Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group


Based in Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) are one of the world’s leading financial groups, with a global network spanning more than 40 countries. They take pride in building long-term relationships with their customers, promoting real economic growth and contributing to orderly capital markets that serve society. They recognise that their most valued asset is their people, it is they who drive the business forward and therefore providing an office environment to help them achieve their goals is essential.

The Brief

When designing their new London Headquarters, MUFG were aware of the benefits of plants in the workplace and wanted them to feature largely throughout both the client-facing and staff areas.  Planting schemes were to be designed to suit the many different areas and departments within the building. Spread over three floors, the planting had to be aesthetically pleasing and reflect a Japanese influence.

Floor-standing plant and orchid display, MUFG.

The Solution

Taking into consideration each of the individual areas, a planting scheme was devised to provide a diverse range of interesting tropical plants and planters, which not only included tropical green foliage but colourful flowering in the form of tropical plants such as Guzmania, Anthurium and Vriesea.

The main reception was designed with a distinctive Japanese feel, featuring a back-lit bamboo wall, simple Japanese-style wooden chairs along with two simple credenza and a streamlined reception desk.  Here, we added fresh flowers and planting for a final flourish.  Live bamboo was unfortunately not an option due to low light levels, but a wall of Ficus alii was planted to create the same look and feel. Three Lechuza Cubico planters in bright red stand along the left-hand wall, mass planted with tall and elegant Aspidistra.

A deli area which serves meals throughout the day was created for the staff, so we wanted to make sure that it was somewhere they could experience the benefits of biophilic design. A large built-in planter split into five sections and surrounded by wooden seating was built in the centre as the focal point of the room. We chose to plant a uniform display of cacti and succulents with a variety of different coloured stones and gravels, adding variety and interest while also displaying an emphasis on geometry that gives a slight nod to the Japanese zen garden.

Interior planting, MUFG.

In the breakout area there are wooden benches with built-in planters, which we chose to plant symmetrically with rows of Sansevieria zeylanica. These upstanding plants give a clean, minimal feel to the planting scheme, while also being tough enough to survive the odd knock or two, which is vital for plants in such a high-traffic location.

Throughout the wider office we used a wide variety of plants in different containers. Planters are largely high-gloss red, black, or in a natural wood finish, mirroring the decor scheme throughout the office. Planting has been selected to give a further nod to the Japanese culture – Ficus ginseng, for instance, with its pot-bellied trunk and its soft round foliage, creates a fittingly eye-catching feature with a distinctive oriental feel.

The senior executives’ offices were designed with a more personal feel in mind. Yucca tips, red anthuriums, white orchids and large Dracaena Janet Craigs provide a unique planting feel that is at once calming and creatively inspiring.

  • Species Featured
  • Vriesea
  • Ficus alii
  • Aspidistra
  • Sansevieria zeylanica
  • Ficus ginseng
  • Dracaena Janet Craig
  • Guzmania