Barclays Campus, Clyde Place, Glasgow.

Pioneering and award-winning inclusive office design for one of the UK’s largest banking organisations

Project brief .

Accessibility and inclusion at Barclays

Barclays aims to be the most accessible and inclusive FTSE company for all customers, clients, and colleagues. This means ensuring that products, services, and employment are provided for everyone, regardless of their abilities, situation, or circumstances. The British banking giant is determined ‘not to unintentionally leave out or leave anyone behind’, so focusing on accessibility and inclusive design is at its heart.


The vision

The vision for regenerating the vacant, brownfield, and derelict site was the delivery of a welcoming and inclusive campus for Barclays' 5,000 employees and visitors. It was to provide opportunities for staff and the local community to re-engage with the river and wider city through a combination of considered placemaking, public realm, and social initiatives. 


It was vital that the campus offered workplace functionality, alternative work solutions and a multitude of spaces for both meeting and social functions. As well as facilitating the bringing together of colleagues from the technology divisions across numerous sites into one hub.  


The brief 

Barclays commissioned Motionspot as the inclusive design consultant to work alongside global architecture, design, and planning firm Gensler, and the wider Barclays design team on its northern European headquarters. The 400,00 sq ft campus comprised plans for three new buildings and two Grade B listed renovations, all set within three acres of re-greened, public realm land alongside the River Clyde. 


The aim was to make the new workplace a barrier-free space that promotes wellbeing and productivity for all employees and visitors. The Barclays and Motionspot partnership mission was to create an environment that responds to people with physical, cognitive, and sensory needs, including designing for neurodiversity, with a particular focus on autism. This ethos was to extend beyond the Glasgow campus via the creation of an Inclusive Design Standard complete with an inclusive product specification guide.


Award-winning  

Barclays’ Glasgow campus won The British Council for Offices (BCO) Awards 2023 in four categories: 


  • Best of the Best
  • National & Regional winner Corporate Workplace
  • Regional winner Innovation
  • Regional winner ESG Scotland


It particularly impressed the judges with the benefits it has delivered for both employees and the wider community through considered placemaking and social initiatives. Combining such initiatives with exceptional workplace design makes it a “truly outstanding” project, the judges remarked. They also said that it was notable for its focus on creating an inclusive and “barrier-free” working environment. 


Find out more about our other award-winning clients.  



“Motionspot worked with us to create an inclusive workplace that goes well beyond standard access guidance. Glasgow has paved the way for future developments, enabling us to achieve world leading inclusive design standards and create spaces that are truly inclusive for all.”

Ron Coghill, Director, Major Projects Delivery Lead, Barclays

Project scope .

Our remit spanned the inclusive layout and facilities of all internal areas including reception areas, office spaces, meeting rooms, break-out zones, and communal dining facilities. Across the campus we made inclusive design recommendations on all interior finishes including lighting, contrast, acoustics, biophilia, and signage. All of which play a vital role in creating office spaces that make everyone feel welcome and included.


Raising the bar

In-line with the partnership mission we helped Barclays raise the bar significantly beyond design for minimum standards and physical access by incorporating:


  • Rest points and ‘quiet’ routes externally and internally 
  • Neurodivergent-friendly spaces including recalibration rooms and optimal toilet design with reduced decibel washroom hand dryers
  • Wheelchair and ambulant accessible toilets and Changing Places facilities 
  • Optimal office design including biophilia 

Travelling to site 

Routes to and from the new campus were included in our scope of work because we identify that inclusive workplaces begin with a person’s journey from home. The Motionspot team conducted a ‘journey survey’ by foot, wheelchair, and public transport with Glasgow City Council to identify potential challenges for Barclays staff and visitors accessing the campus from a range of transport links.


Our approach considered cognitive, sensory, and physical needs and resulted in recommendations to promote a calm transition into the workplace, including intuitive wayfinding, rest points, and quiet routes.


Neurodivergent-friendly spaces


Recalibration rooms

Further to working closely with Barclays' internal disability groups and organisations such as Scottish Autism we recommended the incorporation of recalibration rooms. These have an emphasis on the sensory experience and were designed to meet the needs of the many autistic people who have developed strategies that include sensory recalibration. 


Sensory toilet design 

Consideration of specific sensory disabilities extended to toilet design. Arrangements include stand-alone cubicles or ‘superloos’, comprising a toilet, basin, and hand drying equipment for added privacy, security, and choice. Hand drier decibel level was also reduced to lessen sensory overload. Find out more about autism friendly toilet design.

 

Gender signage on toilet doors was also carefully considered. The badging on each cubicle was equally split between male, female, and gender neutral to be inclusive to all colleagues and allow choice. Find out more about All Gender Toilets.

 

Changing Places facilities

In addition to the provision of wheelchair accessible and ambulant accessible toilets on every level, Changing Places facilities were planned into each of the three main buildings on the Glasgow campus. Changing Places toilets have space for carers to accompany people with more complex needs to the toilet. They also contain specialist equipment including ceiling track hoists and height-adjustable changing benches and basins. Barclays' Changing Places facilities can be accessed by people who require them across the Glasgow area.

Optimal office design 

To provide as much choice as possible, open plan areas were broken up into carefully designed working zones and meeting rooms. All features from desks and doors to kitchen areas are wheelchair accessible. Biophilia, hearing loops, and braille signage have been added throughout the buildings. 



The result.

Barclays has employed more disabled people, including autistic staff, into technical roles at is Glasgow Headquarters. It has seen an increase in staff returning to the office post lockdown, and recorded employees expressing greater wellbeing, belonging and improved concentration in their new inclusively designed workplace. 


In addition, as a direct result of Motionspot's work, Glasgow City Council invested £1.5m to improve access in the public spaces surrounding the Barclays campus.


The British Council for Offices has been described the completed campus as being: “A mixed-use ecosystem that spurs originality and produces new synergies. Biophilic design elements fill the cafeteria area, while staff swings are in one of the offices.”


Inclusive Design Standard

Based on the success of the initial project, Motionspot works with Barclays on a number of other offices, including shaping their international Inclusive Design Standard. Our team has presented to the Barclays Global Corporate Real Estate team to encourage improved accessibility across all Barclays locations.  



“Every £1 we spent on inclusive design saved us £100 in retrofits later. Plus our inclusively designed offices have enabled Barclays to employ more disabled employees including autistic staff into technical roles. And our employees are reporting a greater sense of wellbeing, belonging and improved concentration in the workplace.”

Ron Coghill, Director, Major Projects Delivery Lead, Barclays

“It has been a delight to work with a business partner that shares the same values of inclusivity as Barclays. Being involved in the early stages of the renovation opened exciting opportunities to push the boundaries of what was possible”.

Kathryn Townsend, Former Head of Customer and Client Accessibility at Barclays UK