FIT-OUT OF WORKPLACE (LARGE PROJECTS)

 

National Winner / Regional Winner North of England, North Wales and Northern Ireland
Northern Foods Headquarters, Leeds

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Project client

Northern Foods

Owner/developer

Thorpe Park Developments

Project manager /quantity surveyor

Turner & Townsend

Architect

Carey Jones Architects

Interior designer

Carey Jones Interiors

M&E engineer

N.G. Bailey & Co

Structural engineer

3E Consulting Engineers

Contractor

GMI Construction Group

Fit-out contractor /furniture supplier

Logic


You know something has been done properly when people who never visit the office begin queuing at the front door - particularly when it is your own staff. When Northern Foods moved from Hull to Leeds it aimed for more than a permanent home for managers. The building on Thorpe Park would also act as a 'hub' for staff who spend most of their working life travelling the country.

Many had never visited the old HQ but are now lining up to book space for meetings or utilise 'touchdown' areas. Communications with managers and other staff has soared - confirming Northern's belief that it needed to move to new kinds of working.

The initial demand was for predominantly flexible, open-plan space that could be swapped around as demands change. Managers were allowed their cellular privacy but to maintain the sense of openness, partitions are made of glass and can be moved when required - and no doors are fitted!

A Scandinavian theme was chosen to represent the firm's cross-European business but fit-out specialists Carey Jones was also asked to "make it sexy". The answer, a riot of graphics based on the food which goes into Northern's products, does just that. The timber, glass and blazing colours give a modern, clean feel while layouts have broken the mould for floor planning by creating interesting angles and curves. These turn a fairly straightforward building into a showpiece.

Clients and visitors were also part of the equation, as Northern brings them in to prepare and present its products. An open kitchen not only fulfilled this basic need but ensured the process was not cut off from the office space occupied by people who play such an important role in administration, marketing and support. Customers are so impressed that they, too, want more and are now asking if they can borrow the firm's facilities.

All in all, an excellent design and good value for money, according to Northern - . plus an unexpected bonus. The fit-out has achieved senior management's objectives of a workplace that supported a major cultural shift in the way the business units work together. Staff are responding to a smarter building not just by turning up more often but dressing more smartly, which naturally pleases top management.


Regional Winner Midlands and East Anglia
Network Rail - Leadership Development Centre, Coventry

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Project client

Network Rail

Project manager /quantity surveyor

Dearle & Henderson

Brief consultant /architect/ interior designer

Squaredot

M&E engineer

C A Sothers

Structural engineer

Couch Perry & Wilkes

Contractor

Weaver

Graphics

Clinic


Network Rail aspires to be forward thinking and dynamic, and refitting this building has proved the perfect platform to express that ethos. Firstly, it wanted a 'wow' factor to match the exterior, which is relatively new but so exceptional that planners treated it with the attention of a listed building.

Work included stack-effect natural ventilation and the creation of a mix of training, leisure and meeting spaces. A tremendous amount of thought went into re-modelling the building, without upsetting the principles of the base build, and this has been especially successful. This includes re-orientation of the reception to give greater clarity, as well as a spectacular approach, and a defined separate reception area for residential accommodation.

The rigid, tired and cumbersome use of space has been re-invigorated through colour, furniture, differential in style of training rooms and breakout areas. It enables Network Rail to facilitate every type of development strategy, seminars, discussion groups, role play and lectures.

Additional bar areas provide a range of styles and environments, and a far more flexible provision of training facilities including the installation of a tiered auditorium with state of the art presentation facilities.

The judges were particularly impressed by adherence to the client's brief and the effect that the training centre has had on the business. The approach has embraced Network Rail's corporate values - aspiring to excellence, self-confidence, integrity, dependability and safety - and provided an environment capable of invigorating leadership qualities, extensive networking and team working/building, and what a great deal!


