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Mix Interiors 185

June 2018

vive les couleurs le corbusier

Bosse modul space With the Architectural Polychromy system, Le Corbusier invented an ingenious colour system in which shades – derived from nature – all have their own individual relevance. Create your own personal piece of furniture art with Bosse modul space and 12 selected lacquered shades from the Polychromy Architectural range. To get your copy of the Bosse catalogue, please call +44 (0) 7775 798 877 or email at Or come in and see us at any time.

LONDON OFFICE Dauphin HumanDesign® UK Limited 1 Albemarle Way I GB London EC1V 4JB Phone +44 207 2537774 I

INSIDE UPFRONT 9 Seven... 18 Forward Thinking 20 Material Matters 23 Deser t Island Desks 24 Proper t y Matters 26

SPOTLIGHT 35 Big Question 37 Public Sector Repor t 38

50 ONE ANGEL SQUARE A new headquar ters building for Nor thamptonshire Count y Council, the multi-award winning One Angel Square has enabled 2 ,000 staff from 12 buildings to come together. RE VIE W 72 The Mix 30 under 30 Par t y Clerkenwell Design Week

64 CASE ST UDY 50 One Angel Square, Northampton 50 Njord Par tners, Soho 59 Your Space, London 64

ROUND TABLE 88 The Hotel Experience

L AST WORD 96 Hurley Palmer Flatt's Emma Macleod

72 Mix 185 June 2018 | 1

Upfront | Welcome

THE COVER The logo The logo has been made by superimposing several layers of graduating lines, resulting in a three-dimensional illusion to both contrast and merge with the background image.

The cover The ultra-compact surface, Dekton, by Cosentino, pushes the boundaries of external and internal design, offering colours inspired by natural stone, wood, metal and concrete. Available in large formats and differing thicknesses, Dekton is suitable for façades, flooring, cladding and worktops, providing excellent resistance to thermal shock, UV, scratches and stains. Mix Interiors 185

June 2018

A WORD FROM MICK With most of us only just recovered from the hospitality-fest (not complaining!) that was CDW, somewhat surprising news has come to us regarding another of our favoured industry events. To be honest, my first reaction upon learning that designjunction was moving from King’s Cross to the South Bank for this

designjunction will now be on the doorstep of many of its most important visitors. Any industry event depends upon the quality of its visitors, so the fact that the relocation makes designjunction even more accessible to more A&D can only be a positive thing. I’m pretty sure that designjunction itself has never stated that King’s Cross would be a

September’s London Design Festival was one of disappointment. I really like King’s Cross. The development of the area has been nothing short of amazing. There are great bars, restaurants, it’s easy to get to…what’s not to like? Then I put my professional(ish) head on and looked at this move from a wider perspective. With a concentration of leading architecture and design firms based in that part of London,

long term or permanent home – and continued development there no doubt means that, even if they had wanted to stay in the borough, an alternative location would have been necessary. On top of that, I like the South Bank (a lot). In fact, most industry people I know like the South Bank. There’s no shortage of bars or restaurants and it’s pretty easy to get to. It might be really good, you know.

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Editor Mick Jordan Editorial support Rebecca Sabato Sales director Gary Williams Director David Smalley Designer John Hope Group managing director Marcie Incarico Founding publisher Henry Pugh

2 | Mix 185 June 2018

Contributors Steve Gale Emma Macleod David Thame Address Mix Media Limited 2 Abito 85 Greengate Manchester M3 7NA

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Upfront | News

CO.EXISTING Mainstream office landlords dabbling in coworking spaces could be about to make a big mistake. David Kosky, co-founder of co-working provider, Work.Life, says that, whilst traditional landlords have adapted well to the workplace revolution, they can’t assume they'll get the coworking vibe correct. The claims come as Work.Life opens its first Manchester outlet, taking 12,500 sq ft at Boultbee’s 30 Brown Street. This is the first stage in a UK expansion programme, which will see it expand into Birmingham, Cambridge, Brighton, Liverpool, Leeds and Bristol during 2019. Speaking exclusively to Mix Interiors, David said: 'These days everyone realises real estate is a service – and there is much more focus from landlords on customers. Landlords also know work has become a consumer experience for many people – going to work is no longer just about their salary, it's about how it feels, which is why landlords and tenants spend so much on their fit-outs. 'We still see landlords who view coworking spaces as competition to their traditional offices, but that is wrong. We add value. Coworking is not a threat, it is something they could usefully add to their customer offer. The danger comes when they think they can operate co-working spaces themselves.' Food for thought. See more from David Kosky from page 30.

LOOKING AHEAD Along our theme of the public sector (Spotlight, page 38) and the opportunities this sector presents, here is another great project from Kay Bridge and the Fairhursts Design Group team. The National Horizons Centre (NHC) is a new initiative, currently under construction for Teesside University on the new Darlington Campus. Designed by the FDG, the building aims to address the growth needs of the rapidly expanding UK bioscience and technology sectors. For a modestly-sized 3,000 sq m gross internal area laboratory and office accommodation, NHC has a high visual impact, befitting its regional and national importance. The building is orientated to create new public spaces, while tree-lined boulevards help students and the public navigate the campus. The wellbeing of the building and campus was a primary concern for the landscaping design and, as such, the outside

environments will provide plenty of seating space, softened by the planting scheme. Biophillic design principles of utilising natural materials and maximising natural light in the reception, central collaboration hub and offices were key to the interior design concept. At the heart of the building, central collaboration space is being created, which will be used for social or teaching space, while an adjacent seminar room, which fully opens up to the collaboration zone and external spaces, provides maximum flexibility. Access to natural light was a primary concern when designing the internal layout of the building. Every office and laboratory has been planned to give the maximum number of windows possible to provide views of the external landscape and natural light.

Circulation within the deeper internal area has been designed to benefit from the feature glazed central roof of the building. The use of full height glass partitions to lab corridors and glass balustrade to the office corridors creates an airy light feeling of space. The build cost of the NHC is £11m and it is due to open in March 2019.

Mix 185 June 2018 | 9

Upfront | News

HEADING TO READING Erikson, the telecoms giant, have abandoned Guildford for a new base at Reading as the new Crossrail/Elizabeth Line begins to change the South East office market. As we reported in the October 2016 issue, Savills say that South East locations like Guildford – not on the Crossrail line – are losing out to Reading, which is connected to the Elizabeth Line. The new line launches in December. 'We’ve seen a couple of larger relocations from Guildford to Reading – Erikson moved from Guildford to Landid/Brockton’s Thames Tower in Reading – and others are following them. It’s all because of Crossrail,' Savills Associate, Rob Pearson, tells us emphatically.

WHERE’S YOUR OFFICE? It is of course commonplace to see, hear and experience working life take place in hospitality venues, whether it be hotels, cafés or restaurants, right across the country . During Clerkenwell Design Week, we gathered a remarkable group of people to talk about just this subject for one our ever-popular Round Tables. We were joined by Brian Greathead, Andy Whiting, Lee Birchall, Arian Steinbeck, Ben Webb, Lindsey Bean- Pearce, Petr Esposito and Tajal Rutherford-Bhatt. One observation that was raised was just how busy some of the common areas in hotels have become – take the Hoxton or Citizen M in London. One of our guests, whilst happy to be in that group that met for meetings in a hotel, questioned just how can it make economic sense for someone to stay there for two hours and have one coffee. A different view on the same theme came from another of our guests, who has created the common area in his latest scheme to actively discourage non-guests from having business meetings! Find out how he did this and some other surprising insights on page 88.

10 | Mix 185 June 2018

Erikson took 37,000 sq ft, paying a headline rent believed to be around £38 per sq ft. Another reason for a move to Reading is a gradual rise in the value of the incentives on offer from landlords there. 'A five-year lease might have earned 12 months rentfree in 2015 – today you might get 15 months. Not a huge increase, but an increase – and one explained by an increase in the supply of offices after a spate of new speculative development. To hold rents steady, landlords are increasing the incentives,' Rob says. Contributions to fit-out costs are also being offered, we understand. Images: Work.Life's Reading outlet at Boultbee Brook's 93,000 sq ft The White Building.





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Upfront | News

BRILLIANT DESIGNS FOR DAZZLING SPACES New product launches are coming thick and fast at the moment from the world of flooring – with modulyss, for one, introducing the Delight collection. Vanessa Van Overmeeren, Product Development Manager, tells us more about the collection. 'Each design stands up in its own right; powerful looks that make an assured statement through a sophisticated handling of dull and gloss combinations. Whether a subtle take with Blaze, Spark and Gleam, or something more expressive in Dusk and Dawn, it’s a collection that offers broad scope throughout a project. Linked through an elegant use of metallic yarns and shared colours, we’re looking forward to seeing how designers work the five confident designs either on their own or mixed and matched into flooring schemes.' Each carpet tile design in the modulyss Delight collection is rated Class 33 heavy commercial use under EN 1307 and comes with Back2Back recycled content backing for enhanced stability.


Workplace consultant, Saracen Interiors has completed a design and fit out project for private equity firm, AGIC Capital at the listed building that is the global operation’s UK headquarters on Berkeley Square, Mayfair.

furniture and storage for the board room and office accommodation. This is the second Mayfair project in the last six months for Saracen, having completed a repair and refurbishment project for educational

Saracen completed the main works of the project within six weeks. Work on the project met with stringent listed building conditions and included the fitting of bespoke cabinetry, a custom-made pendant light and luxury flooring throughout; a new tea point, with solid Staron top and upstand, and Karndean flooring. Saracen also sourced and supplied all new

charity, the English Speaking Union (ESU). Director of Saracen Interiors, Michael Page comments: “We are always mindful of the location of a building; Berkeley Square is one of London’s most impressive addresses and so there is an automatic expectation that any works carried out on buildings in this area will be to the highest standard.


Coworking group Headspace, part of BE Offices, will occupy 12,000 sq ft at Somerset House, Temple Street, Birmingham. This is Headspace's first foray into the Midlands. .

RG+P IS ON THE LIST Multi-disciplinary practice, rg+p, has secured a place on the architectural industry’s AJ100 list. Rob Woolston, Director at rg+p, said: 'Naturally, we’re absolutely thrilled to achieve a position on this well-established and nationally recognised list. It’s been a longstanding ambition for rg+p to secure a place and it is a testament to the combined efforts of the team that we have achieved this.' rg+p’s placement follows significant growth for the practice, which saw a new Leicester head office open in November last year, including space for up to 100 people. Currently, the firm employs 96 members of staff across its Leicester and London offices. rg+p’s expertise encompasses work in the residential, commercial,

education, leisure, retail and healthcare sectors, with services including architectural design, landscape architecture, interior design, masterplanning, quantity surveying, project management, urban design and visualisation. The practice is currently working on some of Leicester and London’s most iconic schemes, including Ashton Green, the former Fenwick building, Sock Island and the £360m Royal Warwick Square residential scheme in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London.

DOMINATION LONDON A surge in pre-lets is dominating the London office market, JLL reports. Pre-lets accounted for a full one-third of the 2.4 million sq ft take-up recorded in the capital’s office market in the first quarter of

2018, says JLL’s Central London Office Market report. For JLL London, pre-leasing was a major feature of the market, accounting for nearly a third of quarterly take-up.

