Design Story: Designing A Workspace

An interview with John Healy, Allstate NI

Allstate NI recently opened their new office space overlooking the River Lagan.  Managing Director John Healy kindly spoke with us about what happens behind the scenes and how they have created a sustainable space.

According to Healy, a reason to build the new office building was the fact that it could be tailored to the company’s needs. Allstate NI had been looking for an office space in which people could work together in one place but were unable to find a suitable fit. To design their new headquarters, Allstate NI worked closely with architectural design partners WDR & RT Taggart and O'Hare & McGovern, who considered what needs and ideas the employees had. 

The new building right by the River Lagan is a collection of formal and informal spaces in which people work together and relax. Healy mentioned that the highlights of the new space included the breathtaking views of the river, the hills and the city which create a relaxing and recuperative environment for the employees.

However, the design of the new office space was not just chosen to create a good working environment, it was also designed to be more sustainable.  Allstate NI encourages their employees to leave their cars at home and come either by bike or with public transportation. To support this objective, the location of the new building was chosen with consideration of the integration into Belfast’s public transport network. Furthermore, employees can park their own bike in a bike shed -the plan for which was included when designing the new building - or use Belfast Bikes, of which there is a docking station close to the building. 

All in all, Allstate NI’s new office building is a great example of how a well-designed workplace can motivate employees, especially when it is designed for and by them and how it can shape future heritage by being sustainable.

Allstate Northern Ireland are one of Belfast Design Week 2018’s sponsors and supporters.

Their sold out UX event will be held within their new space, keep an eye on social media @AllstateNI for more from the night!