Interior design for a winning brand

Branding is what makes something unique. It’s what helps companies stand out in a competitive industry and aids them to drive customer loyalty and retain staff. Integrating branding into office interior design can improve the overall experience of the space by the people that use it most.

Bethard Group is a pioneering brand in the iGaming field. With a daring attitude and love for new adventures, the company has its sights on becoming the largest betting company in the world. The business model is powerful, bold and energetic. A brand willing to explore new avenues and methods to achieve success – to the very end.

Bethard’s new offices were set over two floors, each having 250sqm of space. The location is trendy and popular, set in an impressive building on a corner block in St Julians, Malta. Two of the sides of the building held a remarkable glass manifestation, which we already identified and wanted to maximise in our designs.

The company’s interior design brief was to create a dynamic, well-functioning space that effectively portrayed their powerful brand. Alongside this, we had to consider their plans for doubling in size over the next 5 years.

We were given a 6-month window to start and finish this project. A tight, but feasible deadline.

Location

St Julians

Area

670sqm

Project Type

Workplace Interior Design

01

Discovery Stage

We split the brief into three areas of design consideration.

The first was the fusion of Bethard’s identity and character into the architectural space and interior design. The second was ensuring we worked to budget and deadline. As well as making sure the space was designed to accommodate their planned expansion in the future. The third was providing staff with a space where they could work efficiently and areas where they could take breaks to unwind.

To kick off this project, it was paramount to get to the know the space.

We visited the site on numerous occasions to understand the building’s layout, the opportunities for natural light, which were plentiful thanks to the glass manifestation, the technical limitations and any noise interference.

We also needed to understand the Bethard brand in depth, as well as what features would help staff work more efficiently. The latter included looking at the requirements for open and closed spaces, work/leisure balance and even storage requirements.

Our approach was exhaustive. By spending time inside the existing Bethard offices, looking at the general use of the current space, we started to gain insight into how the company ran day-to-day. In our efforts for meticulous research, we also met with staff and management from different departments to dig deep into their wish lists and current limitations.

It was important to collaborate with brand managers, so we could identify the brand’s main pillars. The cultural, physical and emotional aspects of the brand that would eventually become a major source of inspiration for our designs.

We developed identity and character mood boards about Bethard, using snap shots of the brand’s communication and advertising material.

Common features started to stand out. A rough elegance. The desire to evoke an emotional response. Darkness with vibrant punches of colour. The importance of texture.

A physical manifestation of the brand was taking shape in our minds and in our sketches.

Bethard’s management team was looking to double the workforce within the next 5 years. The best way to approach this prerequisite was to prepare two proposals to show the flexibility of the space and our ideas. One with how the space could be used in 2016 and the other for the space as it could be used in 2020. All the while never forfeiting on the project requirements and objectives.

02

Design & Planning

Now that we had a strong grasp on Bethard’s brand and general modus operandi, we moved onto an exploration of creative designs that worked in harmony with the brief.

In our opinion, well-designed offices aren’t just about them looking good for the appearance’s sake. It has more to do with creating an environment conducive to positive attitudes and reactions from everyone who interacts with the space. Making work-life more rewarding was a priority, so we considered the design features and elements that would increase productivity and collaboration amongst the staff. Employee well-being was a central part of the design and planning stage.

We developed a proposal based around 4Cs. Collaboration, Chilling, Communication and Concentration. All carefully combined to guide our design’s structure for each floor.

Space for collaboration and free flowing ideas.
Areas for chilling, to relax, reload and feel refreshed.
Greet and meet spaces, ideal for smaller group communication.
Concentration and focus areas, for when the job just has to get done efficiently and with little interruption.

In both our 2016 and 2020 proposals, we catered for these four areas across both the floors. We dedicated chillout areas close to the glass façades, whilst meeting rooms and collaboration areas were positioned on the adjoining and opposite side.
Central areas were designed for workspaces and concentration. We maximized the available space by designing it open plan so that in the 2020 proposals, the space could comfortably fit an increase in the number of employees, without surrendering on ease of use.

Areas were also set aside for communication, such as for personal calls or smaller sessions between 2 to 3 colleagues. By incorporating ample amounts of meeting spaces, we made the space more flexible for staff to use according to the task at hand.

The kitchen, dining room and lounge area was shared space with a sister company on the penthouse level. Which also had 107sqm of external space on the balcony for staff to enjoy.

To help clients be able to visualize our proposals, we go beyond sketches and 2D images. We include 3D drawings and animated walkthroughs to help the designs come to life.

Each space we explored had to perform a function in connection with the 4Cs. The result was an environment that met the brief and was flexible enough to expand as Bethard’s ambitions for growth were realized.

03

Detailing and Customisation

Colour was a huge influence on our detailing. We used vibrant colours that stood out in a striking manner, against Bethard’s bold black brand.

Bethard’s beaming yellow, added an optimistic, edgy feel to the whole environment and was a main colour to use for furniture and wall features. We interjected this with pops of blues and oranges to add extra dimensions to the interior.

Nature is a huge part of our design ethos. There are numerous benefits to incorporating flora and fauna into workspaces. At Bethard we added small potted plants and flowers to coffee tables and then taller plants to sit behind desks, sofas, or to break up corners, adding touches of earthy green to the space.

It was important to keep to budget, so we shopped around for cost-effective furniture options. We concluded on buying most items from IKEA, which gave us access to a broader choice of colours, materials, shapes and sizes as well as guarantees on durability and speed of delivery.

We wanted to explore ways to really customize the space to the brand. We did this through the introduction of small nuances in the space, such as a custom-built wooden recess in the reception area. This would display Bethard’s awards adding character and making the design very personalised to the company.

Working closely with the brand management team, we added these interesting edge-to-edge wall papers as backdrops in different rooms, all with carefully chosen high impact imagery and messages.

Ranging from sports heroes, to giant logos and the company slogan, these wall papers added a new facet to the design, originality. Their very presence made the people using the space feel gallant and brave.

Bethard was a bold, adventurous and courageous brand. Our customization and detailing worked along the same thought process – a space that could influence staff to feel the same.

04

Project Manegement & Execution

By taking full ownership, our project management team successfully oversaw the venture from start to finish. We continuously liaised with suppliers and contractors to ensure everything was always running on time and within budget.

Branding lives well beyond the creation of a logo or corporate stationery. When done well, branding influences almost every decision a company will take. Including how they want their staff and clients to feel in the spaces they operate from.

Great interior design for retail or office space comes into its element when a company believes in unification of experiential branding into the very fabric of the space it inhabits.

We experienced this first-hand on this dynamic project for Bethard. It is no wonder to us that this company won the ‘Great places to work’ award at the 2018 International Gaming Awards just a short time after we finished the works.

This was a brand devoted to the art of winning.
The solution we provided was an environment fit for winners.
And it worked.

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