JLL predicts this will remain a feature of the market throughout the year, with 45% of the 3.5 million sq ft currently under offer representing interest in pre-let stock. See our property pipeline feature page 26.

Mix 185 June 2018 | 13

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Upfront | Tribute

A TRIBUTE TO RALPH CAPPER It was with great sadness that we recently learned of the death of Ralph Capper – the man who, in many ways, wrote the blueprint and set the standards for the modern furniture provider.


alph began his design career back in 1966, working alongside Robin Day at the iconic Hille Studio, before going on to open the original Manchester Studio in Tenterden Street in the 1970’s. Moving into the 80’s, Ralph and his team took over the recently vacated Hille showroom in Sackville

award at Mixology North in 2010 – with Ralph, Ben and the Capper team collecting the award together. Ben describes the occasion as ‘a precious moment and one that will stay with me forever’. We’ve read many, many tributes to Ralph on social media and felt that Quantum2’s Paul Helsby summed the great man’s achievements up perfectly:

Street, Manchester – and quickly becomes the go-to consultancy for the city’s design community. In 1993 the business moved to Little Peter Street, where it continued to flourish, providing the most innovative, high-end furniture solutions to the city’s A&D community. In 2007 Ralph announced his retirement from the business – handing the reigns over to his son, Ben. The Studio was awarded the Company of the Year

‘Where once stood one man’s vision, there now lies a bustling industry within the city.’ From a personal point of view, Ralph and Ben have always been incredibly kind and generous to us – helping to introduce us to what was then a new market for us and promoting both Mix and Mixology North. Our condolences and best wishes got to Ben, the Capper family and friends and colleagues. w

Ralph and son Ben collecting the Mixology North Company of the Year award in 2010.

Mix 185 June 2018 | 15

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Upfront | Seven



Ultrafabrics, the progressive brand based on a hybrid of American and Japanese expertise, whose performance fabrics combine mastercraftsmanship with pioneering technology, has recently opened its first international showroom – on Clerkenwell’s Northburgh Street – so, to mark the move, we asked them to tell us some things we didn’t know about one half of their heritage – the land of the rising sun. They didn’t let us down.

1. Forget the turkey – the Japanese celebrate Christmas Day with KFC To anyone from outside of Japan, the idea of going to KFC on the 25th might seem a little unusual but it’s estimated that 3.6 million Japanese families enjoy the Colonel’s chicken on Christmas Day. The craze started in 1970, when Takeshi Okawara, the manager of the first KFC in the country, thought up the idea of the ‘party barrel’, a substitute for anyone missing turkey on Christmas and looking for a big, fried substitute served in a bucket. Whatever you think of it, it worked – and the tradition is now enjoyed by millions. 2. Vending machines are everywhere Good: for convenience – a quick way to get pretty much any product you could ask for without having to go through a long winded customer service experience. Bad: for when robots eventually rise up against humanity and the Japanese have to fight off an army of militarised coffee machines. At just over five million nationally, averaging out to about one vending machine per 23 people, it’s the highest density in the world. What’s more, they sell pretty much everything: beer, coffee, umbrellas, flowers, canned bread. Whatever it is you need, there is probably a vending machine for it.

5 2


3. Arts and Crafts are big news The Japanese have a long history of artisan craftsmanship, a tradition that has endured the centuries and is still very much at the heart of Japanese manufacturing today. At Ultrafabrics’ mill, just outside Tokyo, these principles define the proprietary Takumi technology inherent in the creation of Ultrafabrics’ polyurethane materials. 4. Most Japanese homes are without central heating Whilst they’re leading the world in vending machine technology, Japanese homes are surprisingly low-tech when it comes to dealing with the winter. And it’s not as if Japan enjoys warm winter months – central and northern regions of the country are no strangers to snowfall. So, instead of racking up a huge gas bill and destroying what little we have left of our planet in the process, the Japanese use the more traditional methods of layering up and eating warm and stodgy foods.


18 | Mix 185 June 2018


5 5. Capsule hotels – because who needs a whole room or a toilet or personal space? Originally intended for business people who missed their last train home and needed just a bed to stay. Now, they’ve moved beyond this and are used by professionals and tourists alike. Given their small size and limited features, the Pod Hotels are modest in price, costing around ¥2000-4000 (£14-£28) per night. A simple and efficient option – not for the claustrophobic however. 6. Raised floors tell you when to take off your shoes off The custom of removing shoes before entering the house is believed to go back over 1,000 years to the era of elevated floor structures. At the entrance to a home in Japan, the floor will usually be raised about 6 inches, indicating it’s time to take your shoes off and put on slippers.



7. Multi-storey car parks with a difference Much like a lot of things in Japan, they have managed to make car parking easier, quicker and more efficient with the Rotary Parking System. An engineering marvel: simply drive into the parking complex, put your handbrake on and get out – machines will take your car and pop it in a space for you. Remember this when you are arguing with whoever is in the passenger seat, telling them how you would be able to parallel park if they would just let you think for a minute.



Davison Highley London, Lower Ground Floor, The Old Brewery, 16 Brewhouse Yard, Clerkenwell, London, EC1V 4LJ +44 ( 0 ) 207 871 1089


Upfront |

DO ORGANISATIONS ALWAYS NEED A ‘PLACE’? Steve Gale looks at the tension between ‘place’ and remote working.

Our transport infrastructure deserves a break, commuting costs real time and money and office space is an intractable burden

20 | Mix 185 June 2018


emote working holds so much promise, especially working at home, but the tide seems to have receded a bit. Workers embrace it and hail the benefits of choice and time-saving, but organisations are not so sure and, while technology gallops ahead, many firms have had second thoughts.

from fragmenting. My example is a burgeoning international organisation called Family for Every Child (or simply Family), which campaigns for the rights of children globally. For Family, the diffused organisation has always been a reality because of its scattered membership and clientele, but it is becoming more so as it grows.

But our transport infrastructure deserves a break, commuting costs real time and money and office space is an intractable burden. At a time when fast internet is literally a human right, where is remote working today? 10 years ago organisations were exploiting the happy fact that connectivity allowed people to work flexibly – until in 2013 when Marissa Mayer asked Yahoo! remote workers to return to the office. Her reasons were clear and they reignited a debate that divided workers and their employers. The leaked email was interestingly succinct. ‘Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo! and that starts with physically being together. People are more collaborative, more inventive when people come together. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.’ It captures the dogma that business thrives on direct human interaction. Mayer’s words were well timed and the trickle soon became a torrent with a raft of well-known firms calling staff back in. Has remote working been put back in the drawer? Firms now are more likely to emphasise the social side of work, the need for support networks and the idea of community, usually around ‘hubs’. Organisations believe that a ‘place’ is key to maintaining interest and commitment, even purpose. But it’s not the only way. There are employers that recognise the value of remote working to their staff – and allow it to be woven into their routines. They balance the options and permit choice and control. Let’s look at an organisation that has taken this idea and turbo-charged it, one that sees a localised community as unhelpful and which finds power in diffusion – and invests in ways to protect its culture

For this business there are strong reasons to dilute the bonds of a core community in one place, in order to give its scattered members and partners an equal voice. By downplaying the presence of the centre, outliers are more included and have a greater say. The vital sources of wisdom and expertise in distant places are more equal and contribute more willingly. To achieve this, Family redesigned their operation. Their London HQ building was sold and employees now work at home or occasionally in serviced offices. Experts from around the world are easier to employ now that the epicentre is not in London. The aim is to extinguish any vestige of a command and control clique and place all members on an equal footing. This anti-hub environment means no commuting to London, no physical core anywhere in the world, but a connected network of people working at home. The limited face-to-face interactions are actively redressed with a raft of protocols to encourage personal and professional relationships to blossom. The culture relies on ‘philosophical congruence’ according to Amanda Griffith, the CEO, which means it flourishes because of a general agreement that this working model is fair to people and is visibly consistent with their mission. The danger of being seen as a centrally controlled northern hemisphere bastion of good practice has all but gone. Family is a virtual organisation with occasional real symposiums, conventional meetings and gettogethers, which is the hub trend turned upside down. It shows that the alternative to ‘place’ can be a deliberately decentralised community looking outwards, with its people being part of their home town or village – and no commuting! w Steve Gale is Head of Business Intelligence at M Moser Associates.

Touch the Future


JOSH + ULTRAFABRICS Ultimate softness and unbeatable strength. Sensorial grains and innovative textures. Naturally animal-free and easy to tailor in any application. Born in the cross-section of Japanese craftsmanship and technological pioneering, Ultrafabrics is function and beauty in perfect harmony. Great design is visionary, never compromises, and goes beyond the Now. For my projects, I only work with materials that go there with me. Josh Garcia, Designer Visit the new showroom at 6 Northburgh Street, London EC1V 0AY.

Upfront | Material Matters





MATERIAL MATTERS In this month’s Material Matters, the experts at Material Lab take a look at the very latest cutting-edge innovations in surface design. 1. dukta makes wood flexible with its unique type of incision process Using a unique type of incision process to make wood and engineered wood flexible, dukta creates a range of products that opens up a world of possibilities for interior designers. The resulting material is textile-like and suitable for a wide range of applications. Semi-Finished, for example, is suitable for sound-absorbing walls and ceilings, as well as freestanding partitions. 2. Lumina lights up its ever-changing glass surface thanks to Sensitile Systems The revolutionary Lumina by Sensitile Systems diffuses a single energy-efficient LED into thousands of floating points of light. With an everchanging surface, this material can be effortlessly

refreshed, enabling you to define any space using light and colour. Manufactured in glass, Lumina offers a high fibre rating suitable for any application. 3. Transforming oysters into beautiful tiles with Oesterplat by d’werkplaats Struck by the beauty of oyster shells after savouring them at a restaurant, and noticing how they were thrown away as rubbish, Marjolein Stappers of d’werkplaats came up with the idea for Oesterplat. She started to collect the empty shells from restaurants and found a way to turn them into something more durable. The result is an elegant tile collection made of marble and oyster shells, showing their mother-of-pearl shine as contemporary fossils.

4. Karndean offers its longest ever vinyl plank with LooseLay Longboard Karndean’s LooseLay Longboard is a collection of 12 types of wood featuring unique designs in its largest vinyl plank to date. Available in a 1.5m long format, it has a textured finish, industry-leading K-Wave Grip Backing and an authentic replication of natural wood – making it a practical and attractive flooring option for any interior. Quick and easy to install, LooseLay Longboard is also perfect for projects where you want to reduce noise levels in the room below without the need for underlay.

Mix 185 June 2018 | 23

Upfront | Desert Island Desks


In the past 30 years, Nic Pryke has gone from cabinet maker to Design Director of this leading D&B firm. He understands the value in this area of interior design, as it has such an impact on people’s lives and how they work. Everyday Nic continues to be impressed by his design team at Oktra, with their innovation and creativity, producing unrivalled concepts.

Sheep shears This is my favourite design object! The design for these shears has been honed, fine-tuned and simplified over hundreds of years of use and is totally driven by function. Every curve, junction and finish serves a purpose and there are no superfluous or decorative elements added, yet it is a beautiful object. It is made from two pieces of forged steel and two rivets: a masterpiece of craftsmanship and minimalism. All the qualities of steel are brought into play. The steel has been tempered to different degrees of temperature so that at one end it performs as a spring, opening the blades, and at the other end it is hard so that it can be sharpened to a cutting edge. The blades are hollow ground so that they self-sharpen against each other every time they are opened and closed. The shears sit comfortably within the hand.

