Thinking back over the last 14 (!) years I’ve worked in Yorkshire’s AdLand, I’ve seen several large-ish agencies abandon their not-fit-for-purpose offices and move to to swanky new, open plan, city centre offices.
I can understand why – a lot of these buildings simply aren’t suited to the fast-paced, open-plan way communications agencies now have to work and some were so hard to locate that they regularly had to send staff out in cars to find and escort back lost clients.
But it’s kind of sad too. A lot of the character of an agency is reflected in both their building and its folklore. From mill buildings designed to power the industrial revolution to manor houses built for the benefactors of that revolution, it’s the swimming pool, the supposedly haunted cellar or the three different staircases required to connect the hotchpotch of office buildings together that all add to the character of a building and the agency brand that occupies it. ‘…in our Grade 2 listed building’ is quite nice to put in credentials documents too :)
I just have a hunch that if every Yorkshire agency moved to a glass walled city centre office, in a few years you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.