Bringing the team’s vision to life.

ADT Workplace has transformed a Grade II listed building into a high tech, modern office space for US-based database software company, Couchbase.


As a key location for the organisation, Couchbase was looking to expand its footprint in Manchester and create an office space which would accommodate its rapidly growing workforce and be fit-for-purpose for at least the next five years. Keen to stay in the historic Northern Quarter close to its existing office, Couchbase agreed a tenancy at 35 Dale Street.

For the pioneering tech company, a modern space with the very best connectivity and high tech infrastructure was essential. Also imperative was the need for open plan desk space for up to 80 staff, and a large communal area, as well as private space for relaxation or quiet concentration. Meeting spaces with integrated tech to facilitate the company’s need for collaboration with colleagues at its other office locations around the world was also crucial.

couchbase office fit out

Maximising unusual space

Commenting on the design process, Stacey Charlesworth, design director at ADT Workplace said: “35 Dale Street is a Grade II listed building and Couchbase was keen to incorporate some of its original features and highlight its unique character within the new design.

“To help bring the team’s vision to life, we worked in close collaboration with Couchbase to create quirky and interesting design concepts which made best use of the unusual space. For example, the cobbled double height loading bay with original hoist and coal shute is now the office entrance, all core walls within both main office areas are glazed brick and some of the original signage remains throughout.”

couchbase office design

Attracting and retaining talent

David Haikney, senior director of engineering at Couchbase said: “From our very first meeting, we were impressed with the team at ADT Workplace. The team is experienced, professional and demonstrates great expertise which instilled confidence in us. It was clear they completely understood our aspirations for the new office, and had the experience, creativity and skills to help us deliver our vision in what was actually quite a difficult and complicated space.

“With varying spaces for informal, formal, and quiet work, we are now able to provide a flexible and agile working space for our team who can choose to work in the best way for them. In addition, the large communal area has provided an environment which is much more conducive to collaboration, with enough space for all the staff to come together in a more comfortable and relaxed setting.

“The finished result blew us away and has more than exceeded expectations, giving staff a renewed sense of pride in where they work and a place we are excited to bring customers to. We’re also confident that the move into this exciting space will support us in attracting and retaining the best talent, which is key for us as we push forward with our ambitious growth plans.”

Meeting investor needs

ADT Workplace was instructed to carry out the work by property investment and development company, Helical plc, owners of 35 Dale Street, who at the same time tendered ADT Workplace to carry out the CAT A build works for the full building. Discussing the project, Will Parry, senior property executive at Helical plc said: “Couchbase is a forward-thinking international tech company which needed a vibrant new office space to support its fast growing customer base. Having selected 35 Dale Street as its new location, we needed a design and build partner who we knew had the creativity to deliver the high-tech, practical but quirky space Couchbase was looking for, as well as the experience of working within the constraints of a listed building.

“ADT Workplace was the obvious partner for us, and the team has delivered a top quality space which not only meets Couchbase’s operational requirements but cleverly makes use of the building’s original features to create a unique office with the wow factor.”

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