Regional Winner London
3i New London Headquarters, London

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Project client

3i Group

Owner

Land Securities

Project manager /quantity surveyor

William G Dick Partnership

Interior designer

Swanke Hayden Connell Architects

M&E engineer

Foreman Roberts

Contractor

Como Group

Developer

Land Securities

Catering consultant

Tricon Foodservice Consultants

AV consultant

CMS Innovative Consultants

Specialist lighting consultant

DPA Lighting Consultants


Top quality developments at prime addresses are often rejected by big name firms who fear sharing with other tenants. This scheme by Swanke Hayden Connell for 3i shows that a carefully planned fit-out can overcome such doubts. Land Securities' Cardinal Place has a powerful presence which must have appealed when 3i sought big new spaces to help its investment teams work more closely together. But taking only part of the building raised the inevitable challenge of sacrificing identity.

A private reception area was created off the main lobby to mark out territory. Sophisticated use of lighting, colours and furniture carry through this identity to the rest of the office space. Clever use has been made of landlord areas to create a winter garden and breakout spaces

The workplace design has clear spatial organisation, is light, airy and uses a variety of materials and textures that work well with the base building design. The occupier brief has been well resolved and provides a professional-looking and flexible workplace that has been well received by staff and visitors. The concierge-style reception created a hotel-style feeling of hospitality, while the well managed security procedures met the stringent demands required by 3i.

The mid-range fit-out budget has been well used and the attention to detail throughout the workplace is evident. This workplace clearly demonstrates quality, flexibility and suitability for the occupier's business and staff. It is a well designed and executed project that 3i enthusiastically endorses.


Regional Winner South of England and South Wales
Motorola EMEA Head Quarters

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Project client

Motorola

Owner

MEPC

Project manager /quantity surveyor

Cushman & Wakefield

Architect/interior designer/contractor

Maris Interiors

M&E engineer

Freeman Beesley


These are a pair of stylish and well-finished speculative office buildings highly compliant with the BCO specification, providing flexible open plan space and a 'blank' canvas to allow a fit-out which achieves a high level of corporate branding. From the moment you enter the main entrance, the space shouts the company's image. The spectacular entrance is full of light and space which flows into the offices in a mass of colour. Everything is dynamic and forward looking, exactly reflecting the Motorola ethos. It is stylish, energetic and modern.

The fit-out brings together all business functions under one roof for the first time. The firm has taken working methods by the scruff of the neck and adopted techniques like hotelling and hot desking. This reflects the mobility enabled by Motorola's products, with only 650 places provided for 1000 staff.

There are lots of informal meeting areas providing good transition from public areas to the mainly open plan offices, which are spacious and efficient. There are a surprisingly high number of private offices, albeit these double up as meeting rooms. The normal hierarchy has been reversed, however, with those who want a private office given spaces in the deeper areas around the cores. The administrative staff are given the best positions by the windows, with those who opt to work open plan being rewarded with a view out.

This project shows that with panache and verve, a good, but straightforward business park building can be transformed to reflect not only company brand, but also to incorporate an individualistic company work style.


FIT-OUT OF WORKPLACE (SMALL PROJECT)

Regional Winner London
gia, London

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Project client/project manager/investment/ property company /lighting design

gia

Interior designer

Squaredot

M&E engineer/contractor

Overbury


Much is made of enhancing daylight in deep office buildings, but what do you do if there is nothing to improve? Take one cavernous, virtually windowless, never-used concrete box. OK for cars, storage or machinery perhaps, but surely a turn-off for cutting edge modern occupiers?

Not if the occupier designs lighting systems. This 1500 sq metre basement became a blank canvas for gia's own lighting designer, working with Overbury, to paint a picture with ordinary materials made special by the design team.

The judges thought this a hugely creative response to daunting problems. The entire fit-out, from the moment one enters the building, has been carefully considered and innovatively resolved.

They were impressed by the way in which a disused basement has been transformed into an uplifting workplace. The innovative lighting and sensory impact of the fit-out design has produced a unique small workplace that not only physically expresses the occupiers business, but is a pleasant and social place to work and can work at a high density.

It exudes fun and passion, style and panache. Vast walls allowed big colour images of landscapes. Innovative lighting designs simulate daylight, using a new generation of technology. The nature of the business is such that everyone has a dedicated workspace with lighting helping to sculpt breakout areas essential for an operation driven by stress and concentration.

And all this imagination reaped rich rewards by boosting staff morale, efficiency and business growth