Sunday lunch Love cooking it.

Plaster and trowel I'm a ‘soft’ minimalist. Nothing

Love eating it.

superfluous comes into our home

Love the conversations I have

unless it has purpose; it has to

across the dinner table.

earn its place. On the desert island

Preferably washed down with a fine bottle of Saint Emilion!

I would make it my business to try and create a space with straight lines and smooth, flat surfaces. It would differentiate me from the animals.

London I think it’s the most creative, vibrant,

I love the aesthetic of charcoal

exciting, beautiful city in the world

drawings – so fundamental.

by far. It has so many facets and

I love doing it – creatively it is so

layers and is constantly surprising

challenging, starting with a blank

and invigorating. It’s not a British

piece of paper and trying to capture

city; it’s a world city. I particularly love its multiculturalism. Tricky to take to a desert island though! 24 | Mix 185 June 2018

Charcoal drawings

the human figure. I quite often attend life drawing classes and I arrange classes in our studio, which are always popular.

Tel 01925 850500 Email

Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport This is my bike and I’ve never seen one more beautiful. I love its V twin sound and the muscle-look the tappet headcovers give it because the V is transverse. It’s 100 horse power and will get me up to 135mph (no wind!), which is fast enough for me. I bought it new 21 years ago and, for me, it’s still my brand-new sports bike but old bikers often say to me, “nice old classic mate!” I spend too much time looking after it and not enough time riding it.

My tracks for the Desert Island Jukebox: Radiohead – Creep Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah Dave Brubeck – Take Five Ingrid Fliter – playing Chopin’s Barcarolle Op.60 Delgados – Tempered, Not Tamed

London Showroom The Gallery, 21-22 Great Sutton St. EC1V 0DY / Manufacture/Showroom Chesford Grange, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 4RQ

Upfront | Property Matters | Pipeline


This summer the UK office market is in a funny place, David Thame tells us. Not a serious place, not a worrying one, but one in the twilight zone, somewhere between blip and recalibration.

26 | Mix 185 June 2018

The problem isn’t the flow of deals or the pipeline of speculative developments – there’s enough of one, and some of the other. No, what’s causing the unsettled feeling is the sense that the market is shape-shifting as the workplace revolution, coworking, Brexit and a surge of (often) overseasfunded speculative office investment tug in different and conflicting directions. Take Birmingham, for example. Last year was brilliant for central Birmingham offices with just over 1 million sq ft of take-up, making 2017 the first in which the total has reached into seven figures. Yet early data from 2018 shows both a modest slow-down and a gentle speeding up – and if that sounds nonsensical, then you begin to see the problem. Savills’ latest Market Watch: Birmingham offices forecasts that full-year take-up in central Birmingham will total circa 825,000 sq ft – 17% down on 2017. However, the first quarter of 2018 was after a first quarter that was 14% above the 10-year average, scoring deals totalling 148,000 sq ft. The highlight was engineering group WSP’s decision to sign-up for 46,100 sq ft at Brockton Capital’s The Mailbox, one of the first big signs of a HS2 dividend for the Birmingham office market.

The HS2 Effect

Engineering group WSP sign-up for 46,100 sq ft at Brockton Capital’s The Mailbox, Birmingham

Behind this confusing picture lies the fluid and expanding serviced office and coworking sector. Serviced office providers took around 219,000 sq ft in central Birmingham since January 2017, equating to between 18-20% of the market, depending who calculates it and how they do it. The wide-spread suspicion – voiced in Birmingham, but also in Manchester where serviced and coworking space is growing every bit as fast – is that many of the smaller office deals of the past are now vanishing into serviced floorspace. What to make of this confusing picture? Cushman & Wakefield Partner, Scott Rutherford, is a specialist in office deals and developments, and head of the firm’s Birmingham office. His diagnosis is that a revolution is in progress but it’s nothing to be alarmed about. Left: One of H1's largest Birmingham lettings: West Midlands Trains relocated to 21,743 sq ft at 134 Edmund Street, the biggest deal so far in the traditional office core.

Upfront | Property Matters | Pipeline

Structural changes

Around the country

Coworking accounts for 20% of the London office scene – and close to 10% in the Thames Valley

Manchester is heading for another year of take-up over the 1 million sq ft mark, including HM Revenue & Customs, who took a pre-let on 157,000 sq ft at English Cities Funds’ 3 New Bailey Central Birmingham saw 825,000 sq ft of take up in 2017 The South East – predominantly Thames Valley – saw take-up of 3.1 million sq ft in 2017 The City is up 1.3 million sq ft.

Are employees getting smaller? Historically a figure used was 200 sq ft per employee, then 80-100 sq ft – and now as low as 60 sq ft

At your service Serviced office providers took around 219,000 sq ft in central Birmingham since January 2017, around 19% of the market.

‘2018 may not be a record year, but it will be a decent year,’ he says. ‘The slight fall in take-up is because we’re seeing businesses consolidate their office space but the result is a smaller footprint than they had before. We’ve had several clients end up taking 60% less space than they had before they consolidated or relocated their office – and of course that’s all thanks to agile working. They are often employing more people, just using less floorspace.’ Cushman & Wakefield’s London Head of Research, Elaine Rossall, says that this is a longstranding national trend now suddenly making a big impact on the pipeline of transactions. ‘You used to calculate an occupier needed 200 sq ft per employee, then it shrank to 80-100 sq ft – and now we’re down as low as 60 sq ft per employee,’ she says. This trend to smaller, more intensively occupied suites is exaggerated by a certain amount of economic uncertainty – so occupiers prefer not to gamble on big lease commitments – and by the fact that many of the big space users, like accountants and lawyers, have already made the move to more modern flexible workspace. ‘The upshot is we’re not seeing many larger deals over 50,000 sq ft,’ says Scott. ‘It’s really a sign of a healthy market. It’s the middle of the market that needs to be busy, and it is.’ In case you think Birmingham’s story is exceptional, head to the very different world of the Thames Valley. Rob Pearson is an Associate Director in Savills’ South East office agency team and his diagnosis is remarkably similar to Scott’s. ‘We’re seeing the usual churn in the occupational market, but below the long-term average in terms of floorspace let. The South East market – predominantly Thames Valley –

28 | Mix 185 June 2018

2018 may not be a record year, but it will be a decent year

saw take-up of 3.1 million sq ft in 2017, below the 3.5 million sq ft average,’ he says. The absence of big deals is striking – just two over 50,000 sq ft, way down on the 8-10 deals over 50,000 sq ft recorded in recent years. ‘It could just be an anomaly,” Rob speculates. ‘On the other hand, there is no disguising that the fact that occupiers are taking less space. Though I regard a greater number of smaller deals are being a healthy sign of a sustainable market.’ Coworking and serviced office space is making its mark, too. ‘Coworking represents a structural change in our market. It accounts for about 20% of the London office scene, probably 10% in the Thames Valley, and office occupiers love the flexibility,” Rob says. ‘They avoid the high up-front capital expenditure of traditional leasing, but beyond that they also get sold the dream – the whole thing about coworking spaces, coffee machines, beer on tap.’ The exceptions to the rule are London (in a big way) and Manchester (in a smaller way). London’s office markets in the first quarter are up on the equivalent period in 2017, and the long-term trend, with Q1 take-up of 2.4 million sq ft. According to data from JLL, it was the West End that performed strongest, with the largest quarterly take-up for three

years. The City did well enough – 1.3 million sq ft is about on trend – but East London, tipped as the new hotspot, bombed. A single three-month period is hardly long enough to make serious judgements about trends, but it is interesting all the same. Meanwhile, in Manchester, the city is subject to the same pressures from coworking and agile working as everywhere else – coworking is expanding rapidly with both WeWork and upstart rivals like Work.Life joining a market that now accounts for approaching 20% of the market. But Manchester seems unphased by the change. The latest figures from the local Office Agents Forum show Manchester heading for another year of take-up over 1 million sq ft, with a strong first quarter with deals double the volume of the same period in 2017 (442,000 sq ft). A monster letting to HM Revenue & Customs – who took a pre-let on 157,000 sq ft at English Cities Funds’ 3 New Bailey – largely, but not completely, explains the exemplary performance. Proof that the HMRC deal was the rule, not the exception, comes from the suburban office parks of South Manchester, where take-up rose by 72% in the first quarter as tenants once again discovered the virtues of good-value floorspace. The stand-out deal was provided by online retailer The Hut Group, who signed up for 40,000 sq ft at Manchester Airport. Paul Mills, Transactions and Asset Management Surveyor at OBI Property, explains: ‘The Q1 figures for out-of-town office markets are encouraging. There is a good quantity of larger requirements circulating in the marketplace and we therefore expect take up to continue to be very strong during the remainder of 2018.’ The UK office market is in an odd place. But it isn’t a bad place – not really. w

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Upfront | Property Matters | C-Suite


Legal & General are not, by any means, slaves to here-today-gone-tomorrow fashion, muses David Thame. They take the long-term view for the sake of their mostly pensioner investors. So when a landlord and investor of Legal & General’s stamp decides to re-think their approach to workspace, you know it’s serious.

Lewis Building, Reception

LGIM Real Assets (Legal & General) has been at work on the £20 million refurbishment of one of Birmingham’s best-known landmarks, the 113,000 sq ft Lewis Building. New tenants including Regus, the serviced office group, who took 32,000 sq ft and the Ministry of Justice, who took 62,000 sq ft. So far, so good. What is striking about the Lewis Building is the enormous effort LGIM have gone to create a coworking atmosphere, including reconfiguring the building and a unique fit-out. Simon Wilkes, Head of Business Space Development at Legal & General, explains that both the look and the configuration respond to a radically changed office market. ’Occupiers are now looking for more character from their office space. This building was originally a department store – the Harrods of the Midlands at the turn of the 19th century – and it had a wonderful, almost

30 | Mix 185 June 2018

Manhattan feel to it. So we’ve tried to bring that feel back inside, wiping away a very general 1980s,’ he says. LGIM also moved the entrance to create more impact. ‘You used to enter from a shopping arcade at the site, which meant you just couldn’t see the double-height reception area. Moving the entrance gives the building some grandeur,’ Simon continues. He says it reminds him of 37th Street in New York – and he could be right. So how is this Gotham City rethink catering to the coworking ethic? The answer is that it borrows heavily from the lessons learned by New York-based coworking pioneer, WeWork, whose premises in London and Manchester have set a new standard for upbeat, cool shared workspace. The key point is that the workspace has to feel lively, used, busy and happy.

