Staff at Stoke Newington based Location Location have grown used to weird questions from members of the public – since its rebrand the agency has been mistaken for a coffee shop, internet café, design agency and even an Apple shop. But the bold, minimalist design, which features a living wall, rustic walls, sheepskin chairs and diecast concrete, has been crowned Best Office Design UK in the International Property Awards, which were sponsored by Rolls Royce. By winning the UK awards they have been selected to represent the UK at the International Awards to be held in Dubai this December.
The look was dreamt up by interior designer Matteo Bianchi* to reflect the meaning of Stoke Newington ‘New town in the wood.’ And the estate agency enlisted Matteo, who teaches at the University of the Arts, Chelsea, to help with a complete rebrand at the same time. Vicky Bibiris, Sales Director at Location Location, said: “We wanted a striking statement and, though Matteo came up with many ideas, this one really was the wildcard. We are determined to break the mould and not to be a conventional estate agency – anything that catches the eye and helps us stand out from the crowd has to be good for business. The public loves it, the biggest battle is getting staff to keep their desks tidy but in such a minimalist space that’s essential.”
It was a brave move and a big budget for such a small estate agency. The agency closed its office for a month while work was carried out. Vicky explained: “We spent a lot of money on the design work and rebrand and had a lot riding on it. But it has been a huge success and a big local talking point. We’ve had the best year ever – turnover is up 30 per cent on last year and that’s as a result of our eye-catching design and our brilliant team. For such a small company to win such a major award is a real honour – it’s a reflection of our ambition and of Matteo’s talent. Watch this space. We have big plans to revamp with an imaginative new window display soon.”
The living wall at the back of the office has an inbuilt irrigation system and an artificial sun lamp, all the desks in the office face forward to welcome clients and there’s a large communal space at the front of the office with tablets to enable customers to browse the available properties.
* Matteo Bianchi is a leading international interior designer based in London. Born in Venice, Matteo has since lived in many countries and trained at the University of the Arts, Chelsea – where he now also teaches. He leads a global design consultancy and writes a regular design blog Location Location’s website.