workers sitting in blue office

Zetteler Renovates Office With Ethics and Accessibility in Mind

The London-based PR firm’s stylish—and entirely vegan—HQ embraces inclusivity and flexibility as staff return to the office post-pandemic.

A PR company that shares stories of eye-catchingly designed workplaces around the world has experienced life on the other side of the equation: as a client commissioning its own office reinvention. 

The London-based agency Zetteler—which operates in the worlds of design, art, architecture, and craft—has collaborated with designer Rhonda Drakeford to make a professional space that, according to the agency, “ditches the outdated 9 am to 6 pm pre-pandemic [working] model.”

Located on the seventh floor of a 20th-century concrete warehouse building in Hackney, the 1,000-square-foot space is divided into distinct zones, each designed to evoke different atmospheres and ways of working. 

Interior view of an office lounge space with a table, couch, and plants
interior view of an office kitchenette with three people sitting at a table, grabbing food, and opening cabinets

To achieve this, Drakeford, founder of British practice Studio Rhonda, has used a variety of color schemes. A shift from cool duck-egg blue to warmer soft peach tones mark a change in ambiance between the main work area at the front and the more relaxed space at the rear, while a purpose-built meeting space is encased in walls of deep blue Valchromat and translucent glass bricks.

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Flexible work and lounge spaces—from a large wooden table designed by Max Lamb to a café-style area with softer furnishings, reached by passing a wall of curtain-concealable library shelving —means that the office can be offered to Zetteler’s community of journalists, creatives, start-ups, and charities if they need a workspace, or a venue for meetings, events, and exhibitions. 

Company founder Sabine Zetteler says: “I want the space to offer both our own team and the wider creative community somewhere flexible, beautiful, and functional where they can come and get together for whatever they need. Connecting people is a huge part of what we do. For the first time in our history, we’re in a position to properly invest in creating the ideal space—I want as many people to benefit from it as possible.”

An interior view of a small colorful office with pine tables and glass blocks separating a conference room

The project was completed in under a year, while the company’s staff were adapting to remote working. While they were able to continue operating successfully, Zettler says they found that working from home sacrificed the benefits of shared physical space when it came to “sparking those moments of unexpected inspiration that are essential to creative-sector businesses.”

The new office is designed to encourage this, while freeing the team to work where and how best suits them, alongside a rotating cast of neighbors. In addition to flexibility, the office is designed to be “accessible, useful, beautiful, and ethical.” Sabine Zetteler has severe conductive hearing loss, and open office spaces with hard floors and high ceilings create disruptive echo chambers. As such, Drakeford has employed materials and partitions to create a deaf-friendly and inclusive space. 

The brief also called for vegan alternatives to be sourced for every single material used, from paints to curtain fabrics. Even materials thought to be vegan, but in fact, made using animal-derived components such as certain glues during manufacturing, were banned. The result, says Zetteler, is “a proof of concept for the idea that a modern workplace can be styled to reflect the practical needs and moral outlook of its occupants.”

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