Work.Life, London Fields

Work.Life, Camden

Each fit-out is slightly different, but unlike WeWork, who calibrate, to within a centimetre, the position of each armchair and beer tap in an effort to get members to bump into one another, prefers to make productivity, not collaboration, the focus of its design effort


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Upfront | Property Matters | C-Suite

‘We wanted to try to incorporate some shared workspace for tenants,’ Simon reveals. ‘So there’s a coffee bar, a library area, a huge library table so that people can grab a coffee and sit and work… all kinds of things to activate the space, to stop it feeling sterile and joyless. It has to feel like they wanted to be there.’ The table is itself a work of art: made from timber reclaimed from a Danish wharf, it cost £12,000 – the lion’s share of a reception area furniture budget of around £50,000. ‘The point is that this kind of style isn’t niche any more. It’s universal. The occupiers who used to opt for dull standard vanilla office floorspace now expect something much cooler,’ says Simon. ‘Even accountants are forward-looking these days.’ The upside for the landlord is the (slightly defensive) prospect that they can hang onto their share of a shrinking tenant market (see pipeline feature, page 26). The slightly subtler bonus is that a busy happy cool-looking ground floor is a marvellous shop window for the office block itself – and the landlord’s reputation as customer-focused and up-to-date. Architects EPR were behind the designs of the Lewis building, whilst contractor Willmott Dixon undertook the works. CBRE and GVA are the letting agents. Exactly the same ideas are at the root of the funkiest of coworking providers, and none get funkier than Work.Life, the fast-growing UK-based challenger to WeWork. Work.Life, founded in 2014, is to open its first Manchester outlet this year, taking 12,500 sq ft at Boultbee’s 30 Brown Street. This is the first stage in a UK expansion programme, which will see it expand into Birmingham, Cambridge, Brighton, Liverpool, Leeds and Bristol during 2019. Work.Life has created a niche for itself by taking ground floor space in new developments, helping landlords animate their buildings without disrupting investment values. The idea is that, by creating an active street frontage and a hive of activity on the lower floors, Work.Life has positioned itself as a marketing tool for landlords looking to attract larger corporate tenants to the upper floors. Meanwhile, it’s making a nice little living catering to the mushrooming interest in coworking space. Work.Life Co-Founder, David Kosky, explains: ‘It’s simply that people are more productive when they are happy.’ Work.Life budgets around £100 per sq ft for their floorspace – about 60% to pay for the floorspace and the remainder for the fit-out and associated costs. Each fit-out is slightly different, but unlike WeWork, who calibrate, to within a centimetre, the position of each armchair and beer tap in an effort

32 | Mix 185 June 2018

Work.Life, London Fields

Work.Life, London Fields

Work.Life, Meeting Room

to get members to bump into one another, Work.Life prefers to make productivity, not collaboration, the focus of its design effort. ‘We score on productivity and comfort, so we need space that works for the introverts who do not want to collaborate just now, just like for the extroverts. People don’t want to collaborate all the time. So we have booths to ensure visual privacy, and nice relaxing spaces with no power sockets so you have to leave your equipment outside,’ David explains. Ian Aldous is Director at property consultant, Arcadis, a specialist in office design and, most recently, chair of judges at the British Council for Offices Northern Awards. He says the office market is embracing trends that have been evidence in the residential apartment market for a long time. ‘For office landlords and developers, coworking is about creating a neighbourhood feel, and it’s

learned the lesson from apartment blocks, where it’s well known that if tenants have friends in the building, they are more likely to renew their lease. The same goes for businesses,’ Ian explains. There’s also a lesson-learned from the retail sector, where online shopping has forced bricksand-mortar retailers to place a new emphasis on creating memorable experiences that make it worth shoppers’ while to visit them. ‘It’s in part true, the shift to coworking is about providing staff with an experience,’ Ian considers. ‘It’s all part of the lifestyle changes we’re seeing. Just like shopping centres focus on their food and beverage offer to help attract customers, so office landlords are focusing on their food and beverage offer to attract tenants.’ Coworking is now mainstream. Whether it thrives and survives in that new mass-market world of office leasing remains to be seen. w

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Spotlight | Public Sector Report


THE BIG QUESTION 37 What , if any thing, can the corporate world learn from the public sector when it comes to workplace innovation?

Public Sector Repor t 38 Mix 185 June 2018 | 35

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TERRY GUNNERY, DIRECTOR OF DESIGN, AECOM The public sector has been much more successful at implementing ‘smarter working’ on a very large scale, with rigorous consistency, sticking with it, even with changes in leadership or other disruptors and constantly pushing the boundaries and innovating further. Additionally, the public sector really believes in inclusivity and accessibility, well above the statutory minimum, and more than the private sector, this also addresses and anticipates

Wh a t, i f a n yt h i n g , c a n t h e co rp o ra t e w o rld l e a rn fro m t h e p u b l i c s e cto r w h e n it co m e s to w o rk p l a c e i nnov a t i o n?



The workplaces that HMRC are providing are

The people using the space are always at the

a catalyst for integration, collaboration and a change in ways of working for their employees. The public sector world can definitely learn from their approach which is founded on providing best value for money but through an innovative way of working whereby all framework contractors collaboratively work together to achieve specific targets to transform them into a modern, digitally-






is one of the most influential factors in helping students decide where to go to university and is therefore key to attracting and retaining future talent. Whereas the corporate world has been focused on short term business needs, it is now




The popularity of financial vehicles to fund public

Media scrutiny ensures that the workplace of

sector projects, a surge in ethical business

the public sector is very much a back-office. Its

cuts in operating budgets. Many now operate

and a newfound responsibility amongst some

existence is to facilitate front-line services that

businesses means that the lines are blurring. The

are often seen as not just unsexy, but downright

best outcome from this is that both sectors learn

dangerous. Every penny spent in a government or

from one another – for example, I would highlight

local government office is our money, it is taking

the framework agreements frequently used in the

money from soldiers, social workers or refuse

public sector could be effectively adapted by the

collectors and, ultimately, us. The only innovation

private sector.

that the public sector is allowed is efficiency.

Umbrella editorial banner Mix Interiors June 2018 outline.pdf 1 27/05/2018 00:12:50


than corporate settings. Research suggests design

adopting the approach seen in the public sector to

accommodating the wellness agenda.


must take into account a much wider audience

advanced tax authority.

the fact that we’ll be in work for longer as well


forefront of innovation in the public sector and it

create innovative and people-focused workspaces.

The public sector has adapted to swathing as businesses with a social conscience. This has resulted in maximising the potential from workplace space as well as reducing costs. This increasingly agile working approach has also enabled the retention of key staff during a time when pay levels have remained static. The corporate world should take a good long hard look at its own office costs and think what it could do if these were reduced by 30, 40 or even 50%.

PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE Many cads may think recruiting for the public sector is easy. With pensions, flexible hours and perhaps a less high-octane commercial pace, it should be easy, shouldn’t it? Furthermore, the public sector is clearly appreciating the need to attract and retain staff in much the same way as the private sector and they are using Workplace Transformation as a key tool, so what are they doing about it? We have gathered some great recent examples of public sector (we appreciate the housing trusts and HE are funded differently) that illustrate some amazing designs, which are comparable with the best in the private sector. When we heard that one Government department stated, ‘We want a workplace like the private sector’, we knew that the trend had well and truly started. Here is some context: the public sector is a big beast – there are 5.35 million people employed. As a comparison, there are 26.9 million in the private sector. As you would expect the proportion public sector varies across the regions, for example 15% in London, through to 25% in Northern Ireland. North East North West Yorkshire and The Humber East Midlands West Midlands East of England London South East South West Wales Scotland Northern Ireland 0







38 | Mix 185 June 2018


Spotlight | Public Sector Report

Name of Government department: HMRC Name of project: HM Government, 1 Ruskin Sq. Completed: July 2017 Location: 1 Ruskin Square, Croydon






Mar 2000

Mar 2002

Mar 2004

Mar 2006

Mar 2008

Mar 2010

Mar 2012

Mar 2014

Mar 2016

TOTAL UK PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYMENT, MARCH 1999 TO MARCH 2016, SEASONALLY ADJUSTED What part did AECOM play: AECOM were; Workplace Strategy/Briefing, Interior Design, M&E, IT, Security, Acoustic, Graphics, Sustainability Consultants. Key people from AECOM: Terry Gunnery (AECOM) – Director of Design for HMRC, Jason Stubbs (AECOM) – Director of Design for D&B Contractor. Also, David Bailey, Dawn-Marie Andrews, Sharon Bacha. Key people Government/HMRC: Frazer Smith – Deputy Director Estates Transformation, Peter Grant – Director Estates Transformation. Also, Mariko Raouf, Eleni Kalaitzidi, Steve White, Illan Santos. Project manager – Turner and Townsend, who were also cost managers.

Key objective set by the Government/HMRC: n The Locations Programme is the cornerstone of departmental transformation n It places HMRC at the forefront of the Government Hubs agenda n Migrates 160 traditional offices to 13 regional centres and five specialist sites over five years n Supports the implementation of Smart Working Change Drivers: n Aging workforce n Financial pressure to work smarter and deliver more for less n Changing and increasing customer expectations n Digitisation

Mix 185 June 2018 | 39

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Approach: n Collaborative working with Government Property Agency on Employer Requirements, Design and FF&E Guide n City centre sites with excellent public transport links and environmental performance n To create inclusive workplaces, accessible to all n

Spotlight | Public Sector Report


Ongoing conversation with HMRC staff since 2015 on locations, facilities and new ways of working

Our Workplace: Breaking the anchors of the traditional desk to gain full use of the Regional Centre n Core Facilities that enable the bulk of routine work with HMRC systems and customers n Collaborate Versatile spaces where we meet and work together, either in person or remotely n Concentrate Space in which we can study, concentrate, consider and work with complex or sensitive information n Learn Flexible space supporting group learning, syndicate, e-learning and self-study n Access Spaces through which staff, visitors and materials enter and exit the office n Amenity A variety of non-directly work-related spaces for people to meet and relax, including places to eat and drink, plus other services Outcomes: n A bold and exciting journey, unprecedented across Government n Fit-for-purpose workspaces that maximise collaboration, efficiency, technology and innovation n A win/win result that improves customer service, reduces the cost burden for taxpayers and creates a great place to work that attracts and retains staff

Can you sum up the greatest transformational

Comments from the client

element? n This project is a very bright, game-changing, creative start of the Government’s new estates strategy and an exemplar of the modernisation of the civil service. It is a very big idea indeed – a national ‘smarter working’ revolution, and the transformation of how and where civil servants work. n Meeting the central challenge of doing more with less – a shift from a complex and expensive estate to a shared and flexible model – sharing space and working together supports improved productivity and saves money. This also represents a major contributor to wider Government objectives, such as localism, sustainability and reducing pressure on the transport system. n Ultimately, this project has begun the journey of using a high quality physical environment as leverage for change in HMRC – people, process and place all supporting each other, realised in an ‘industrial chic’ environment, designed for the people who use it. n The interior design master-planning and the support function stack of 1 Ruskin Square has been carefully considered to respect and maximise the building’s attributes, architectural features and services design. n One of HMRC’s internal communication initiatives is ‘A National Conversation’, bringing staff on the journey of this major transformation – how HMRC are ‘Building our Future’. This project showcases the importance of the national roll-out – regional places and site localities – and the brand expression can be summed up as ‘a national conversation with regional accents’, with a focus on ‘people and places’ throughout the centre.

