PENSON delivers Sports Direct's new London Offices

By Sarah Bean

COMPLETED: Autumn 2019
SIZE: 22,000 sq. ft.

An illuminated corner view of a six story building on a busy street. The windows are lit with flowers and Flannels text

PENSON has turned its expertise to Sports Direct International’s (Frasers Group) new London offices at Academy House, 161-167 Oxford Street.


Working closely with Michael Murray, the retailer’s Head of Elevation, PENSON has created a unique interior experience over four floors, designed to promote a retail connection in an inspiring and sleek environment.

Black large table and chairs against grey and white floor/walls of a meeting room. The wall is pulled back to reveal open space. People are using the space on the right hand side
iconInnovative retractable walls mean Level 6 is totally reconfigurable

The London office sits above its newly opened luxury Flannels’ flagship store in Oxford Street and has been designed to spearhead the elevation of the group, bringing together the creative teams across Sports Direct International Plc.

Large grey sofa with grid-like stitching. Workstations either side of the sofa and white linear lighting drawing a line down the office space, complete with high bench tables and stools in the background
iconWorking areas offer a hybrid of options

The build brings together retail teams with four floors of reconfigurable - super flexible - office space. The working areas are combined with photographic studios, event spaces, staff forums and a restaurant.


PENSON has also holistically integrated tech, flexibility, furniture procurement, health at work strategies and internal brand messaging.


‘Living above the shop’ on Oxford Street gives the Sports Direct Group staff a physical connection to their customers and ensures they remain firmly on the retail pulse.

Academy House wall signage with red front desk, concrete-effect walls & flooring & black gloss turnstiles with black lifts behind
iconReception unites minimalism with Sports Direct Int's brand

Reception sets the tone of the HQ with a striking entrance façade, bespoke reception desk, hints of sleek red detailing and monochromatic surfaces. Polished and raw concrete walls, white gloss floors and digital screens give the open plan workspaces a minimalistic studio feel.

Meeting room with black table & chairs, a white floor & red structural detailing. TV screen at the end of the room
iconMichael Murray's office
Concrete lit shelving with a range of fashion house books stacked together
iconBespoke concrete shelving designed by PENSON

Taking inspiration from retail, digital backdrops, light boxes, bright artwork, projections and hi-tech lighting work together to create fluidity in the spaces, as well as interactivity. Circular desks, sofas and reconfigurable settings encourage movement and collaboration in work areas.


“The team looked at the ergonomics of a pair of trainers to influence the flexible layouts”, said Lee Penson, CEO of PENSON, “spaces fit to individuals’ needs while offering a hybridity of choice.

People working on a range of table seating with loud and bright artwork on a dark ceiling. People use a deli bar (Academy kitchen) in the background as well as a TV screen showing Fox news.
iconLevel 6 is a mixed-use space featuring a restaurant, meeting rooms & flexi-working areas

The retail connection continues on level six where the space includes retractable walls, illuminated artwork and event lighting. Nestled among comfy lounge seating, the restaurant serves up fresh food all day, but reconfigures for product launches, catwalks and brand events, thanks to the innovative moving walls. Huge floor to ceiling windows open out to a tranquil terrace and vistas over Oxford street below.

Range of monochrome coloured chairs and sofa on concrete-effect flooring. The ceiling and space are lit in a rainbow of vibrant colours thanks to adjustable lighting
iconLevel 6 transforms for product launches, catwalks & brand events
A large black & white round sofa in the foreground with lifts and a large number '4' on the wall in the background
iconBespoke circular sofa designed by PENSON
A large black and white round sofa with circular yellow artwork suspended above. A whole wall of bright pink artwork is behind
iconTaking inspiration from retail, artwork features across the offices
A glass facade of a new building on Oxford St with illuminated pink interactive artwork
icon‘Living above the shop’ on Oxford Street connects staff to customers

For more photos, please see our Sports Direct project case study.