The significant aspect of the interior designed by Studio TILT for Spitfire Audio is that it is the fruit of an extensive and multi-dimensional collaboration between the designers and the client - a young and vibrant London-based music start-up. The design process was based on the innovative codesign methodology pioneered by Studio TILT across multiple global projects and described in the 2013 book, ‘Codesigning Space’, long before codesign was fashionable. APPROACH Through a series of collaborative workshops performed across all stages of the project, we developed a design together that is inclusive and responds specifically to the needs of different groups of Spitfire employees. We wanted to create something that brought to life the energy, creativity and rigour of Spitfire Audio. A simplicity that we arrived at from honing each individual idea to ask again and again, what is and what is not necessary? How can classic design elements sit next to bespoke furniture we have designed, alongside provocative solutions like industrial cable packs or a totally unfinished floor? We aimed for a thoughtful richness, yet created with cohesive adaptability that suits everyone in the organisation. It is important to acknowledge each and every member of the Spitfire team who have provided the insights that have made this possible. In truth it is their design, and for Studio TILT our role has been to find form, shape and flow for each person, and by extension the organisation as a whole. We began with a broad palette of materials drawn from inspirational projects, various samples and ideas. As each design stage unfolded we worked relentlessly to simplify this palette, removing as much as possible to be left with a minimal set of choices. So in the background, one sees unfinished concrete, white, and birch plywood. Everything that then follows contrasts subtlety and playfully with this palette — yellows and reds hidden in tiles, flecks of gold in worktops, or black across all the handles and hinges. The project consisted not only of a spatial design, but also resulted in the creation of a series of bespoke furniture divided into three categories - Free, Flex and Fixed - customised to match the requirements of each of the very varied Spitfire teams. The functional names of the furniture were transformed by the teams too into Peanut, Toast and Jonjo. SPACE The office is located in a warehouse complex in North London, and consists of three floors. The ground floor acts as a multifunctional space, which operates as a social and collaborative zone for the Spitfire team during the day, and in the evening transforms into a vibrant and atmospheric event space, where all sorts of music performances, talks and meetings for up to 100 people can be hosted. The use of curtains on tracks, bifold doors and light and demountable Free tables allow for full spatial flexibility, thus raising its functionality. Also on the ground floor, we located two semi-enclosed booths, finished with neutral and soft materials, that act as perfect hideouts for those who prefer to work in an isolated and quiet space. The first floor is dedicated to the teams that operate in a more dynamic and collaborative way. To accommodate their needs, the space is quite open, with plants and loose furniture acting as dividers, and equipped with Free and Flex tables, Free being hot-desk oriented and perfect for those who like to move around a lot, and Flex being assigned and dedicated to users who prefer to have their own designated spot. Walls that separate the open space from private offices and meeting rooms on the perimeter are pierced with extra large, wooden-framed windows, to maximise the transparency of the space. The higher you go, the more focused and quiet the work culture becomes. The second floor is divided into two main areas - one open and collaborative, but dedicated to the teams working in silence, and the other one reserved for composers and producers, requiring the most specific equipment and complete silence. The finishes used here, their colours, tactility and textures, create a calming and quiet environment. One of the main issues in Spitfire’s previous HQ was the fact that no available tables were functional enough for the complex musical equipment the producers use on a daily basis. To respond to that, we ran a series of specific creative workshops focused on creating a perfect Spitfire Production Team Fixed desk. With the team’s very creative and rich input, we managed to achieve just that. Also on this floor, four fully soundproofed composer/testing suites were located, to enable musicians to work freely without interrupting others. Sustainability was a key behind all our finishes and furniture choices. The spatial interventions to the original state of the building were minimal, the original rough concrete flooring was preserved, the bespoke elements, all made of birch plywood, were produced from locally sourced materials by locally based manufacturers. The internal windows were glazed with reclaimed glass salvaged from the site during the demolition phase. Most of the purchased furniture were vintage/second-hand, and the textiles and carpets were sourced from UK-based companies. The quiet/loud zoning, introducing different types of enclosed and semi-enclosed spaces, the use of different textures and colours, huge amount of indoor plants and differentiation of the types of furniture following the collaborative/focused scale were all thought through to best respond to the team’s neurodiversity, and create a space that is inclusive, functional and efficient, but always has the users’ wellbeing as its key focus.

Codesign Workshops

Further images of analogue workshops that accompany VR modelling.

Ask the space allows the building to speak and everyone gets to imagine context and use via exploration, post it and paper.

Object Call asks people to bring objects that embody emotional, or imaginative ideas of the space. 

Plus taping of floors  for mass, volume and flow to experience spatial ideas.

Performance Images

Three instagram images showing how the ground floor space transforms. 

Spatial Plans

Help to orientate the judges to the density, flexibility and seamless of how the spaces work (level 3 is not shown)