Behind the Scenes at Blackwall Reach
Europe’s largest regeneration site called for a grand marketing suite that could adapt and evolve with the site as each phase launches in the coming years.
In this blog post, we’re going to take a look through Barking Riverside’s sketches and sneak peeks with designer Zowie and uncover what inspired this revolutionary marketing suite.
With a vast and ever-changing site to compete with, it was imperative that the marketing suite stood out as a beacon for potential buyers to visit. At the beginning of the process, we looked into many different options as we toyed with inspiration and location. Our first port of call was to explore sustainable looking buildings before we got to the ‘sail’ as it is now.
The overarching sail was made by ArcCan and designed in-house by our interior designers and architects Grow Studios; this impressive structure took inspiration from the site’s history. The sail was designed to mimic the old ships that would have docked into Barking during the industrial era. Lit up at night, this marketing suite certainly makes an impact! Below is the preliminary sketch of the sail, the mood board that inspired the architectural design, and a look at the completed sail.
Due to the longevity of the Barking Riverside regeneration, the marketing suite needed to be able to sell the area and development as a whole from the offset, whilst also providing the sales teams with the tools to sell a specific phase that is live at that time. In order to solve this, our team segmented the space into three sections. Firstly, the bulk of the space in the centre of the building is designed to sell Barking Riverside as a community; the interactive touchscreen table allows visitors to explore all the various collateral, including a 3D model, live availability schedule, photo galleries, videos, and brochures, whilst the huge map with perspex overlay shows the vastness of the development scheme.
Secondly, the two wings are designed for a number of potential future uses. At the time of the design, one wing was reserved for the L&Q sales team and the other wing remained vacant to evolve with the suite; serving the needs of the sales team as they change. L&Q have already moved into their segment and are already selling their first phase from the bespoke space designed and fitted out by Focus Experiential. Currently, the second segment is being scoped out as a sales and project office.
With a bright and bold brand to work with, our designers were inspired by the bright colour palette which we contrasted with smooth, sleek resin and polished concrete finishes.
Durability was imperative when choosing the textures and materials in the suite as the regeneration is due to continue until at least 2034.
The resin floor was a natural choice as it’s renowned for its durability, furthermore, the seamless finish throughout the space gives a functional but high-end finish. The balance of practicality and aesthetics were also key when selecting finishing touches, for example, the acoustic lampshades in the meeting room muted out any excess noise. With such a large space, we needed to ensure that we controlled the noise and prevented it from travelling around the space, whilst also creating a feature from the lampshades.
Being London’s first ‘healthy new town’ we wanted to bring the outside in and replicate the clean air in the suite. Introducing our first live moss wall! Made from 100% self-sustaining moss this spectacular wall not only makes a striking first impression in the entrance, but it also helps purify the air. The nod to Barking’s nautical heritage extends into the interior design scheme with a clever privacy partition created from rope sourced directly from sailing suppliers. We also extended the nautical theme into the landscaping and signage by using gabions to partition space and create seating.
Bringing the outside in didn’t stop at the moss wall. In a playful pass to ‘Pylon Park’, the local terminology for the space Barking Riverside is going to occupy, designer Zowie created metal beams to mimic the struts that surround the suite.
"a playful pass to 'Pylon Park'"
A key component in the Barking Riverside marketing suite was the inclusion of interactive, immersive experiences to inform visitors and aid sales. With customer experience set to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator to the customer, it was imperative that the experiential elements complemented the customer journey. Teaming up with Quintessence we installed two interactive tables filled with content supplied by our sister company Focus. By swiping and searching, visitors are able to explore the brochures, galleries, and see live plot availability on the large multi-touchscreens.
One of the experiential highlights in the suite is the interactive wall running along the back wall. With visitors from all over coming to visit the marketing suite, it was important that the sales team could sell Barking as a desirable area to live. We displayed a wealth of information in an interactive, engaging way through the huge interactive touch screen wall. This feature allowed visitors to discover all Barking had to offer in an easily accessible, digestible way.