420,000 sq ft
TJX Europe Campus
TJX Europe, a part of the renowned TJX Companies, embarked on a significant project to establish its “Forever Home” campus in Watford, UK. The project involved the development of three interconnected buildings – T, J, and X – into a vibrant, engaging, and sustainable campus that reflects TJX Europe's corporate values and supports the wellbeing and productivity of its employees. Sketch Studios completed the full FF&E Design Consultancy, Furniture Procurement, Delivery, Installation and Post-Completion Care.
The TJX Europe campus aimed to consolidate the company's European operations in a cohesive and innovative environment. The centrepiece of the campus is the 15,000 sqm "T Building," which sits adjacent to the refurbished "J" and "X" buildings. A striking bridge connects Buildings T and X, facilitating seamless movement between them. The architectural vision, executed by Sheppard Robson (ID:SR), aimed to create a collection of “connected little villages” that could adapt to TJX Europe's evolving needs.
Sketch Studios collaborated closely with TJX Europe and Sheppard Robson (ID:SR) to develop design solutions that cater to the diverse needs of the organisation. The project's success also depended on seamless coordination with various professional teams, including Gardiner & Theobald (Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor), LDA Design (Landscape Architect), ORSA Projects (Principal Designer), Ramboll (Engineer), and Savills (Planning Consultant).
The design philosophy of the project steers away from a conventional corporate office, creating distinct personalities for each department and amenity space. The entrance, designed as a welcoming "living room," sets the tone for the entire campus, offering a range of work settings, collaborative hubs, and a coffee bar. Complementing the design impeccably, the multicoloured BOB sofa system from Blå Station and EL modular sofa from Davison Highley, provide a multitude of comfortable, relaxed and practical seating options. The furniture selection emphasises a hospitality feel, fostering a sense of comfort and relaxation within the workspace.
To enhance employee wellbeing and productivity, the design incorporates a variety of engaging settings that support different working styles. The bespoke LiFT sit-stand workstation from Task Systems provide the perfect solution for a flexible workspace, while the versatile shelving, storage and display systems from USM elevate the workspaces. Each floor features a mix of workspaces, amenities, and external terraces, interconnected by a series of stairs to encourage movement and informal interactions between teams. The campus includes unique spaces, such as a restaurant on level 4, and a juice bar and treehouse on level 10, creating appealing destinations that draw employees to different parts of the building.
Sustainability was a key driver from the project's inception, with a focus on shaping TJX Europe's sustainable future. The "T" building achieved BREEAM Excellent certification, showcasing visible design elements and subtle operational features that contribute to environmental responsibility. Green walls promote biodiversity, while biophilia within the workspace fosters a connection to nature. The holistic approach to workspace design places wellbeing at the core of the project.
The TJX Europe Campus project faced several challenges, including navigating the disruptions caused by a global pandemic. Despite these adversities, Sketch Studios and its reliable supply chain demonstrated resilience and adaptability, ensuring the exceptional delivery of the project. Careful consideration was given to materials sourcing, manufacturing locations, and effective communication and organisation. The partnership with the client's project team played a pivotal role in overcoming these obstacles.
The TJX Europe Campus project received recognition for its outstanding achievements. The project won the prestigious BCO (Midlands) Award in 2023 for Best Corporate Workplace. The judges praised the remarkable headquarters with its connecting bridge, diverse spaces promoting collaboration, outer green walls promoting biodiversity, and holistic workspaces that prioritise employee wellbeing.
The TJX Europe Campus project stands as a shining example of innovative workplace design, sustainability, and employee-centric spaces. From its inception, the project sought to create a thriving workspace for TJX Europe's European headquarters, fostering collaboration and wellbeing among employees. Through the collaborative efforts of Sketch Studios, TJX Europe, and the professional teams involved, the project successfully transformed three buildings into a vibrant, dynamic, and award-winning workplace that reflects the essence of the company's values and aspirations.
TJX Europe expressed its satisfaction with the collaboration with Sketch Studios over the past five years. The team demonstrated creativity, collaboration, and flexibility, understanding the challenging brief and delivering beautiful yet practical furniture within tight timelines and budgets. Sketch Studios seamlessly incorporated TJX Europe's brand values into the overall finish, managing changes effectively and positively throughout the project.