Morgan Lovell created a warm and welcoming environment at the Kao offices in London, England.

From the moment you step into Kao Corporation’s office, it’s evident that the design team has put immense effort into creating a functional, flexible, and visually stunning space that reflects ‘Kirei’ which translates to ‘making life beautiful’. Morgan Lovell’s office design incorporates elements of Japanese-inspired design throughout as a nod to Kao’s roots, focusing on the use of natural materials and a neutral colour palette to create a calming environment and promote employee well-being. Similarly, a key aspect addressed by the design team was the seamless integration of biophilia into the workspace, optimising planting and natural light to create a natural flow and connection with nature.

The design ensured to feature a diverse range of workspaces, which could be adapted and flexible to cater to different groups and working styles. This allowed employees to choose the environment that best suited their needs, promoting productivity and efficiency. The balance between warmth and excitement in the atmosphere also ensured that employees felt welcome and energised when entering the space. For example, private meeting rooms were included to allow for quiet and focused work, while traditional desks were incorporated to provide a sense of stability and comfort. The atrium benefits from direct lines of natural light and strategically placed LED lights, planting, and curves, which creates a natural flow of energy to lead to a natural hub for collaboration. This design decision enhanced the sense of community, and fostered a collaborative and innovative work culture. The use of flexible furniture and spaces that can be easily reconfigured allowed employees to work together in a variety of settings, from the large boardroom featuring bespoke bi-fold doors to more intimate, focus booths. Using soft partitions such as curtains and moveable box shelves, Kao now has a space that is adaptable to their every need and fosters a sense of community.

Everything, from the smallest details to the main features, has been designed with the intention of making the office not just functional but also beautiful. By promoting freedom of movement and encouraging employees to explore and interact, the design produces connection and vitality, successfully working to bring people back into the office.

Design: Morgan Lovell
Photography: Thierry Cardineau

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