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EY-Seren Appoint Maris Interiors

Purpose of Engagement

EY-Seren are bringing together all their most innovative and creative people, their designers, futurists, makers and misfits within EY under one roof. They are also bringing their Clients into the fold, with a new flagship Wavespace and Labs where they can co-create and accelerate solutions to business problems.

Currently EY’s design, innovation, customer experience and growth offerings are fragmented across teams that have limited interaction or that collaborate on an ad hoc basis. EY have 450 people in the UK working in these areas, about 370 of these will be brought together in the new campus. Maris believes that physically bringing these teams together will form something greater than the sum of their individual parts – and that will in turn drive exceptional outcomes for EY and for their Clients.

Maris Interiors Assignment

Maris Interiors were initially appointed on a Workplace Design basis with the potential to physically build the project if we proved our worth and value during this initial stage. We were provided with a very vague, but highly driven design brief to create an infectious environment that would disrupt the way EY currently operate. This proved to be an incredibly exciting and collaborative project with multiple stakeholders from within EY and also their wider audience, including Clients. We were asked to challenge the way EY operate, in that, for the last 200 years they have been very successful, driven by a distinct culture of not making mistakes and remaining risk adverse, given their source of audit quality and a position of trust with Clients. We were challenged with how we create relevancy through our design to help EY recognise that to be successful, their business needs to adapt. We showed how our design would allow EY to change their business and expand into new areas. We proved they needed to experiment, iterate, fail and scale.

Not only did we create a design and space to deliver against each objective, we were also appointed to build the project working alongside their external professional team. Maris Interiors were responsible for all elements of design and construction including liaising with the Landlord to ensure our mechanical, electrical and structural designs and calculations were met with approval and signed off.

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Maris Interiors Approach and Methodology

We started with a visioning session with EY, EY-Seren and EYX. Given our brief, we had to prove very quickly with many illustrations and concepts that we had the understanding, capability and experience to translate their words into our designs, in a 3D and animated perspective. We worked hard to gather the disparate teams into a place of common understanding and agreement. We carried out many visioning sessions to share our progress and have EY challenge our thoughts and design developments.

Draw and Tell Sessions with User Groups, Clients and Stakeholders

Given the creative nature and bias of everyone involved we decided to run several sessions with each of the different user groups, where we asked them to physically draw the type of spaces they required. This proved to be invaluable in terms of engagement, fun and providing our teams with a very clear understanding of EY’s unique requirements. These drawings were used to “prove” our designs and were used during the Design Workshops.

Multiple Design Workshops

It became very apparent, very quickly that the best way to describe how the design was developing would be to conduct many design workshops which were collaborative and engaging. Each session had approximately 15 employees from EY during which time we immersed them in the design and concepts, look and feel, finishes and space plans. We were very careful to describe how the design was developing and always referenced back to the initial brief.

All Hands Company Presentation

EY were very keen to keep the entire company appraised of progress, on a monthly basis we ran an “All Hands Meeting” with video link for those who could not attend. These sessions were “design heavy” and gave everyone the opportunity to share in the development and progress of our concepts. Each session was well received and made everyone feel part of the process which helped to remove any concern or uncertainty around the office move. It also provided everyone with an opportunity to share their ideas in a collaborative way.

Concept Design Development

Our team had to work at some pace to ensure we had a coordinated design, working closely with the Landlord’s representative on our mechanical and electrical schematics. The entire process from developing the initial brief through to a “frozen” space plan took 5 weeks with detailed design taking a further 3 weeks. We produced in excess of fifty 3D visuals and an animated walk through to better explain our scheme and allow everyone the opportunity to share our vision. The scheme included the introduction of an external and internal staircase with all structural designs and calculations undertaken in partnership with the Landlord’s structural consultant.

How We Ensured Cost Certainty

As with all projects, having a “grip” on how the costs develop and are aligned to the design is paramount, at each stage of the design development we created a tracking document to ensure we were not designing something EY could not afford. This eradicated any need for the dreaded value engineering and concluded with us going into Contract at a guaranteed maximum price.