The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

At its offices in S9, next to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford (London), Style worked with 5plus Architects and main contractor, BW Interiors, and was brought in early to advise on the creation of flexible space.

As a result, in the ground floor open plan concourse Style installed 7 bespoke Dorma Huppe moveable wall elements that are 5 metres high and operate through a complex tracking layout. 

This layout enables The British Council to form an innovative display screen at the façade of the building, create individual boards for exhibitions, or screen off the daytime café from the conference suites. On one side of the panels there is a high pressure, laminate, magnetic, writable finish enabling the space to be used for casual meetings where teams can collaborate and share ideas. The other side has an Autex board added, which provides essential acoustic sound absorption in a very high-ceilinged, open building.

In the ground floor Prince of Wales suite, Style installed an additional 3 Dorma Huppe semi-automatic moveable wall systems with phenomenal 60dB acoustics.

This gives British Council staff the flexibility to use that space as one large open plan ‘town hall’ conference area or create up to 3 separate meeting rooms. Also finished in an Autex cube acoustic panel this aids the overall sound absorption levels in that large space too.

Finally, on the second floor Style installed a further 5 Dorma Huppe Variflex 60db semi-automatic systems to create various sizes of meeting spaces - again with Autex cube absorption panels.

Style’s sales director for the South, Michael Porter, said, “Due to the complexity of the design, Style was introduced early into the process by 5plus Architects which brought advantages of maximising the room flexibility in multiple areas, while offering the highest possible sound reduction levels from sustainable products.

“There was also the added complication that the primary structure could not take any large point loads, resulting in Style’s technicians and designers consulting with the architects and structural engineers on getting the stacking locations correct. 

“The end result is a breathtaking building that offers adaptability and panache and meets every aspect of the client brief.”