Monday 9 December 2013

The Changing Nature of Academic Workspace

200,000 academic staff in UK universities typically work in office space that differs significantly from the rest of the country’s offices. Most academics work, surrounded by books and papers, in their own enclosed individual offices or in small group offices.  By contrast, the majority of office-based employees in the rest of the economy work in open offices shared with many other people, and very few books or files. Is this difference essentially due to the special nature of academic work? Do academics really need individual offices, or should they use shared offices like most other office workers?

This was hotly debated at a recent seminar hosted by AMA Alexi Marmot Associates attended by around 30 academics and estates professionals from sixteen UK universities, where issues of status, academics wish to personalise their workspace and to store many books and papers, the importance of a sense of belonging, the influence of changing student requirements, the role of interdisciplinary, and the importance of consultation when changing academic workspace were discussed, among several other topics. 

A report which summarises the discussion is now available here

Tuesday 3 December 2013

AMA Involvement in new WWF HQ Featured in Architects' Journal

The new Hopkins-designed UK headquarters of the WWF-UK, celebrated for its green credentials, have just opened. AMA has been involved in the project at the outset.

Hattie Hartman, the Architects' Journals' Sustainability Editor, writes on the AJ website that "the brief for the office space was developed with Alexi Marmot Associates (AMA), which assisted the client with the move of its staff of 300 from its previous premises, a cellular 1960s building in Godalming. Surveys revealed that only 40 per cent of desks were occupied daily, increasing to 60 per cent at peak times."

"AMA developed three occupancy scenarios for the new building with varying degrees of hot desking. An underlying premise - and an important future-proofing strategy - was that the design should meet BCO guidelines. WWF-UK opted for maximum hot desking, which allows for 200 work stations, with an additional 30 spaces for sub-letting. Because people like to ‘belong’, team zones are retained, but staff are free to work anywhere in the building or remotely."

Read the full article here.

Photographer: © Richard Stonehouse 2014
Pictures used with kind permission from WWF-UK

Monday 2 December 2013

AMA is looking for a new team member

AMA is looking for a new team member. Our ideal candidate will be fascinated by the built environment, by its use, and its impact on users. For details, see