Image Credit : All photos were taken by Stephen Bennett.



Project Overview

The Body shop wanted an office space that would boost collaboration and morale with a design that would reflect the ethics and the character of the business.
Two of the overriding themes on this project were unity and pride. The office design needed to allow the people that come to work for The Body Shop to feel at home. It was clear from the outset of the project that the client team wanted to focus on making this new workplace inclusive and varied, to replicate the identity of The Body Shop. Specifications such as gender-neutral toilets and a balance of private and communal spaces were decided upon to make sure that staff would see the harmony between the brand and the workplace.

Project Commissioner

The Body Shop

Project Creator

Morgan Lovell

Project Brief

Displaying the authenticity of the brand with a focus on the use of sustainable materials was the foundation of this design. The Body Shop wanted an office space that would boost collaboration through a more connected workplace.
The use of natural, raw and untreated materials was a detail clearly specified by The Body Shop. Their pursuit of a space that matched their values but physically demonstrated them was central to the design brief. Timber slats, natural cork and plants were used as wall finishes to limit excess use of paints or plasterboard when natural alternatives were available.
Brand values and products needed to be visible within the new office as there was a desire to inspire pride and being part of something within their employees. Having a mock shop was an element of the brief which would give staff and guests the chance to try and engage with their products the same way as they would in their stores.

Project Innovation/Need

Designing an office for a global retail brand means that the product needs to be on display as that is the central focus of their business. The mock shop demonstrates the ownership and identity as soon as you walk in the door. It also gives both staff and visitors a tangible experience of the products which has always been so important to the brand.
The property had been converted from four retail units and a pub, which presents a unique blueprint full of original features. We’ve used as many glass partitions as possible to retain natural light through the space as well as a sense of openness which retains the flow through the space. Designing an office across multiple floors requires this creativity to keep the sense of community and connection regardless of which floor you are working on.
The evolution and story of The Body Shop is also captured within the design. The meeting rooms are named after famous Brighton landmarks, marking the significance of Anita Roddick’s first store in Brighton before it grew into a global retailer. Their international CSR initiatives in India, Ghana and Brazil, are also shown through the tea points named after these countries where programmes have been developed to introduce sustainable product development and fair compensation for work. Elevating these elements by integrating them into the office design ensures these parts of the brand are celebrated.

Design Challenge

The design challenges on this project revolved around three main aspects. The Body Shop wanted a sustainable fit out, they wanted to retain a sense of community and there was also a requirement to reduce the number of desks.
The sustainability of the fit out largely revolved around using organic materials and repurposing elements from their existing office. Features like the biophilic wall in reception were repurposed from their previous office, raised access floors were left throughout most of the building and the property itself provided us with a raw industrial finish which complemented a paired back approach.
Maintaining a sense of community while being split over multiple floors presented a challenge as we couldn't have everyone on the same floor. The shift to activity-based working with tea points on each floor and the large breakout/event space on the ground floor was the solution to maintaining flow and community in the office. This shift also enabled The Body Shop to reduce their space requirements by over 100 desks, while headcount remained the same. By adding in new types of workspaces like private booths, collaboration tables and a library space we were able to provide The Body Shop staff with new ways of working which improved collaboration across teams.


One of the most prevalent business objectives which we committed to throughout the entire process was the requirement to deliver a sustainable fit out. As a B Corp, sustainability runs through everything The Body Shop do, and their office had to show this. To do this we ensured that as much site waste as possible was recycled, with our final reported site waste number being 99.2%.
We retained the inherent characteristics of the property and reused the existing furniture. This included biophilic design elements such as the living wall in reception, to ensure we were only buying new where essential. The flooring in most of the office is raised access flooring or original floorboards. Additional flooring such as the Desso Airmaster Sphere was chosen as it helps to improve indoor air quality and carries the GUI Gold Plus label.
The reception desk is made up of recycled materials; combining a top crafted from compressed fishing nets and plastics taken out of the ocean and floorboards which were reclaimed from the previous office. Leaving exposed elements from the building to reduce the amount of extra materials was a purposeful decision to retain the raw feel to the space but also to reduce the number of unnecessary products we used.

This award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes, aesthetic presentation and functionality. Consideration also given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.
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