Offices for Sawdays Publishing, Bristol

In 2013 Alastair Sawdays publishing moved from their idyllic office situated in a renovated farmhouse outside Bristol to move to a city centre location at Merchant’s House on Prince Street.

As their architects, we wanted to create for the company a welcoming space full of surprises, giving each team a separate identity reflected in the finishes and furnishings, with the layout arranged around the natural light and spectacular views of the harbourside. At the centre of the space we created a 'linear garden', inspired by the countryside setting of the company's previous home. It was considered important to weave in and recycle elements of their former office, which was dear to all the staff, whilst reinventing it in a way that embraced the change. 

As a result this central spine evolved into a hot desking and co-working space, with meeting areas and a high work bar recycled from the old picnic tables. More recently it has become home to a Bechstein Grand Piano which has been used for several fantastic jazz concerts.

Other features include the library of travel books in recycled packing crates in the reception area. 

The challenge for this project was to superimpose the proposal over the landlord’s standard spec fit-out, requiring minimal permanent intervention, whilst maintaining privacy between the teams and to meeting rooms.

“you did such a great job of creating something special within the sort of budget we could afford, and without the usual corporate nonsense”

Photos courtesy Simon Givens