'HMRC has commenced one of the largest estate transformations in Europe and is at the forefront of the Government Hubs Programme. Our new Regional Centre at 1 Ruskin Square, Croydon, is the first of 13 to be established across the UK. Regional Centres will offer value to the taxpayer through reduced running costs, improve operational effectiveness through new technology and ways of working and create a great place to work for our people. We built a terrific working relationship with AECOM in designing every aspect of our new workspaces, from reception to core work areas, conference and learning facilities to quiet concentrate space. Together we have created a truly flexible office that our people love and that supports them to be the best they can be. We’ve placed particular emphasis on making the new design accessible to all. We are convinced our new Regional Centres will help us attract and retain the quality staff we need as the UK’s tax authority and look forward to working with AECOM on our next batch of projects in Belfast, Bristol and Liverpool.' Peter Grant, Director, Estates Transformation

Timescale of build: 12th December 2016 – 10th July 2017 n Build partners on the scheme: Contractor – COMO, Developer – Stanhope n Next stage? National roll-out w n

Mix 185 June 2018 | 41

Name of Government department: Transport for London Name of project: New accommodation hub at Stratford Completed: 29th September 2017 Location: 5 Endeavour Square, Stratford, London, E20 1JN

What part did tp bennett play? Accommodation Strategy Manager and Cat C fitout subject matter expert Key project team: Paul Doyle, Project Director, Projects and Accommodation, Commercial Development, TfL. Tim Edmunds, Project Manager, Director, BNP Paribas Real Estate UK

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Spotlight | Public Sector Report

Timescale of build: n August 14 – December 17 Build partners on the scheme: n Lend Lease Development n Lend Lease Construction n BNP Paribas Real Estate UK – Project Management: n tp bennett – Cat B Architects n Hoare Lee – M&E n Hennessy Godden – Monitoring QS n PRS – Monitoring Architects Next stage? TfL will undertake a time utilisation study to see how well the building is occupied and thereby increase density to 7:10. We will also carry out a Post Occupancy Evaluation to understand if both the building and its facilities are working for staff. w

Key objective set by the Government: This project has been part of an on-going accommodation strategy (12 years) to bring a large proportion of the TfL Head Office estate into three large hubs. These are Palestra, Southwark, London SE1 at 3,000 desks, Pier Walk, North Greenwich, London SE10 at 1,800 desks and lastly 5 Endeavour Square at 2,800 desks. A large number of moves was undertaken to facilitate, with around 9,000 staff moved. This has allowed a rationalisation of the wider estate, releasing two leasehold buildings and subsequent savings. We have also taken the opportunity to create a new contemporary workplace and new furniture, such as sit-stand desks and large team tables and open plan and enclosed collaboration spaces. Foremost in the interior design and furniture selection is health and wellbeing and the opportunity for easy access to large green spaces – all of which creates an attractive workplace, fit for the future, and attractive to current and prospective staff. What was the greatest challenge? There were many challenges, but the greatest was the ‘move in’ date, which was immovable due to a lease-end on a property at Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, which had to be handed back to the landlord at the end of October 2017 or would have cost a significant amount to continue in occupation post this date. Can you sum up the greatest transformational element? The greatest transformational element was to create a workplace that was fully adaptable to the needs of the business and third party partner organisations and ensure that all moves were seamless so as to not affect major engineering transformational projects across the TfL network.

Spotlight | Public Sector Report

Name of Government department: Housing association Name of project: Peaks and Plains Housing Trust Completed: November 2017 Location: Macclesfield, Cheshire

What part did BAND Architects play? We re-designed the space to free up 1,000 sq m of lettable office space, the income from which funded the fit-out project and will also help fund future Trust housing projects. This model, using rental income, is a first for any public sector landlord. The working environment is entirely different to anything delivered before by a Housing Trust, and the financial model has created an entirely costneutral, dynamic new home for the Trust. The overarching design principle was to build the office environment around a central beating heart space – a kitchen and lounge area where people come together, just as they do in the home. BAND Architect’s re-imagined workspace has entirely changed the way the Trust engages with staff and customers, while protecting the fabric of the historic mill. The entire operation has been consolidated on one floor in a bright, open layout, which connects employees and brings domestic and urban design ideas into the workplace. Key person from your organisation: The project was delivered by BAND’s two Directors, David Wilcock and Paul Healey-Jones. Key objective set by the Government: The Trust invited BAND Architects to re-imagine its workspace to reflect its progression as an organisation, and to create a more efficient, healthy office environment – one better suited and equipped to meet the needs of its employees – and to support the continued improvement of the Trust’s services. The project was to be delivered on a cost-neutral basis.

44 | Mix 185 June 2018


creating better environments

Spotlight | Public Sector Report

What was the greatest challenge? As its funding was directly related to the innovation of the planning and design of the project, costs could not be fully defined until a late stage. Balancing aspiration v available budget became a focal point for innovation. As an example, efficiencies in the layout of the floor would lead directly to more available spend within the project. This manifested in less core desk spaces, more sharing and use of the flexible areas for core working space. This efficiency, combined with tightening of the specification and scope of the project, helped to maintain the vision without compromising the budget. Can you sum up the greatest transformational element? The entire operation has now been consolidated on just one floor in an innovative space, which naturally brings employees together by incorporating domestic and urban design ideas in the workplace.

46 | Mix 185 June 2018




The redesign solution has worked so well that the Trust is about to lease the ground floor, meaning it has reduced its use of the building by 63%. The scheme has been cost-neutral to the organisation in delivering a dynamic new home – one that reflects the direction of the Trust and fosters a new sense of purpose and community in its staff. By reducing its footprint, the Trust has created a valuable asset in the form of lettable spaces within the building. These have helped fund the fit-out project and will also contribute funds to the Trust into the future. Improvements made to the internal space have inspired current and prospective tenants to undertake similar fit-out schemes. These will continue to improve the quality of the whole building, making it a significant commercial asset and a highly desirable place to work. Comments from the client: ‘In the boardroom there is one wall with a large image, from a local photographer, of a group of

women who appear to be utterly contented with their lives. It’s there as a reminder of why we are here. BAND Architect’s transformation and fit out of Ropewalks echoes that same message: ‘Be empowered to make change for the better in people’s lives.’ Tim Pinder, CEO, Peaks & Plains Housing Trust Timescale of build: Work commenced in June 2017 and completed in November 2017 Build partners on the scheme: The project was procured under a traditional JCT Intermediate contract, with a full design developed by the client design team. Specialist fit-out contractors Brown and Bancroft were selected in May 2017. Next stage? The project is now complete but we are working with the client during the next 12 months to gather feedback and evaluate the scheme in use. w

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Spotlight | Public Sector Report

Name of Government department; Home Office Name of project; Lunar and Apollo House Completed when; December 2017 Location; Croydon What part did iDEA play? We were the briefing consultant, space planners and interior designers for all 42 floors of both Lunar and Apollo buildings, which included the receptions, a café and a restaurant. The objective of the project was to increase building capacity and flexibility to support the Home Office Smarter Working programme. The project has seen the capacity of both buildings increase from 3,000 to 5,000. Key person from your organisation: At iDEA it is always a team effort, however James Elgar led the design development and challenged the client in terms of the Smarter Working influence on work settings. James had support from strategy and design colleagues with both materials and finishes and site support through to completion. Key objective set by the Government: The Croydon project was key to the Home Office Smarter Working programme and an integral part of the pan-Whitehall regionalisation work to reduce the costly central London footprint. It also serves to form flexible hub/touchdown workspace for a wide variety of Home Office staff. What was the greatest challenge? The biggest challenge was to move the café from the 1st Floor of Apollo House, up to the 3rd Floor. In Apollo House the existing cafe was in an awkward position, difficult to find and poorly signposted. The decision was made at Director level to relocate the existing 1st floor Café to the 3rd floor Podium space. The area has a vaulted ceiling with inlaid glass brick and has real ‘wow factor’. This is an excellent place to create a destination, meeting place and working café but the logistics and physical constraints were difficult. Can you sum up the greatest transformational element? The concept for each floor has an arrival point that forms the hub, comprising a business lounge and a variety of settings for visiting staff to touchdown

or hold informal meetings with colleagues. The hub contains a tea point, print facilities and lockers. From the hub to the wings of the building, the space becomes a mix of traditional 1,200mm desks and team benches with the addition of other informal meeting and breakout spaces. Towards the end of the wings, in the quieter spaces, are meeting rooms, individual pods and library areas. The increased headcount will put pressure on each floor and a 7:10 working ratio is envisaged. Adequate IT provision, Wi-Fi network and power were essential. Comments from the client: ‘The space looks great and I can’t wait to try it out!’ Mike Parsons – Director General Capabilities & Resources (at the time of completion) and key client sponsor. Timescale of build: Six months briefing and designing the scheme, one year start to finish for the build. Build partners on the scheme: Paragon were the main contractors on this project, starting towards the end of 2016 and on site in January 2017. It was quite a challenging programme for them to manage as it was an occupied building with only single floors available to complete at the beginning. Further in to the programme, the increased efficiency of the floors created more swing space as teams moved in to newly refurbished areas that meant multiple floors could be delivered concurrently.

Next stage? We continued to work with the Home Office and the MoJ in other locations in Croydon and in Central London. We are also working with other Government departments in Whitehall and nationally, delivering similar Smarter Working initiatives aligned with Cabinet Office objectives. We continue to work on Old Admiralty Building, which will be the new location for the Department for Education. w Source: Mix Research, ONS

Mix 185 June 2018 | 49

Case Study | One Angel Square

Angel Eyes As this issue includes a major spotlight on the public sector, it is only appropriate that we include at least one major public sector project review. And if we’re going to bring you such a project, then it is only right that we ensure it is already a multi-award winning one. 50 | Mix 185 June 2018


ne Angel Square, a new headquarters building for Northamptonshire County Council, has enabled the workforce to relocate from 12 separate properties into one BREEAM Excellent building. To date, the project has won both RIBA and RICS regional awards. The brief was for a 22,000 sq m flexible office to accommodate 2,000 employees. The council’s vision was to provide an environment for collaborative working, enable new ways of working for improved productivity and also to serve as a catalyst for wider urban regeneration. BDP was tasked with (as we’ve already mentioned) relocating the workforce from

12 buildings into one, while simultaneously regenerating a historically important quarter of the town. The result is one of the most significant regeneration developments in the town. The building sits in a historically important quarter of Northampton and the design respects the scale and grain of its largely residential neighbours. The building’s entrance faces a new public square, and leads into a four-storey atrium reception and internal street. The building is designed as two Yin and Yang forms enclosing a central courtyard, with office space, informal meeting areas, touchdown areas and other

collaborative spaces grouped around it. An abundance of natural light and good visual connectivity between the floors and the quadrangle create a building that will allow both staff and visitors to experience a sense of wellbeing and help collaboration and sense of identity. The predominantly glazed façades are clad with vertical copper fins, inspired by the traditional leather cutting lines for hand-made shoes (for which Northampton is synonymous), which control solar gain and create a colour and texture, particularly when viewed from acute angles down the streets and lanes around the site.

