Weiss Architecture Studio

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Rise Well

Design The rise of the super building

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you arrived at work each day with the comfort of knowing every facet of the building and physical environment had been meticulously designed to optimise your wellbeing as a valued and respected employee? From the food available to you, the light you are exposed to and the air you breathe?

Well, that is exactly what The Crown Estate have achieved for their 200 employees at head office in Mayfair’s St James’s Place. In October 2018 they achieved the prestigious Platinum Well Building Standard accreditation, the first of its kind in Europe.

 

The Well Building Standard marries best practise in design and construction with evidence based health and wellness interventions.  The Standard, which took 7 years to develop by a team of doctors, scientists, engineers and architects, recognises that buildings can be a vehicle to support human health and wellbeing.  This is still a relatively new concept in the UK, but like most trends originating from the US, this building standard has hit our shores and will start to penetrate our commercial, retail, educational and eventually residential real estate, creating happier and healthier spaces at work and home and for learning and leisure time.

Well, that is exactly what The Crown Estate have achieved for their 200 employees at head office in Mayfair’s St James’s Place. In October 2018 they achieved the prestigious Platinum Well Building Standard accreditation, the first of its kind in Europe. The Well Building Standard marries best practise in design and construction with evidence based health and wellness interventions.  The Standard, which took 7 years to develop by a team of doctors, scientists, engineers and architects, recognises that buildings can be a vehicle to support human health and wellbeing.  This is still a relatively new concept in the UK, but like most trends originating from the US, this building standard has hit our shores and will start to penetrate our commercial, retail, educational and eventually residential real estate, creating happier and healthier spaces at work and home and for learning and leisure time.

I was lucky enough to have a tour around The Crown Estate’s office following their accreditation and was able to speak with Dan Kelly, the Deputy MD of their award-winning catering supplier Vacherin, about how they ensured The Crown Estate achieved platinum status in the Nourishment Concept.

“Healthy eating has always played a major part in all of our food offers across the business, but working towards the WELL standard has lifted them to an even higher level. We believe the guidelines have helped us to become the workplace caterer of tomorrow that cares as much about your staff as you do. Our philosophy in this has stayed the same, but our expertise has grown enormously and the evidence is there to show it works” – Dan Kelly, Deputy Managing Director

The food provided to employees has been innovated by Dan and his team of chefs and nutritionists to optimise employees performance at work. Quinoa and flaxseed porridge with blueberries and turmeric is a great example of just one of the brain-powered breakfasts on offer. Employees are educated on portion sizes and food choices, empowering them to make their own decisions whilst influencing them to achieve their wellness goals. Nature-inspired dining hubs have been designed to encourage social connection and digital disconnection and food is merchandised to encourage healthy eating and reduce temptation of sugary, impulse snacking.

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Typical desserts on offer include Cashew cheesecakes (vegan) and Tofu chocolate pots w/sesame crack and tonika bean berries (soya)

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Typical lunches include Jackfruit tacos w/burnt corn salsa and cashew cream or charred carrots w/spiced nuts and lime labneh

It isn’t just the food that The Crown Estate has excelled at, the WELL Building Standard also requires buildings to pass 6 additional components (air, water, light, fitness, comfort and mind) and this business has delivered. From the Tech Bar (their IT department’s take on Apple’s genius bar), the infinite work spaces created to give employees choice about how and where they work, to their rooftop dining and yoga space, they have thought of it all.

With the War on Talent as rife as ever, we will continue to see a rise in the adoption of healthier office design across the UK and the rest of the world.

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Please contact me at jen@rise-well.co.uk to learn more about the WELL Building Standard, your upcoming office redesign and the wellness events we can offer your company.