The Brief

Blackhawk Network is a global provider of rewards and incentives through prepaid gift cards, eGifts, rebate, loyalty and employee benefits programmes. The company wished to consolidate multiple offices into one head office function on a smart modern development in Hemel Hempstead.

Area’s brief was to transform Westside One into an integrated workplace supporting the needs of the different offices while enabling agile working. The concept was developed in close consultation with the client to ensure it could be delivered within the specified budget and timescale. A detailed staff engagement process was implemented to ensure everyone knew what to expect and was on board with the design.

The Solution

The building is anchored by the central atrium, an expansive, airy space overlooked by all four floors. The space flows out from a collaborative hub, creating a social and assembly area for all staff.

We came up with the idea of a central spine wrapped around collaborative breakout hubs, incorporating a mix of flexible meeting and touchdown spaces which could be personalised for each floor. For example, tiered seating and blackboard paint walls promote creativity and collaboration. Other areas hug the façade to make the most of the natural daylight. The décor and furniture selection allows for future growth and expansion, and each floor has its own colour palette to assist with wayfinding.

Once the design concept was agreed with the stakeholders, we hosted an employee engagement day for all staff. Popular features such as a ‘pick your chair’ vote, marked out floors and a tour of the space provided valuable feedback, ensuring that the finished result met everyone’s expectations.

Hemel Hempstead, London
Sq Ft
£2 million
16 weeks


Project Insight

‘The rapport we developed with the client at an early stage ensured positive communication and great feedback from the start, making the whole project a seamless process.’

Simon Twigg, Project Director, Area


The Alan Turing Institute




Loyens & Loeff

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