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Case Study | One Angel Square

The project was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Council. The brief called for a headquarters that would reflect the values of Northamptonshire County Council, was not ostentatious, was highly efficient and would draw the organisation together under one roof, transforming its working culture. That is exactly what has been achieved – in a fine, contemporary building that was delivered within budget, and which massively enhances the Council’s effectiveness, productivity and sense of identity. BDP’s James Baker, who was the Project Director for One Angel Square, tells us about the origins of the project. ‘We won it through an OJEU process and subsequent design competition, with three or four other teams shortlisted – and this is almost exactly five years ago to the day,’ James recalls. ‘We went away as a multi-disciplinary team and came up with a competition winning scheme. ‘Once we were appointed, we quite quickly engaging with the client, their user groups, the QS, Project Manager and the Client Advisor, Liz Pickard of Consarc – and I have to say that here was a fantastic sense of teamwork. We were

There is a strong emphasis on wellbeing throughout – which was absolutely necessary as we were bringing together people from all these disparate buildings, who had never previously worked together

able to bounce ideas off one another – which I believe has been a key ingredient to the success of this project.. ‘There were a lot of challenges throughout in terms of cost and in terms of ensuring that the business case was realised – and ensuring yearon-year savings through energy efficient design. Working with Dave Stewart, the Project Manager, who was instrumental in the delivery of the project, we had to go back with some very sharp knives on a couple of occasions – but we collectively, as a team, together with Jon Marston of Galliford Try, succeeded in preserving the design integrity of the scheme; the materiality that people see, touch and feel - that's what really makes a building work. ‘This is very much a ‘walk up and down’ building and we ensured we placed the right finishes in the heart of the building. ‘There is a strong emphasis on wellbeing throughout – which was absolutely necessary as we were bringing together people from all these disparate buildings, who had never previously worked together.

Detail Dramatic ceiling grids allow light to flood in

Detail Fantastic engineered façade, with vertical fins

Main Image One Angel Square is one of Northampton's most important regeneration projects

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Case Study | One Angel Square

The big fundamental change, however, is the move from largely cellular environments into open plan space, so what we did was to set aside all the spaces around the edge of the streets to be interactive spaces. People now have a completely new range of work settings here. It’s interesting to see that, when staff first moved in, a lot of these spaces were empty – and now they almost fight over them! This is where they want to be. They’ve suddenly realised that work doesn’t necessarily mean sitting at a desk, at a computer – you can achieve more by working in different settings.’ The project is seen as a new benchmark for public sector workspace – a space that is flexible, responsive, sustainable and integral to work transformation. The innovative scheme marries large floorplates with mixed mode ventilation, passive cooling and innovative taskbased lighting, offering a state-of-the-art

The central courtyard, streets, atria and engineered façade, with its vertical fins, all provide fantastic controlled daylight to the floorplates, reducing the reliance on artificial lighting. A task-based lighting strategy utilises low energy LED floor standing fittings to work areas, with track and pendant lights over breakout areas. Work platforms are located at the building perimeter and the full-height glazing offers views of the outdoor environment. The Council’s vision was to provide an environment for a new generation of work styles and collaborative working to enable new processes for improved productivity and to facilitate agile and mobile working. Permanent work settings, based on a ratio of up to 7:10, are set to the perimeter for maximum daylight/fresh air, with collaborative, support and open meeting space placed around the central courtyard. Lockers, print/copy and recycling centres are arranged at the four corners of the central zone. Meeting rooms are set to the cores, or to the

environment. James tells us that five cores anchor the plan of One Angel Square, which are positioned to maximise daylight and ventilation. There are no cellular offices here – the open plan design and flexible settings mean that staff can work from anywhere they wish. The central courtyard, coupled with the streets and north and south atria, bring light and ventilation to building users who, we’re assured, are consistently 7.5m from daylight. The Yin and Yang plan form is highly legible. A simple ‘race track’ marks the primary circulation route and also distributes primary services, while staircases are placed to encourage staff health and wellbeing. Feedback from users (and as James alluded to a little earlier) is that lift usage is minimal – people enjoy the new opportunities for engagement and the feeling of unity that the streets, atrium space and courtyard bring. Indeed, the central courtyard, which is used for council-wide events, and the streets and atria are a key part of the new workplace. The entrances to Angel Square and St John Street are the primary links to the public realm, with Angel Square providing a new urban space that is designed to link with the Cultural Quarter. The reception is designed to be welcoming and accessible, with a direct line of sight from the desk to the entrance. Visitor seating is provided, prior to internal security pass gates that control access to the building. The internal streets, the feature stair and the internal courtyard all benefit from high quality finishes in a warm palette of materials, which link through to kitchenettes and touchdown areas.

periphery of floors.

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Project Team Client Northamptonshire County Council Interior Design BDP Project Manager Dave Stewart Client Liaison Liz Pickard of Consarc Construction Jon Marston of Galliford Try

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Case Study | One Angel Square

Above Staircases have led to increased staff interaction Left The building benefits from amazing natural light Below Staff are encouraged to work away from their desks in the variety of forward-thinking settings provided

‘Northamptonshire County Council were already way ahead of the curve in how they thought, including utilising thin client technology and tablets,’ James tells us. ‘They had adopted a lot of forwardthinking ideas that we think as quite normal in the corporate world – but were certainly innovative for this sector back in 2013. 'What they didn’t have was a space that would support this, but instead operated out of low quality and tired facilities, spread across a myriad of

buildings, which was a blocker to staff interacting. The building design has enabled interaction between individuals, teams and departments – which is quite deliberate. ‘Our client at NCC was instrumental in ensuring the stakeholders were brought along – and we had an amazing level of support, right up to Chief Executive level. The Chief Executive wanted to be out in the open plan with everyone else, for example.’

Of course, there’s no greater testimonial to the success of a project than from the people who use the space day-in, day-out – and we’re told that, at the opening of One Angel Square, one of the staff enthusiastically wrote: 'We are absolutely blown away by the building and how every detail has been thought of. We have spent time walking around open-mouthed at the attention to detail that has been taken and the thought that has gone into the consideration of staff.' w

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Case Study | Njord Partners

Norse Code Every now and again, we get a call or an email from a design firm inviting us to take a look at ‘a nice little project we’ve just completed’. – only to discover that ‘little’ actually comprises a million sq ft of prime real estate! Today however – at 5,000 sq ft – we're looking at what is genuinely a nice little (but incredibly forwardthinking) project. We’ll refrain from being so obvious and using the phrase ‘size doesn’t matter’.


he fact is, however, that it really doesn’t matter. Certainly not when it comes to a forward-thinking new workspace. The principles and the end-goals are generally the same – just on a different scale. So, when Mixology judge and founder of sjjdc, Simon Jackson, asked us if we’d like to see the ‘nice little project’ he had recently completed for Njord Partners, we jumped at the chance. ‘Njord Partners was set up by a couple of long standing Scandinavian friends – one worked for KKR and other for Oaktree Capital (both large global corporate financial firms),’ Simon tells us. ‘When both in their mid-30’s they decided to set up their own niche investment firm. This was quite an entrepreneurial risk as they didn’t each have established funds from their previous firms to take with them. They decided to effectively start from scratch. Their business is investing in special situations (often with companies facing some sort of challenge) for the long term and turning them around, making them profitable.

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Case Study | Njord Partners

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We looked closely at their brand culture and values – and how they wanted the business to be perceived in the market The space features planting and generous natural daylight

‘They worked out of a basement in Mayfair for a few years, developing the track record of the new strategy, but basically living hand-to-mouth. As they got traction, they moved to a small office in Soho – and then decided to be in Soho long-term, as the area associated more with them, as a ‘noncorporate’ organisation. Something different..' Since its inception in 2013, the firm has led investments totalling over €240 million into 11 businesses, with a primary focus on European middle-market companies with special financing needs. Incidentally, the name Njord comes from the Norse God of the same name – he was the god of the seafarers, the god of wealth-bestowal and the god of prosperity. Njord (the god, that is) aids a safe return and a good catch – ensuring fishermen are able to weather and survive the storm. Apart from the fact that we are in a cool space, high above bustling Soho, there is much more that is different about the project – not least the design approach and philosophy here. 'The challenging timescale provided a need for a pragmatic and considered approach to the design and implementation process,' Simon tells us. 'Early discussions with PIN CM established very collaborative and responsive procedures that made certain we met programme and budget.

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However, I was keen to ensure that the design was exceptional and reflected the Njord Partners brand and was enduring. The 'non-corporate' brief provided the perfect starting point. ‘I brought in a colour psychologist – Karen Haller – to assist me and, together with the two founders, we had an in-depth discussion about what this could add. The harmonious colour palette that reflects Njord’s personality consists of cool blue/green-based tones, which are either bold and intense or icy tints, substantiating the ocean theme, supporting innovative and creative thinking and generally providing a calm and serene environment. Included are the positive psychological traits of these hues in the context of the Njord brand. ‘As this move to a new office in Soho was their first established office of scale, I was keen to ensure that the facility expressed their company ethos and vision but also represented their character and personality – and that this was broadcast to both their clients and staff. ‘We looked closely at their brand culture and values – and how they wanted the business to be perceived in the market. My interpretation of the guys is that they are hard working, with a flat hierarchy, accountable, have high integrity an don't want to be seen as arrogant or complacent.

‘They are also very creative and have formed something brand new here – although, at the same time, it comes across strongly that they remember where they’ve come from. Njord as a business express their creativity by seeking out new boundaries to problem solving. Although they are sometimes seen as ‘young’ in the market, they are the leaders in their industry. They are the cutting-edge innovators. They are a cutting edge, forward-thinking, very results driven firm, but do not want to come across as corporate or institutional. To match their style, I designed something that looks sharp and elegant without looking luxurious.’ The space itself is a double-height facility. That double-height remains at the window-lined front, while the addition of mezzanine provides singleheight meeting and conference rooms on one level and private working space above. ‘There is a large conference room and smaller meeting rooms here towards the front of the space,’ Simon shows us as we start to tour the facility. ‘These are very much client rooms – and we have placed these bespoke storage units in front to give a bit of privacy. The Njord guys work upstairs on the mezzanine – and the idea is that clients don’t need to come any further into the space than here.

Right & Below Colours and finishes create a domestic, non-corporate feel throughout


Case Study | Njord Partners

‘We’ve added a coffee station here for clients and staff – and then there is an internal quiet room for people to ‘escape’ to for focused work or to simply get some privacy, make a phone call etc. ‘The large windows and the natural light here are fantastic. We’ve then added architectural planting, which really adds something to the scheme and helps break up and add interest to the double-height of the space, while also providing environmental benefits. ‘We really did consider the colours and finishes used throughout very carefully. We avoided using light grey and brilliant white as these can be very draining and tiring – we even changed the base building white to a series of blue tints. ‘Constant reference was taken to Scandinavian residential design. The walls and skirtings are in slightly contrasting colours, we’ve used furniture that you wouldn't expect to see in a typical workplace – the only slight exception to this being the work floor upstairs, but even here we

were no accessible ceilings throughout – which was actually quite a challenge, especially as we added a new fresh air ventilation system. The client was keen to have a wood floor. Being Scandinavian, they’re quite used to wooden

such as tables with ceramic marble tops, elegant credenzas and large-scale rugs. ‘It’s all very simple but pretty cool!’ Simon grins. Moving up to the mezzanine, we find the beating heart of the new Njord home. Simon worked closely with Technique Resolutions on the workplace elements and Source Furniture on the client spaces to maintain that balance between the functional and the non-corporate. ‘We used Senator throughout the space,’ Simon tells us. ‘It’s all bespoke stuff, with special tops and finishes. Both Technique and Senator did a great job, actually, getting product to site via the external escape stair, all in around four weeks! All the desks are height-adjustable and we’ve added some breakout furniture – this is a great area to get away from the desk and sit and chat, looking out over the floor below and to the external roof-scape of Soho.’ The client is understandably extremely happy with the new space and design concept.

have chosen ‘non-corporate’ materials. The loose furniture is residential in nature, so the conference and meeting rooms look and feel more like dining rooms. 'I’ve penned the term ‘Domestech’ for this approach – it definitely has a domestic feel but with techie flavour throughout. ‘We took the building from Cat A, intending to work sympathetically with the architectural aspects of the base building; exposed steel columns, balconies, terrace etc. However, there

floors and didn’t worry about the acoustics so much; but the planting was an addition to assist the non-propagation of sound. They went for this herringbone pattern, which was actually stained on-site. We actually lost three days on-site because of that, which was a bit of a killer – but it does really add to the design and provides the 'establishment' aspect. We’ve also used a lot of really thought-provoking artwork throughout.’ We find shades such as dark blues and icy blues, alongside very domestic-feeling furniture,

This project was undertaken, design to construction, in just six weeks – with the team even having the December shutdown and drying herringbone floor to contend with! As Arvid Trolle of Njord Partners sums up: ‘Despite having significantly different views on basically everything, Simon painted our entire office in Nursery Blue to emphasise our immature attitude to design and architecture,’ we’re told, with tongues firmly in cheeks. ‘We love our new play area and are forever grateful!’ w

Tech upgrades in open plan spaces

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Case Study | YourSpace

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Your Amazing A number of you may recall that, back in May 2015, we covered an amazing project story for Tower Hamlets Foodbank. Designed by Gensler, the scheme had come together on the back of a great deal of generosity and goodwill from people and businesses throughout this industry. In fact, so impressive were the accomplishments at Tower Hamlets, that the project received recognition at that year’s Mixology awards.

