The Department of Health commissioned AMA to write its London Accommodation Strategy, to plan the future accommodation of three thousand people. This strategy took into account a series of initiatives and directives ranging from ‘e-government’ to the NHS Plan that demanded a new approach to the design and management of office space. Having approved the London Accommodation Strategy, DoH subsequently asked AMA to design a pilot office for 100 people to test the recommended approach. The environment was completely transformed on a very tight budget with existing furniture and negligible intervention with ceilings and lights.
Based on evidence about workstyles gathered through user research, the new space includes accommodation for ‘frequent travellers’, facilities for cross-disciplinary teams and new zones for meetings and support space that also serve DoH employees from other floors. In Post-occupancy surveys, the user and visitor response to the space design has been extremely positive. A further step in workspace change was successfully designed, implemented and evaluated for the Pharmaceuticals division in Skipton House.