a shot looking up a large red steel staircase to four floors above


Losing 30-year old habits

Crawley, UK
Interior Design, Workplace
Tour Operator & International Airline
110,000 SQ. FT.
a man walking up a large red steel staircase. Groups of furniture and meeting rooms sit to the right of the steel staircase

PENSON was approached to help reinvent the way Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays’ operate internally as part of moving into a new 110,000 sq.ft. HQ at Gatwick Airport. PENSON delivered a workplace design that’s inspirational and distinctive; a space where people feel alive, inclusive and ready to perform with flying colours.

A dark green velveteen cushioned nook space with a drop pendant light suspended
A close up shot of a musky pink door opening to reveal a meeting room with a TV screen on the wall and green velvet chairs. A black digital tablet illuminated in green is on the wall adjacent to the open door
iconMeeting Room

'The VHQ marks a new era for Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays - together with PENSON and Parkeray we developed an innovative open plan office which embodies the Virgin flair and provides flexibility for our employees and for our business as we look to the future.'

Phil Maher EVP Operations, Virgin Atlantic
a modern cafeteria with people walking through and exposed services in the ceiling. Floor to ceiling windows line the space. A white illuminated sign hangs above the cafe reading 'The Place'
iconThe Place Cafe
floor to ceiling windows/entrance and a white reception with a white sculptural reception desk and a woman entering the HQ
iconVHQ Reception

We created a workplace interior design that’s dynamic, open-plan and community-centric. It brings the two businesses together under one roof for the first time. We’ve increased intermingling, movement, interaction and collaboration by 30% - simply by installing a bright red feature staircase in the centre of the building.

Climbing to 44 ft., the staircase creates a beating heart right through the centre of the building and a vertical connection to join all floors and departments. We then simply placed social areas, tea points and breakout seating around each open staircase entrance to encourage people to chit-chat.

VHQ sets the precedent of future operational strategies and staff-centric design – with the open plan build a new culture and experience transformation for Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holiday’s staff.


25% increased headcount