Photography Gareth Gardener

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Case Study | YourSpace


o when our friends at Gensler and BW: Workplace Experts came to us with a brand new, equally noble, altruistic scheme, we were never going to say no. Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust has launched an exciting new development that sees the transformation of its centre in Deptford, South London, into a thriving, creative, coworking space for start-ups and small businesses. Gensler and BW collaborated with the Trust to create Your Space, a coworking environment designed to empower and support its users. Gensler donated their time and expertise to reimagine the existing space. The design intent from the outset was to create a motivating setting, which fosters networking, development and collaboration, building on the Trust’s fantastic work, following on from Stephen Lawrence’s tragic death in 1993. The Centre, designed by David Adjaye, opened 10 years ago as both a memorial and a place of inspiration in honour of Stephen. It is the home

they were responsible for reaching out to the vast network of manufacturers, suppliers and tradesmen to bring the designs to fruition. The aim was to create a bright and positive interior that was sensitive to the original design, producing one of the biggest pro-bono building projects in the UK to date. Gensler’s Chris Crawford, who gave so much of his own time, working in the evenings and weekends in order to realise the project, BW’s Peter Flynn and Baynes and Mitchell’s Yvonne Onah, who was part of the alumni here at the centre, are happy to show us around this remarkable transformation. Gensler’s design team sought to create a space that represented progression, aiding the Trust in its vision to grow their work and secure Stephen’s legacy. Embracing natural daylight, connectivity and the need for collaboration, the design is an evolution of the emotional response the centre once evoked. With an open and bright interior

of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which was founded in 1998 and which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to follow and succeed in their careers of choice. The transformation of the centre into coworking space will fulfill one of the initial aims of the centre, which was to provide entrepreneurs with a space to kickstart their business aspirations. Working closely with the Trust, Gensler joined forces with fit-out contractors BW, and together

concept, the new coworking hub is a manifestation of the emotional and physical healing process, and the Trust’s journey since it was founded 20 years ago. Working across all three floors of the building, Gensler focused on opening up the space to create a feeling of collaboration and flexibility within the coworking facility, whilst being sensitive to and retaining the spatial purity created by the original design.

This was a tremendously satisfying project to be involved in – it is a space that makes a difference

The 2nd floor event space features a brilliant terrace

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Case Study | YourSpace

Speaking of the original design, we ask Chris to tell us more about the origins of the project. ‘It was definitely a powerful statement,’ he considers. ‘but the Trust wanted to focus on the positive aspects of achievements and the impact it has had on people's lives. The entry into the building needed to be welcoming whilst evoking a feelings of connectivity, positivity and a celebration of life. ‘Some of the interventions we’ve made here include replacing the front door with a fully glazed system, installing the Your Space logo and moving the reception desk much closer to the entrance to create a better sense of arrival. Previously, the entrance space was quite empty and although it was used as a flexible exhibition space, it felt underutilised, without a strong sense of purpose or activity. ‘We knocked through a wall, which divided the space here, so that there is now a very definite sense of arrival. To the right is the original monument to Stephen – which includes several of his architectural drawings. Stephen was an aspiring architect – and the Trust's hugely successful Building Futures programme supports others to realise that dream. ‘We’ve been involved as part of the Trust’s advisory board and as an architectural partner to provide work experience placements and mentorships for some time now. We were told that they were looking to introduce some kind of coworking into the building – and were asked to come in and take a look. They asked us which space within the building did we feel would be most appropriate to use and, when we toured the building, we realised that the answer was… all of it! ‘We thought that we could easily take a single room, put some desks and a teapoint in there and then call it a coworking facility. That wouldn’t be a particularly appealing prospect to prospective clients – we wanted to offer a lot more than that. ‘When we first approached the project, we didn’t just want to make instant assumptions. We set up an opportunity for various alumni – who had been through the programme here and who knew the building really well – to talk about the important features of the building that held meaning for them, how they'd improve the building also what would appeal to them as prospective users of the facility. We then took those proposals and ideas and combined them into the scheme – so it really was a collaborative approach.’ ‘When the alumni was asked to do proposals – and there were seven or eight of us who were asked to contribute – one of the things that came up time and again was that it would be great to get more natural light throughout the building,’ Yvonne tells us, ‘and I think we’ve been able to do that by making this ground floor space really open and interactive.’ Gensler has also installed new windows between the main atrium and the rooms, which sit deeper within the building. This is to increase sightlines, incite

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curiosity and bring that aforementioned natural light further into the building. ‘We really started by taking the orange colour – which is taken from the Trust’s brand – to create this orange volume, which now connects all three floors, providing real energy throughout the building,’ Chris points out. ‘There were a lot of cellular spaces here on the ground floor and we opened this up – so you now get a real sense of the scale of the building. Previously, you had no idea what was going on elsewhere in the building.’ Working with the Trust, Chris and the team have created a variety of spaces and work settings throughout the three floors, from the open and agile members’ studio and assigned desks within the residence area on the ground floor, through to the smart meeting rooms and up to the cool and bright event space – complete with fantastic roof terrace – on the 2nd floor. The design team has used natural timbers like Baltic Birch to add warmth and texture on custom

furniture pieces, while the look and feel is smart and contemporary. The ground and 2nd floor facilities are also flexible and dynamic – allowing them to be reconfigured to suit a variety of individual and collaborative needs, from informal meetings through to seminars and town hall meetings. And, as Chris mentioned a little earlier, all are tied together with that brilliant orange. As Your Space will provide affordable space for entrepreneurs, start-ups – and particularly those working within architecture and the built environment, architectural symbols and elevation markers have been playfully integrated into the environmental graphics and wayfinding signage. ‘Seeing the emotional reaction of the staff and alumni at the centre to the reworked space, and knowing what a difference it will make, has been incredibly rewarding,’ Chris says. ‘I feel very privileged to be in a position to support talented young people achieve their aims, and that’s made this project so worthwhile and meaningful.

The bright, open and welcoming entrance features a bold and brilliant orange volume






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Case Study | YourSpace

We hope the new design will inspire those who experience it, as we have been inspired by working on it.’ BW managed the sub-contractors and suppliers throughout the project, all of whom committed time and money to the project. This required fastidious planning and numerous meetings to ensure the smooth running of the build and maintaining the highest standards. This approach paid off with the delivery of a Defect Free Scheme at Practical Completion – which, as Peter can explain, was no mean feat. ‘We ended up with 48 sub-contractors and 34 suppliers contributing pro-bono to the project,’ he tells us. ‘It was absolutely brilliant. It might not be how we’d want to work on every project we’re involved in, but considering these companies were giving everything pro-bono, it was pretty incredible! ‘This was a tremendously satisfying project to be involved in – it is a space that makes a difference. The refurbishment of this building will have a huge impact on the young adults here.’

Cool finishes throughout the coworking space

The launch of Your Space will help the Trust to take a new step towards realising its vision by opening up to entrepreneurs and start-ups, providing them with affordable spaces to develop their ideas and create valuable support networks. The new facility really does commemorate Stephen – and celebrates the good that has been achieved in his name. w

Project Team Gensler, BW. Workplace Experts, LBA, ADS Joinery, Advanced Fire & Security Services, Affinity Flooring, Akzonobel, Decorative Paint, Allgood, Ambient Electrical, Andy Thornton, AquAid, Arena Electric, Arper, Autex Acoustics, Berkeley Projects, Bestuhl, BOK Construction, Bolon, Boss Design, Business IP, CBRE, Chapman BDSP, Construction Specialties UK, Denne Joinery, Forbo, Formica, Forza Doors, Foscarini Diesel, Fritz Hansen, Furniture Contract, Grohe, HAY, Herman Miller, Humanscale, IdeaPaint, Innovation Air Conditioning, Interface, ITEQ Technology, Kvadrat, Labetts, Level Best Solutions, Loughton Contracts, Maze Engineering, Naughtone, Neville Lumb, Ockwells, Olympiad Signs, Optima Contracting, Orangebox, PJ Johnson & Co, PRS, Soltech, Soundspace Solutions, Spacestor, Specialist Joinery Group, Staverton, Supagold, Taylor Wessing, TFA Interior Projects, The Metal Works, Thorpes, Vitra, Whole Building Services

The event space features a variety of settings

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Review | 30 Under 30

The Young and the Beautiful One of our absolute highlights of CDW, unsurprisingly, was our inaugural 30 under 30 party – which, in conjunction with our regular Spotlight feature, celebrated the cream of emerging UK A&D talent. We invited both the 2017 and 2018 ‘winners’, together with their bosses, to join us at the brilliant Frövi showroom for a drink or three. A good time was had by all…

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Kate Jarrett, Scott Brownrigg

Kristy-Jay Thomsen, Oktra

Chloe Muir, Gensler Thank you for including me in the 30 under 30's – it was lovely to meet everyone at the event last week.

Chloe Muir, Gensler

Sharon Juantuah, Morgan Lovell

Jumana Shamma, Resonate Interiors Very honoured to meet you all and collect the token of ‘success’ from you guys! It was a delightful event. Stacey Roberts, Space Zero Thank you for the invite, the evening was great – we thoroughly enjoyed it. Zara was extremely happy with her gift from the evening, it was a lovely touch.

Lucy Harrison, Unispace

Jasper Sanders, Jasper Sanders + Partners We’d like to thank you very much for inviting us to your 30 under 30 event and hosting such a great evening! We’re thrilled to have been involved and have the chance to see you all. Many thanks.

Dan Jerram, ThirdWay Interiors

Jana Novakovic, Goddard Littlefair

Nathan Harris, Interaction Thank you for putting this on – we had a really good night. Good to chat to so many interesting people! Olivia McDonald, Unispace Thanks very much for last night.. Lucy and I had a great time!

