Virgin Media

From the outset, we felt we were in very safe hands with the SONICA team. Their design nailed the brief, the team was uber professional throughout, the project was delivered on time and all obstacles were easily overcome. Not only were we delivered with a new and innovative space that entirely surpassed our expectations but we also enjoyed working closely with the SONICA team during the refit process and nothing we requested was ever an issue. In short, SONICA ticked all the boxes by delivering to all time, cost, quality parameters and doing so with dedication and building a strong client relationship in the process. We would thoroughly recommend SONICA for any project that looks to raise the design bar and walks the talk on deliverables with exemplary service and execution throughout

Mike Nolan Head of Sustainability Virgin Media

  • 14,000 sq ft
  • 16 Weeks
  • Complete Design & Build
  • Extensive feature joinery
  • 3D Modelling of all concepts
  • M&E / IT / AV Co-ordination
  • Bespoke graphics and branding package
  • Move management

the work

the story

Our journey with Virgin Media began in 2020 when SONICA were appointed as fit out CAT B contractors for their Macken House Headquarters. Our brief was to bring to life the vision for a pioneering workplace that integrates Virgin Media’s brand identity, iconic typography and ground-breaking new technologies into a seamless and unified design at Macken House. Our design concept for Macken House marks a decisive ‘new beginning’ for Virgin Media and galvanizes a new team spirit and office community.

Open plan office areas are compact and clearly defined, as a trade-off allowing for more of well-functioning community spaces that connect people. A variety of meeting spaces, seated niches, lounges, small to medium meeting rooms and phone booths cater for a variety of ways of working and collaborating. The beating heart of the community is where it should be, in the centre of the space, expressed with an ‘Infinity Hub’ break-out area and the ‘X-Change’, a marketplace for ideas and collaboration. To celebrate the city centre location, the central ‘heart’ visually and physically links through the new ‘Street Cafe’ staff kitchenette all the way to the up and coming Mayor Street, proudly showcasing the Smart Home to the outside world. The layout is informed mainly by access to direct daylight or perception of daylight and connection to the outside. Workstations are grouped in two main zones, one adjacent to the large glazed façade towards the outdoor area, the other with access to daylight through the glazed gym. Together with 4 workstations in the open office area, we achieved a total number of 140 desks of which 28 were non assigned desks.

All main communal spaces are laid out in succession along the central spine of the floor plan: the ‘Infinity Hub’ break-out area, the ‘X-change’ with hot desking and surrounding meeting rooms and finally the new ‘Street Café’ staff canteen. The gym is at the East end of the building due to its proximity to changing rooms. The main circulation routes are passing reception into the V-Street Café, through the X-Change into the open plan office. From there, the route splits into a route to the gym to the right and a route to the boardroom. The concourse is marked through a geometric carpet pattern on the floor. Green plants have a proven positive impact on staff well-being. We used extensive planting mainly in the open plan office as an extension of the structural columns. These planters visually break the open plan desk rows into smaller zones and benefit through acoustic diffusion. Branding carried throughout the scheme in form of the company red, the Virgin Infinity Loop as floating 3D object and was an inspiring work in progress with their own brand team.


Our approach to sustainability lies in the retention of as much of the built elements as possible. Ceiling baffles and HVAC elements were retained and extended where needed. We retained over 70 percent of the carpet tiles; these visually marked out the open plan office zones as large blocks. Lighting was also upgraded to the latest energy-saving technology where possible.