Agile workplace construction to support change

Article 4/4 in the “Leading Transformation” series


By Nabil Sabet
Group Director – New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto

and Charlie Millard
Director, Head of Office – London, Amsterdam, Paris

and Jeni Durksen
Senior Associate, Design – London

and Frances Gain
Senior Associate, Workplace Strategy and Transformation – London, Amsterdam, Paris

Leading Transformation’ is a series of articles from M Moser Associates about human-centric design. They discuss the workplace strategies helping leaders gain a competitive edge during the transformation of their businesses. You are reading article 4/4.

Design the office to support a constantly evolving business environment

The long-term mindset of the commercial property market has been slow to adapt to forces shaping the global economic landscape - where agility is fast becoming a more influential factor in decision-making.

Kenneth C Frazier, CEO of global pharmaceuticals company MSD said, “We want to make sure that our people, who are very good at operating today’s business model, are prepared to adapt to the changes that are happening on the outside.” 

Businesses are experiencing rapid headcount growth and transitioning demographics, which in turn drives demand for more flexible real estate solutions, such as co-working and shorter leasing cycles for office space.

Architects are rethinking traditional approaches to office design and construction, with more integrated solutions the result of improved transdisciplinary collaboration. By building greater agility into workplace design solutions and making future changes more efficient, designers can help clients maximise their return on investment.

Agile workplace construction to support change section
Why would a workspace ever be finished when the business is always changing around it?

At Medallia in San Mateo, they live and breathe this concept. The main component of the fit-out budget was fixed walls. This inspired the workplace design team to question which elements of the space needed to be anchored, to simplify and minimise future changes.

3D drawing of prefabricated meeting units

3D drawing of prefabricated meeting units

Medallia, San Mateo - Prefabricated meeting units

Medallia, San Mateo - Prefabricated meeting units

The meeting rooms were created as a “kit-of-parts” with five prefabricated room types. These were created in an assembly line, using modular wall panels built horizontally and later installed in their appropriate locations.

As integrated office design and build specialists, we can remove roadblocks from the process and develop workplace environments that support the organisation’s journey more effectively. 


Developing agile construction processes to enhance the speed and scale of delivery

When using an integrated methodology, both the office design and construction solutions work in harmony to support the client’s most pressing needs. M Moser London is working in partnership with Knotel, one of the fastest-growing providers of flexible office space, to efficiently scale their European operations.

Knotel focuses on office space for larger businesses, so their customers need more flexibility compared to rivals who cater to freelancers and startups. In order to enhance the speed at which space could be leased, built and ultimately rented, M Moser’s construction and design teams co-created a fit-out framework with Knotel. 

Part of our relationship with M Moser has been creating flexible and modern workspaces, the other part has been developing new processes to work at scale and speed whilst maintaining individually designed spaces for our clients, something they have excelled at.

Harry Thomson
Head of Design and Construction - Knotel, London

3D visualisation - Knotel, Jermyn St., London

3D visualisation - Knotel, Jermyn St., London

The project team developed processes to enhance the speed and scale of delivery. This was achieved through a mixture of rapid construction mobility and a workplace design framework that can be personalised for individual clients.

Process-driven construction solutions

  • Pre-approved design standards enable team to start on site within as little as 2 weeks with simplified internal sign-off. 
  • Accelerated construction period reduces time between Knotel’s acquisition and customer rental. 
  • Provision of high quality spatial framework makes customer personalisation faster and more cost effective when scaling to match headcounts.

One of the key benefits of this approach is that Knotel’s customers have the ability to quickly scale up or down in line with their spacing requirements. Separating functional design from elements of branding and personalisation provides the flexibility needed for organisations to shift real estate footprint to match headcount without significant capital expenditure.

Email me a copy of "Leading Transformation".

Email me a copy of “Leading Transformation”.


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