Evolving and improving on the way things are done for WeWork workspaces is this week’s LDNER and leader of the design team Andy Heath. But looking after the design process for one of the fastest growing tenants in the world is no small task. Let’s meet Andy…
Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?
I currently live in Earlsfield, in South West London – I’ve been in and around this area since I moved to London 12 years ago. I love the fact it still has a village feel, so it’s my little escape from the bustle of the city at the weekends. It’s close to everything I love: green space (Wandsworth Common, Clapham Common), pubs (the Leather Bottle has the best beer garden in London), a sense of community, a decent high street and multiple weekend brunch options all within a short walk of my front door.
Tell us how you came to lead the design team at WeWork.
I started with WeWork in its early days when I lived in New York, turning my hand to all aspects of the design process. This makes me well-placed to oversee our design strategy with the WeWork’s brilliant design team, to create something that has as much legacy as it has forward-thinking. I’ve seen the company grow from four sites in New York to becoming a global community platform with over 210,000 members, with over 230 sites in 71 cities, so I feel part of the furniture these days.
How does the design of an office relate to its location? Do different offices in the same city vary a lot? And how about European offices compared to Australian ones?
My design ethos is ‘global thru-line with a local feel’ and I think my team achieve that every time – you know you are in a WeWork but also very aware the space is new and exciting. We’ve recently changed our interior design strategy to create a very neutral typology in order to make the space speak for itself with local art, stylish furniture and making sure we make the most of those next-level views available to us. There is no better way to get an office to relate to the location than by making the view the feature – go check out our Tower Bridge location. In fact, I’d encourage you to visit our WeWork spaces worldwide: no two look the same.[easy-image-collage id=105561]
What touches do you like to include to make WeWork spaces stand out from other offices?
We spend a lot of time curating the perfect space for our members – our spaces stand out because of how domestic and local they feel. Whether that’s a capital city like London, or in Manchester where we’ve opened our offices in the heart of Spinningfields, flourishing with local business, restaurants and bars. I believe that people – our members – are at their best when they feel at home, so we give them that, every time. Outside of the ‘work’ zone (desk areas) our lounges, meeting areas and amenity spaces are designed just like that and it’s amazing to see how members instantly collaborate with each other and take real ownership of their space.
Describe your perfect day in London.
I LOVE London, so it’s easy to imagine a perfect day here. It involves a lie-in; a blue sky (but I’m a realist – it is London, after all);a walk to a brunch spot (no queue!); my body weight in avocado, bacon, feta and sourdough (clearly a South-West Londoner); followed by a visit to the Tate Modern. I’d then stroll along the river, hand in hand with my wife (romance isn’t dead), followed by stopping for a restorative brew and some cake (in the perfect world calories and carbs aren’t a thing). The afternoon would then entail meeting up with friends for a walk on the Heath and then finally settling in to a cosy pub for dinner, drinks and games with the crew. Perfick!