Mindful Chef

A MINDFUL OFFICE FOR A MINDFUL COMPANY

If you bring together two companies’ whose ethos, values and visions align, you might just find yourself with the perfect recipe for a special project - one which has community, collaboration, and cooking at the heart of it.

Project Details

Client
Mindful Chef
Type
Cat B
Size
10,000 sq ft
Location
Battersea Reach

In early 2020, award-winning recipe box specialists, Mindful Chef, were seeking a new home. This was destined to be far more than a standard office, and with London as their oyster, they began the search for somewhere that would come to encompass their values.

Soon after, national lockdown came into force. But with home-owners avoiding supermarket trips, Mindful Chef’s business only continued to grow and despite new hybrid working ideals, their need for an office became even greater. This was about to become a key milestone in their company’s history.

After pitching multiple times over Zoom, Thirdway’s project team pulled out all the stops in demonstrating the alignment in ethos, values and culture between the two companies. After finally getting the green light following the tender process, it was time to bring this design to life.

The brief was simple. This had to be a place they could be proud of and would represent the company, and community, that they’ve become. And as a B-Corp,  focus on wellbeing and sustainability was key. The fact that this project was delivered entirely throughout a pandemic was no easy feat but Thirdway’s project team handled things seamlessly – ensuring socially distanced onsite meetings and furniture tours could still happen so the final result wouldn’t be compromised.

TRANSFORMING IDEAS INTO REALITY

Step inside the ground floor of Discovery House and you’re warmly welcomed in the reception space. The exposed concrete architecture is complemented by a warm, neutral, Scandinavian-inspired backdrop. Against it, their brand colours stand out and have been incorporated into furnishings and playful icons in meeting rooms. The lighter tones – warm greys, soft greens, lilacs – create a calm and homely environment for the team.

This unique 12,500 sq ft demise was originally three individual units which brought its challenges as they were combined. With five-floor level changes between them and the task of taking the spaces from shell and core to Cat B, the team decided to work with the architecture rather than against it, cleverly designing mixed-level features into the scheme.

Of course, the beating heart of the office is their kitchen and adjacent breakout space. When it’s not being used to produce culinary magic, it’s prime hotdesking and social space, buzzing lunchtimes every day as the team are provided healthy meals. This area is fresh, bright and airy. The hanging lights add a pop of colour high seating provides another spot to catch up with a colleague or flick through a recipe book.

Behind the Crittal glazing, the chefs are in their whites cooking up a storm. Cream, shaker style units bring country-kitchen vibes and huge windows allow light to pour in and emphasize the spaciousness. The kitchen studio tucked away at the back of the room is where the content creators snap trendy flat-lay photos of the meals being produced while another team member hosts an Instagram Live alongside a celebrity guest.

To break away from the buzz, there’s a library and quiet working booths, designed as spaces to give people choice and flexibility around how and where they work in the office. The fixed desks are bookable to support hybrid working or claimed by scanning a QR code. There’s also a gym sporting Peloton bikes and Lulu Lemon equipment for anyone looking to make some room ahead of taste testing new recipes.

TASTY BRAND INTEGRATION

As a leading name in the food delivery market, brand awareness and differentiation are key elements to Mindful Chef, so it was important that their purpose and identity shone through. From the moment you step inside, you’ll feel that this is more than just an office. It’s a journey that tells Mindful Chef’s story throughout the entire space.

Impossible to miss in the welcome space is the majestic floor-to-ceiling purple box wall. Mindful Chef were in the midst of rebranding during the build, and their aubergine purple needed to be recognisable and impactful upon entry. What better way to display this than to build the wall from their own recycled purple recipe boxes, with the recessed glowing logo at the centre.

To the left, the stunning vertical farm by Square Mile Farms adorns the wall and alerts the senses as soon as you enter the office; highlighting the fact that this truly is the home of fresh, healthy produce. This element has taken what Mindful Chef stand for to a deeper and more immersive level whilst promoting a sustainable farm-to-plate approach. Come back in four weeks’ time to catch the next harvest and see the chefs create something special for the team.

 

The journey continues to the left, leading you past the timeline gallery wall showcasing achievements on beautifully wrapped boards, giving prominence and importance to each milestone. Another hard to miss feature is within the breakout area. The mindful chef logo towers over the central tea point on the wall. Artfully backlit, this is yet another feature that promotes Mindful Chefs sustainable values and roots having been made out of recycled delivery boxes that have been layered on top of one another to create the logo in all its glory.

Within the working areas, the walls are bright and colourful, featuring hanging pictures of previous charitable initiatives. Their values are also weft throughout on the walls that lead to the ‘tab grabber’ walkway that adjoins the working areas. Here you’ll find bits and bobs that represent the team, from recipe cards to polaroids, in the same manner chefs would display and grab orders in a restaurant kitchen.

To hit their ESG targets, a variety of recycled and eco-friendly materials were sourced and used throughout such as the tea point powder coat which utilises 100% recycled paint and the 100% organic and sustainable feature wall covering in reception from Organoid Technologies. Spot the little plaques dotted around the office which tell a story of where and how certain materials have been recycled.

Take the meeting room chair fabrics, for example, these fabrics meet the EU-Ecolabel standards – an independent label administered by the European Union which accredits the environmental sensitivity of products throughout their lifecycle, from the extraction of raw materials through to production, use and disposal. Throughout the project, all site wastage was recycled, and 500 trees were planted to offset emissions. Even disused Correx was recycled to be used once again.

The Mindful Chef team also decided to “twin” the toilets within their office through Thirdway Trust’s charitable partner, Toilet Twinning. Already partnered with Malawi-based charity One Feeds Two, they have donated 9 million school meals since first working with them in 2017. To align with this, the team chose to twin their six toilets in the town of Salima, Malawi, allowing six families to gain access to clean water, life-saving sanitation, and hygiene education.

There was alignment on both sides from the very beginning and a wonderful infusion of trust, creative freedom and belief in us to transform their ideas and values into a reality. The entirety of the project was delivered throughout various national lockdowns and through a global pandemic which only amplifies the project’s success following such uncertainty.

All that’s left is for Mindful Chef to flourish in their new home, and for us to enjoy the exciting beginnings of a long-term relationship.

MEET THE TEAM

Alex Macfarlane

Alex Macfarlane

Project Manager
Sarah Bewers

Sarah Bewers

DIRECTOR
Paul Brown

Paul Brown

Commercial Director
Rob Walsh

Rob Walsh

Creative Director
Claire O'Malley

Claire O'Malley

Client Services Manager
Scott Kite

Scott Kite

Designer
Milan Murphy

Milan Murphy

Technical Services Engineer