FIT OUT OF WORKPLACE

An award for a space or spaces within a building that will be judged on the interior fit out.

 

NATIONAL WINNER / REGIONAL WINNER (THE MIDLANDS & EAST ANGLIA)

AVON COSMETICS UK HEADQUARTERS, NUNN MILLS ROAD, NORTHAMPTON

A new fit out is an opportunity for an organisation to set out its core values in a way that engages with its people. Avon Cosmetics has achieved this in no uncertain terms at its new UK headquarters in Northampton. The fact that the approach used here has become a standard which is being rolled out internationally is a testament to the success of Avon’s endeavour.

The cosmetic firm’s new HQ is situated on the original location  of its former production facility, which overlooks the water frontage on Nunn Mills Road. Avon demonstrated commitment to its historic home, as well as confident acknowledgement of its global standing, and acted as a trailblazer for regeneration in the area.  

The judges were impressed with the impact of the consistent use of branding that runs throughout the building. The visual displays raise the property beyond the bland corporate style that is too often seen in many company headquarters. The most impressive aspect of the design is the clean and consistent approach to the workspace.  It is efficient yet stylish and cleverly embodies the client’s main product and incorporates colour and natural products.

The orientation of the workspace gives maximum views out onto a local park and the waterway to all of the staff, creating a light and airy environment. By bringing together a number of previously disparate functions in one workplace, the level of communication between staff and different departments has been transformed.

Project manager, Cushman & Wakefield, and interior designer, HKS, have worked together to optimise the inside of the office building and have achieved much within a fairly straight forward building envelope. The designers particularly demonstrated great affinity with the Avon approach – even to the extent that the architect sports a matching handkerchief in his breast pocket

Overall the judges felt that the design team and the occupier have incorporated a colourful and exciting fit out which elevates the completed project to another level. What made this fit out stand out was the fact that it so clearly demonstrated the client’s approach to its own product; yet the space could be very easily adapted for any number of users in the future.

 

REGIONAL WINNERS

SCOTLAND

MACROBERTS SOLICITORS, CAPELLA BUILDING, 60 YORK STREET, GLASGOW

This project is an uplifting example of a traditional Scottish legal firm successfully seizing an opportunity to move from a cluster of traditional sandstone cellular buildings to change its perception overnight by taking the prime space in one of Glasgow’s best new vantage points.

A rigorous space budget and review exercise determined it was not necessary for all personnel to be on one big open plan floor plate but that three and a half 1,000m² floors enabled sufficient adjacencies between teams to create the desired collaboration and efficiencies.

MacRoberts viewed the central core as advantageous to the organisation of its business functions, providing an opportunity to house central support amenities, informal meeting rooms and break out spaces, leaving the external walls of the quadrant floor plan for full daylight and impressive views over urban Clydeside.

Their approach has ensured remarkable value for money, whilst adding a sense of modernity to the work areas and status to the client areas. A simple graphical reference to the Clyde’s famous ships in the reception area, borne out in the names of client meeting rooms, further helps to identify the firm with its core Glasgow business base. The firm’s extensive art collection, displayed to great effect in its new, contemporary, setting is another successful feature of the fit out.

Whilst too early - and also difficult due to market conditions - to accurately measure any productivity increases, a 100-day post occupation user survey did reveal an encouraging 95% contentment with the relocation.

 

LONDON & THE SOUTH EAST

NOMURA, ONE ANGEL LANE, LONDON

After acquiring the Lehman Brothers European business, investment bank Nomura International had an immediate need for space and to integrate its new expanded workforce. This resulted in Watermark Place, which spanning more than 50,000m² over 11 floors at One Angel Lane, next to Cannon Street Station, was reckoned to be the largest single occupancy fit out in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. The entire project was completed in eight months.  

Project Manager Mouchel, with designer ttsp, planned the scope of works which included additional escalator installation; facilities for more than 1,800 traders on two trading floors; a gymnasium; a medical centre; broadcast studio; 200 seat auditorium; client areas; private dining facilities; a multi-faith facility and a large staff restaurant with a 2,000m² river side terrace overlooking the River Thames, the largest in the City of London. The fit out used 2,500 km of IT cable, 1.5 km of chilled beams and enough flooring to carpet 228 three-bed houses.

The judges did feel that the design did not match the high quality detailing but overall were impressed with the delivery of this vast workplace with its extensive facilities in the time taken.

Fletcher Priest Architects won the New City Architecture Award last year for its design of the 50,000m² One Angel Lane. Oxford Properties and UBS Global Asset Managementbuilding forms a strategic part of the City of London’s initiative to encourage access to the river and develop a unified river walkway. The building also won the Institute of Civil Engineers 2009 Buildings Award.

 

NORTH OF ENGLAND, NORTH WALES & NORTHERN IRELAND

PZ CUSSONS HEADQUARTERS, 3500 AVIATOR WAY, MANCHESTER BUSINESS PARK

PZ Cussons is a forward looking company which aspired to use its relocation as a catalyst for change. The fit out truly demonstrates this.

The finished fit out delivers a vibrant, inspiring and flexible workspace. Employees are spoilt for choice of where to work, and no one is tied to one desk for the duration of the day – staff can take their laptops from the docking stations and work anywhere. With the variety of spaces on offer staff can always find a quiet corner or an inspiring place to sit and work. 

Before the move staff were concerned that there would not be enough meeting rooms; in fact the need to book rooms has been reduced, employees choosing to hold meetings in the many breakout spaces, at the coffee bar or in one of the funky seating areas. The fit out can host all types of events, from theatre style presentations for around 120 people, to entertainment and screening large sporting events. The needs of the staff throughout the whole working day are well catered for including a wellness centre.

This office is different from the majority, from the layout of the floors - with a central zone meeting space for staff, with inbuilt flexibility to adapt the spaces when required - to the amazing feeling of light and space. The graphics around the walls and glazing bring to life PZ Cussons’ personality. Being easily changeable, the environment can be kept fresh and it can evolve.

Overall, the fit out has delivered an outstanding environment which the employees embrace.

 

SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND, THAMES VALLEY & SOUTH WALES

YELL ONE READING CENTRAL, FORBURY ROAD, READING

This impressive fit out of over 17,000m² of office space within the new build scheme One Reading Central provides an exemplar HQ for Yell which truly impressed the judges. It was also a notable achievement that the project was completed during the depths of the recession.

The project team was set very clear objectives from the outset. The primary aim was to consolidate 1,200 employees who were spread around four buildings across Slough and Reading in a total of around 20,000m². The fit out needed to provide modern facilities for teams whose work requirements were as diverse as board executives to call centre staff; it needed to enhance its image; inspire its people and give it the flexibility to develop its business in the future.

The final work space offers 10.5m² per desk; no private offices - except CEO and CFO; 50 meeting rooms; break outs; a café and meeting areas. A repetitive floor by floor configuration allows swift familiarisation with the space and the top floor facilities, including the employee gym and café, is said to have improved business efficiency and performance.

The fit out and relocation has also allowed Yell to greater express its brand by creating an office appropriate for a market leading new media company. By incorporating artwork, bright colours and good interior design, a vibrant, stylish and highly effective space has been created.

All initial aims were successfully achieved and in doing so have been able to encourage employee interaction by setting boundaryless communities. All this is within a simple yet visually stunning fit out.