Case Study : International Consulting Firm

The Brief

Originally working out of a shared office suite, International Consulting Firm (ICF) opted in 2012 to move into an office space of their own. The requirements were as follows:

  • An organised space that reduces mess and clutter
  • A central canteen and social space for staff
  • Organised meeting rooms with modern technology
  • An entertainment area for events
  • Ensuring maximum benefit from their office space. This includes:
    • A variety of settings for different work tasks (ie: Focused/interactive/individual/collaborative)
    • Free seating (reducing 1:1 assignment)
    • Tools and support for working in a flexible way (technology, storage, supplies etc.)
  • A world class design that fits the international brand, while still keeping a local context

The Result

After consulting with both the local team and international ICF offices, the following solutions were put in place:

3 person offices were combined with open plan work spaces (kept to 8 seats per area and separated by closed rooms for privacy). A free seating approach was applied, with open plan workstations being positioned by windows with natural light to encourage their use. Special attention was paid to the floor plan, ensuring close proximity to focus rooms encouraging staff to take long phone calls in privacy and avoid disturbing the team. High tech meeting rooms (iRooms) were put in place with D-shaped tables and LCD screens. With laptop connectors available for everyone around the table, anyone can share their content to the main screen with the click of a button.

The design was split into 2 themes – the first theme was contrast, highlighting the diversity of the South African population. This was expressed through the use of black and white as a base pallet and photography on the walls. The second theme was colour. Rectangular blocks of colour ran through the central spine of the offices to characterise the vibrancy and energy of Africa. Each member of the Johannesburg team recorded their hand prints on paper, this was compiled to form a custom graphic in the shape of the African continent.

Unhindered by work space constraints, ICF are well positioned to continue their growth path in South Africa with an anticipated growth from 40 to 100 employees.