Auto Trader’s new Manchester office is an ‘inspirational playground’ for the company’s growing number of app developers and web programmers, according to the interior designers, Claremont Group Interiors.
Car meeting rooms, media walls, a skateboarding full pipe, an Audi Quattro and a ski-lodge are just some of the new office’s stand-out features.
Claremont handed over the 60,000 sq. ft. office which spans three floors in First Street last week, after 16 weeks on site. The new dynamic and open-plan workspace brings together 600 administrative, call centre, digital developers and other head office staff who were previously spread across seven regional offices.
It’s just one year since Auto Trader closed its print magazine and moved to a digital-first platform and the move reflects its vision to lead the UK digital motoring marketplace.
- Touch-screen media walls and write-on walls and surfaces give staff the freedom to capture their ideas anywhere, anytime and reflects Auto Trader’s visual working process
- Unusual breakout zones and meeting rooms prove that work isn’t confined to a desk and include: a 120 seat café complete with pool tables, video games and a library plus a relaxing ski lodge
- When one of the 38 meeting rooms just won’t do, staff can gather inside a converted VW camper van or a rare Citroen H van
- Six vehicles including a 1987 Audi Quattro, 1997 TVR Cerbera, Alfa Romeo and 1977 Jaguar XJ
- The company’s 37 years of motoring history have also been captured. Iconic cut-away sketches by Terry Davey, made famous in the Haynes car manuals during the 1970s, appear as wall graphics
- Meeting rooms have been named after cars as varied as the Spitfire and Vanquish, to the Panda and Cavalier
- A complex integrated audio-visual and multi-media system which includes digital signage to keep staff and visitors up to date with company news, IPTV and large format TV displays, video and audio conferencing, intuitive ipad room controls and a centralised room booking system
Ann Clarke, joint managing director of Claremont Group Interiors led the £4m interior design and fit-out project. She said: “There’s no denying there’s a lot of unusual and fun elements to this interior, but even the most creative elements all support how Auto Trader works. The cars aren’t gimmicks, they provide spaces that spark the imagination and encourage cross-pollination of ideas.
“Modern offices need to be more about more than just providing the tools and spaces to do the job. They need to offer the freedom to relax, share ideas and be inspired too. Younger generations joining the workforce expect a more free-range and dynamic environment and Auto Trader certainly has that.”
Viewpoint designed and installed the £1m audio-visual and multi-media system which formed part of the interior design and fit-out project. Ben Woodroffe, senior project manager said: “We’ve helped Auto Trader to incorporate sophisticated and innovative audio-visual solutions which will enable and help facilitate agile working and collaboration. That’s a must-have for Auto Trader’s creative, dynamic and collaborative way of working.”
Fast-facts about the new office
- Two vans – the VW camper van and Citroen H van – have been converted into meeting spaces, complete with power and meeting tables.
- It took three days to crane the six feature vehicles into the fourth and fifth floor spaces. The cars include: a 1987 Audi Quattro, 1997 TVR Cerbera, Alfa Romeo and 1977 Jaguar XJ
- 14 touch-screen media walls have been installed along with countless write-on surfaces (including the cars)
- AutoTrader was granted one of only two UK licenses to use Terry Davey’s iconic drawings on the walls.