Accommodating 1,200 customer service staff
The building was originally a factory
A rationalised circulation route was introduced
Double height “fingers” contain meeting spaces
Elevated support facilities for easier access
20ft high clear space promotes openess
This project saw us convert a 120,000ft² former printer cartridge factory into a workplace for 1,200 customer service staff for both PayPal and eBay. We found a box, 20 feet high and as large as several football pitches, but with no windows or external light of any kind – and transformed it by bringing light into the space through the perimeter and the roof.
We introduced a central gallery connecting the 330 seat restaurant, training centre and gym at one end with the town hall space, café and basketball court at the other end, and located double height “fingers” containing meeting spaces off this gallery, breaking up the vast scale of the space.
The brief was to provide space for both eBay and PayPal’s customer support units. Having carried out work in both PayPal’s Ballycoolin Headquarters and eBay’s Blanchardstown premises we were familiar with their requirements. The building presented design challenges. It was designed as a factory – a large, dark box with offices at the front.
Our first move was to introduce light and to rationalise circulation. This was achieved by providing windows around the perimeter, roof lights throughout the main hall, and by locating the reception, restaurant, gym and training centre in the former offices to the front. We also located the café and town hall to the rear and created a circulation route connecting them all and bisecting the main hall.
The addition of light made the main hall into a pleasant workspace, and introducing a busy circulation route through the centre of it created movement and activity as well as allowing Paypal and EBay space to be separate from each other. But the scale was still vast and inhuman and support facilities were lacking, to counter this we introduced double height “fingers” which intersected with the main circulation route at right angles, containing toilets and service zones at lower levels and conference and collaboration facilities at both levels.
As well as bringing support facilities closer to the desk, but elevating them above the work zone, these break the scale of the hall down to create neighbourhoods more aligned to the size of teams, while allowing light and views through them and across them.
Dundalk, Co. Louth