Fold7, a London-based advertising agency that counts Nike, Disney, and Ted Baker as clients, took up residence in a new office in Clerkenwell, the city’s creative hub, last July. The 7,300 square foot space proves that ambition — the agency’s guiding principle — is not only characteristic of the work they produce, but is baked into the design of their office, as well. Take, for example, an installation of people floating down from the ceiling by umbrellas, the dry Jacuzzis, and a collection of cuckoo clocks. These are just are few of the quirky elements that tie back to theme of ambition (trust us, they do… just keep reading). With help from the design team at Paul Crofts Studio, Fold7 founder and executive creative director Ryan Newey has created an environment that serves as a constant source of inspiration, surprise, and engagement.
Intrigued? We were, too. Scroll for more photos and a Q&A with Newey.
How many total employees do you have?
Fold7 is made up of 45 employees.
Is there a mobile work or work-from-home policy or are most of the employees there all day every day?
Most of our employees have laptops and are therefore able to work from various locations but the majority of our staff work from the office on a daily basis. Due to the nature of our business, there is a busy and vibrant flow of people through the office as we host regular client meetings, attend advertising shoots, visit our clients’ offices or go to external meetings.
What percentage of the space is unassigned?
How is the brand reflected in the space?
Fold7 is an independent advertising agency. We like to think of ourselves as a 21st-century agency, focused very much on 21st-century consumers. We believe that every culture needs the right environment to grow and spread its wings. Our new HQ is just that, a great opportunity to do something, which inspires our team every day.
The first consideration was how people, staff, and clients alike would use the space. On entering the building we wanted to create a hotel lobby vibe, somewhere you immediately felt like you wanted to spend time, [with] warm lighting and a giant back-lit sign saying “Welcome to the Fold”.
We also wanted to create spaces where people could leave their desks, have informal meetings, or just have some “thinking” time, so on the upper level we’ve dedicated an entire floor to an informal working area, more akin to a restaurant and bar. A mid-floor raised platform with two “dry Jacuzzis” (yes, your clothes stay on) provides additional break out spaces.
One of the characteristics of our work is a layered approach; details you don’t see at first but after multiple viewings start to become noticed. We find it gives longevity and reward to what we create. Our office is no exception: messaging hidden throughout and details on the under sides of tables for example, only ever seen when you plug something in are all part of what the space is about, continued surprise and engagement.
What is the proximity to public transportation and other amenities?
Fold7 is based in the heart of the creative hub of Clerkenwell and is a few minutes’ walk away from both Farringdon and Chancery Lane underground stations. The local area is serviced by a number of public buses, providing easy access to the West End and City of London. As well as being a stone’s throw from the famous jewelry quarter, Hatton Garden, the area benefits from the regular Leather Lane market, a number of bars, pubs and restaurants, and is in close proximity to Exmouth Market.
What is the square footage/person?
Which furniture brands and/or dealers did you use?
Mostly bespoke or supplied by twentytwentyone.
What is the most unique feature about the new space?
The double height space with “dry Jacuzzis” for meetings.
What was the hardest aspect of change for people in moving from your former space?
It’s always difficult leaving your local watering hole behind but our people are spoilt for choice now and have acquainted themselves with a number of local establishments for a quick Friday night pint!
What else about the projects makes it unique?
Our guiding principle is ambition. It’s the filter that we apply to everything we do – ambition for our clients’ businesses, for the talent we employ, and for the work we produce. This is written in huge letters on one of our office walls as a reminder for everyone at Fold7.
We also have an installation of people floating away on umbrellas which was inspired by a Mary Poppins quote of all things, but ties nicely into the principle of “ambition”. The quote, which is also featured in the office, reads “If you reach for the stars, all you get are stars, if you reach for the heavens you get the stars thrown in”.
The “formal” boardroom fitted with a collection of cuckoo clocks serves as a reminder that “It’s not the time that matters, but what you do with it that counts”.
On the whole, we took the view that the office needs to be a constant source of inspiration and contribution to the culture, influencing everyone to bring their A-game every day.