Austin Fraser

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The first occupiers of the landmark Thames Tower building in Reading have moved into state-of-the-art new premises, tipped to be the most vibrant, exciting, and inspirational office building in the Thames Valley.

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Austin Fraser


Workplace Consultancy, Office Design, Construction


14,000 Sq ft


Reading, UK

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The brief

Area has created a forward-thinking space to accommodate 100 office workers at specialist recruitment consultant Austin Fraser. The space has been carefully designed around the theme of ‘provoking the nexus’, as well as the existing features within the new Thames Tower building, including a restaurant, sky lounge and a 4,000 sq ft rooftop terrace offering panoramic views of Reading. Provoking the nexus means developing a series of connections linking two or more things. For Austin Fraser, this theme represents a workplace that connects people with each other, to the business, and to the environment.

The solution

The result is a workspace which takes inspiration from, and blurs the lines between, a modern home, boutique hotel, and coffee shop. The office benefits from several design characteristics which aid overall employee wellbeing including an open-plan concierge area which instantly connects staff and visitors. Through intelligent architectural zoning, the primary dining area can serve a number of functions to encourage staff to interact with each other, both on a social and work level. Bespoke furniture in the dining area can easily be modified to create mobile work stations, while the entire space can quickly be turned into an entertainment area for special functions.

Further internal spaces include a beer garden and a classroom, which both feature semi-private screening that offers a visual buffer and acoustic rafts which enable both spaces to become a feature within the open-plan environment. Foam blocks can be used to create bespoke room sizes, or used as additional seating if necessary. The main work areas have also been designed with employee wellbeing in mind, complete with sit-stand workspaces, and a layout which facilitates the creation of individual working neighbourhoods within the open-plan space, connected by supporting spaces.

We really believe that what Area has created represents the future workplace. It will play a huge role in helping Austin Fraser reach the next level of growth with the right people, technology and environment.

Pete Hart
Founder & CEO, Austin Fraser
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Project insight

Kathryn O'Callaghan-Mills, Design Director at Area, commented, “Austin Fraser is a great business success story and a company that has grown organically. They are considered a disruptor in their field and wanted a workspace that reflected this originality. They want their workspace to be the very best in the industry and by delivering the vision of provoking the nexus, we truly believe that they have a flexible and inspirational workspace that will evolve with the business as it continues to grow.”

Pete Hart, Founder and CEO at Austin Fraser, commented, “Working with Area, it was important for us to have an office environment which offered different types of space to accommodate the different types of people and working practices that run throughout the business. This inspirational workplace will therefore play a key role in helping us to attract and retain the very best talent."

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