providing the right mix of private and shared space. It allows for the simple and attractive division of space into zones for specific working purposes and social distancing without the cost of building walls. Grid shelving used here was customised to include gorgeous, draped greenery, plants, and moss panels assisting with noise reduction and delivering levels of privacy between different working zones whilst maintaining a connection with the whole space.
A total of 54 cabinet top planters were used throughout the three floors keeping nature close to every workstation. Densely planted with live mixed leafy plants and fibreglass waterproof liners, they gave the office a greener and more visually appealing look without taking up any valuable floor space. Cabinet top planters are an effective method of discouraging clutter and preventing documents being left lying around the office. Cabinet top planting is ideal for high traffic areas within an office and the eye-level planting allows everyone to enjoy the benefits of biophilic design.
A variety of medium and large floor standing planters were strategically placed in accordance with the design brief provided by MLA to ensure greenery was ever-present without being obstructive. In line with the green credentials of the Capital Square building, the containers we sourced for Brodies were manufactured from 100% ecological materials.
Capital Square’s flexible layout allowed us to use live plants throughout this project, with artificial plants only being used sparingly to enhance the look of high up areas that would be impractical to maintain. A mixture of artificial trailing plants were secured to hidden timber batten and fixed at the top of walls. Our artificial plant displays use the most natural looking and durable products to ensure a truly special look that requires no special care of attention. They are also created with inherent flame retardant properties and foliage is UV resistant to prevent discolouration.
Our planting extended to the outside rooftop areas featuring unparalleled views of Edinburgh Castle and the wider city skyline – perhaps the most impressive area of all in Brodie’s Capital Square office. We filled and planted 36 trough planters with mixed live exterior plants and wild grasses to create a lush rooftop garden area. This green space should provide an opportunity for restoration and moments of mindfulness throughout the working day.
“Capital Square delivers environmental standards that enhance the health and wellbeing of everyone who visits and works there.” Colin Morrison, Real Estate Partner and Capital Square Project Lead at Brodies
Installation took place over a few days in January ahead of the official opening of Brodies new Edinburgh office.
All planters used throughout the office were fitted with a watering reservoir for controlled maintenance and plant species were carefully selected to complement each pot size and location. Our team of experts will continue to provide a full maintenance service to ensure our plants continue looking as vibrant and healthy as the day they were installed – allowing Brodies to focus on what matters most.
With a total of 257 live plant displays installed, there is now a tangible feeling of nature throughout this modern working space. Through collaboration with MLA and The Bureau Group, and with the existing infrastructure in place at Capital Square, Brodies now have a much more congenial space for achieving their objectives in the years ahead.
“Capital Square provides our colleagues with flexible spaces in which to meet the needs of our clients, support each other, and have a collective sense of identity.” Kirstie Maclennan, People Engagement Director at Brodies
“Promoting well-being at work was key to the success of Brodies LLP new flexible workspace. Benholm’s creative planting promotes that well-being, whilst complementing and enhancing the variety of workspaces.” Kay Quillan, Marketing Manager at Bureau.
To find out how Benholm Group can use plants to bring your space to life, get in touch for a free quotation today. Call us on 01324 861 300 or email email@example.com