Ever since notable companies such as Google began thinking out of the box in terms of office design, turning a once corporate setting into a strange amalgam of workspace and playground, such concepts have begun to invade the design of offices across various industries, leading to the creation of some truly unorthodox working environments.

Joint managing director Jonathan Miller   - Img: Jonathan Gawthorpe
While some companies are now performing something of a U-turn and scaling back on luxuries in favour of a more traditional workplace, the trend of quirky office design is still going strong. Such is the case with the new offices of Leeds-based packaging design company Aire Adaptical Design, in which a derelict bar that once made up part of a now-disused mill has been transformed into a bar-themed office space to house the company’s creative team of 30+ employees.

The company, which was founded just last year by joint managing director Jonathan Milner, has already secured some substantial contracts with the likes of Kellogg’s, Quorn, and Unilever. Focusing as they do on design and aesthetics with the service they offer, the management had a strong desire to carry this ethos over to the office itself, creating a visually-striking base possessing something of a ‘wow factor’.

Mr Milner said of his reasoning in selecting the premises, “The history and character of the building instantly caught our eye. We knew it would appeal to our creative designers whilst it’s prime and prestigious location in Dock Street and opportunity to drive the South Bank regeneration cemented our decision.”

The company invested around £200,000 into their new 2,800sq ft office space in which a fully equipped bar forms the centrepiece. The bar itself was designed by Seamless Industries, who are better known for their work on luxury yacht interiors. The bar is used as a lunchtime break area during the working week before desks are moved out of the way to transform the office into a weekend venue.

Mr Milner told the Yorkshire Post, “The building already had an entertainment licence for late night music when we got it because it was previously a venue for bands to play. We employ a lot of designers and creatives in their early 20s and creating a fun workplace is part of attracting and retaining that talent.

“We wanted to create something special and thought ‘what can we do that is more memorable than our competitors?’”

Memorable is certainly an accurate description, but only time will tell how well the office performs in terms of practicality.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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