Ewa Sydor, AEW

Mix 185 June 2018 | 73

Review | 30 Under 30

Abigail Mew, Aedas

Marcie Incarico, Mix Group


Nic Pryke, Oktra Great event – many thanks. Kristy felt like a rock star! Jana Novakovic, Goddard Littlefair Thank you for the great event and for the feature – and to Frovi for being lovely hosts. Philippe Pare, Gensler Thanks for hosting us! We had a great time and are very appreciative for the 30 under 30 programme. Angela Bardino, Grimshaw Thank you for a lovely evening at the #mix30under30. Celine Bonner, Aedas Great to meet you all – and thank you for a great evening!

Rebecca Quickfall, Jasper Sanders

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Amanda Godwin-Jones, Morgan Lovell Thanks for last night. I have already had Sharon spotted by two people in the Frovi showroom today – fame at last! Chloe Barker, tp bennett


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Review | CDW

The Week and the Strong There was much to love about the latest edition of Clerkenwell Design Week. The weather was good, there were a number of new residents to the borough, showing off their cool new spaces, plenty of eye-catching product introductions – and, of course, masses to see, do, experience, eat and drink.


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Review | CDW

What a fabulous show! Knightsbridge had a very successful visit to Clerkenwell this year, meeting exactly the right type of industry professionals. See you all next year.

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Review | CDW

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Alea Office

As new boys on the block so to speak, and this being our first fair, we had heard some people question if the event represents value for money. As exhibitors at Orgatec and Salone we can say it definitely does. We can’t think of anywhere else in the world where there is such a concentration of great product and the quality of people through our showroom was fantastic. We made some excellent new contacts and will definitely want to be a part of the event in future.

David Batchelor, Alea Office.




For Orangebox it was another successful Clerkenwell Design Week – with over 3,600 visitors, it is a real testament to the passion and effort from all the Orangebox team. It was a great opportunity to showcase the showroom and network with new and existing clients from throughout the UK and international regions.

Liz Walker, Orangebox

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Review | CDW

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Design Guild Mark awards at Bisley Bellerby & Co at Flokk

Our programme of breakfast talks saw a lot of visitors choosing to start their day with us, which helped to make it a fantastic week for Steelcase, with a significant increase in the number of visitors from previous years. We were fortunate to be launching a lot of new products and had our product management team over from Steelcase’s Learning + Innovation Centre in Munich to present them to our visitors, which generated a great deal of interest. CDW 2018 was a great opportunity for Steelcase to open its doors to the wider design community, see old friends and make new acquaintances.

Alex Gifford, Steelcase

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NATTA design Edge Design




Pledge Office Chairs Mill Road Leighton Buzzard Bedfordshire LU7 1BA

Edge Design First Floor 21-22 Great Sutton Street Clerkenwell, London EC1V 0DY


t: +44 (0) 1525 376181

t: +44 (0) 20 7253 7277



Showroom 8 Clerkenwell Green London EC1R 0DE

Review | CDW

Frem Group

With over 2,500 visitors to our showroom, we were really pleased to be part of Clerkenwell Design Week again this year. As one of the UK’s leading design shows, it

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was the perfect platform to launch our newly refurbished showroom.

Brian Murray, Boss Design

We’ll certainly not be forgetting this one in a hurry! After years of pop-ups, partnerships and more sample runs than you can shake stick at, we finally opened a place to call home. Our new showroom and design studio – within which we can demonstrate the full Deadgood experience.

Elliot Brook, Deadgood



Clerkenwell Close

Conversations at Clerkenwell

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Review | CDW

We were proud to host an eclectic and engaging line-up of events all based around our theme of wellness. Milliken was joined by Jeremy Myerson, author Glenn Elliott, Ann Marie Aguilar (Director of Operations at the WELL Building Institute) as well as leading experts from HOK and Studio Banana for a panel debate entitled 'The Future is Well’. There were also workshops to Design Fields

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aid wellbeing, from mindful writing and drawing to relax the mind, through to herbal tea making and tasting. The Milliken showroom had a constant buzz about it, with many visitors from overseas and the launch of our latest carpet tile collection 'Crafted Series.

Alison Kitchingman, Milliken Frem Group

Alea Office Milliken


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Tajal Rutherford-Bhatt Project Director, tp bennett

Brian Greathead Director, Manalo & White

Petr Esposito, Founding Director ThirdWay Group

Ben Webb Co-Founder, 3Stories

Tajal is a Project Director at tp bennett with 14 years’ experience in commercial interior design. She has delivered projects across a variety of sectors and has developed lasting relationships with her clients, who

Brian established Manalo & White Architects in 1999. The practice aims to be transformative, to realise untapped potential, to be positive, pragmatic, responsive and resourceful. With an emphasis on

Petr is one of the Founding Directors of ThirdWay Architecture – a progressive studio of architects and designers embedded within The ThirdWay Group; aligning all the benefits of a traditional architectural

Ben is Co-Founder of 3Stories, a design agency based in London. Over the past 12 years he has focused his works within the hospitality sector, designing for hotel groups such as IHG and ACCOR as

include notable financial, media and law organisations. Her experience extends from the UK to the overseas market. Tajal believes this 'thinkingbeyond-the-box' approach to design can fine-tune a project to exceed its brief.

listening and collaboration, Manalo & White challenges preconceptions and produces projects that are subtle, playful and inventive.

practice with the pace, flexibility and market knowledge of a creative multi-disciplinary studio. TWA are committed to developing and building ideas that reflect contemporary thinking, working and living in our fast-paced and collaborative society.

well as one-off restaurant concepts, including Roast and Ping Pong. Ben believes great design is about clear communication – through all stages of the project.

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Unless you’ve spent the last five years on Tristan da Cunha, with no phone signal, you will appreciate that the workplace has changed. In fact, it may be difficult to define the ‘workplace’ in absolute terms today. For example, who would have thought that the humble hotel would be considered by many to be a perfect place of work? Walk into a city centre hotel in most cities and a fullblown business meeting will be in full swing almost any time of any day. We brought together an A-list panel to discuss just that.

Andy Whiting Founder & Principal, HÛT

Lee Birchill Managing Director, DV8 Designs

Lindsey Bean-Pearce Associate Director, Dexter Moren

Ariane Steinbeck, Managing Director, RPW Design

Andrew is Principal at HÛT, an award-winning architectural practice based in Shoreditch. HÛT specialise in the design of places to live and places to work, many schemes combining both areas of expertise in

Lee established this North West based architectural and interior design practice in 2006. He has over 25 years’ experience, designing just about everything, ranging in project value from £20k to £35m. Lee’s

Lindsey believes great interior design is driven by a strong narrative, which can be weaved throughout the building for guests to experience on their journey through the space. She has over 13 years’ experience,

Ariane is fully involved in all the practice’s activities, working closely with the different design teams on on-going projects and new proposals. Prior to joining RPW Design, Ariane was one of the

urban re-invention projects. Andrew teaches at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL and Westminster University. His interest in simple forms of architecture – robust, carefully considered and beautifully detailed buildings – drives the strategic direction HÛT.

experience embraces commercial and domestic developments, with a background comprising residential, office space, restaurant, hotel, theatre and nightclub design, with notable clients including The Restaurant Group, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Greene King and Stonegate.

specialising in hospitality, workplace and residential design, and co-heads the DMA interiors team. Current London projects include The Vintry & Mercer – a luxury boutique hotel soon to open in the City and New Drum Street Hotel, Aldgate –part of the Hotel Indigo brand by IHG.

founding partners of a US-based interiors practice, and has spent the last eight years working and living in Hong Kong, where she established the firm’s Asia-Pacific headquarters and opened their Manila office. She is an active contributor in the hospitality and interior design industry.

In association with



he workplace is now being created to allow a variety of tasks to be performed, from open plan to a degree of privacy – and the same can now be said of the modern hotel. Furthermore, the workplace aims to create a positive user experience in the hope that staff will be happy and healthy – and the hotel experience now aims to achieve this hallow state, where every 'touch point' is a memorable one. We’ve escaped from the madness of CDW and headed up to Alea Office’s fantastic showroom, high above the streets of Clerkenwell, together with our friends from Karndean, to discuss how to design an experience that looks like a workplace, feels like a workplace – but is firmly set in the hospitality sector. We begin by asking our expert panel what they feel is the priority for guests when they visit a hotel. Lindsey: The guest’s priority should be for a good night’s sleep – but for a lot of hotel brands, that is now bottom of the list. They need to offer so much – to put so much into rooms – that guests can’t actually switch off from working, which is a problem. These used to be business hotels for business travellers. A lot of this is psychosomatic – so if you can see the desk from your bed, your head is still working. Then there are lights from the TV, light from your phone – and if you can see these, they play with your sleep rhythms, so you can’t switch off. Then there is transfer noise from the corridor…I tend to sleep much better at home than I do in a hotel. Ariane: This is also generational, I think – and about how people work. So, for example, Marriott eliminated the desk from the standard room – and quickly brought it back. Everything is focused on particular generations – X or Y or whatever – which I think is a mistake. I’m supposedly a baby boomer and I don’t work like people 20 years older than me. I don’t want a desk in my room. I’m happy to hang out on my bed with my iPad. I don’t need a writing surface. But when it comes to standards, the big hotel brands aren’t very innovative or quick to innovate or even catch up. I think they’re trying hard – but it is the smaller groups of hoteliers who show any innovation. When Barry Sternlicht started off the whole W Hotels empire, the guiding thing was that he was selling a good night’s sleep and a good shower – and that has completely changed. So what about public spaces in hotels? Brian: We’ve been working on the Mandrake Hotel – and that is an anti-business hotel. They don’t really want you doing business there. Funnily enough, I’ve stayed there quite a lot and done business there – so I had to find a way to

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It’s about that authenticity that a photograph can’t provide – about people locally coming in and saying, ‘This is cool’

work within that environment. I think the most important thing about hotels today is hospitality. It’s often forgotten about in terms of features and provisions, amongst all the clutter of stuff that you’re offered. You can stay in a fairly basic room with fairly basic provisions and, if the welcome is warm, you have a fantastic time. Similarly, you can stay in the best space in the world, but if the shower isn’t working or someone is rude to you, then you might have the worst possible time. As designers, we have to give the best possible tools, but we only ever actually give a shell. The people who inhabit and run that space are fundamentally important to the success of the hotel. Lee: I think you need to make a hotel so that it attracts people who aren’t staying there – that’s certainly how we tend to approach things now. Quite often, it becomes more of a bar/restaurant than a hotel.

Ariane: It’s about that authenticity that a photograph can’t provide – about people locally coming in and saying, ‘This is cool’. Andrew: I go to the Hoxton Hotel every Monday morning for a catch-up with the people I run the business with – and we stay there for about three hours and spend about £4! But if you look at the Ace Hotel or the Hoxton Hotel, you often can’t get a space in there. What I really don’t understand is what is the revenue generated by that one hipster with his laptop – who is sat there for three hours, not half an hour? Petr: There is a real vibe to the places though. People want to be there, to be associated with it. I’ve taken friends who live outside London to the Hoxton Hotel for a beer, for example, and they in turn will take their friends or their partner to stay there. I think there’s a larger brand play here – these are destination spaces. We’re currently working with a

major co-living brand and one of the things we’ve learned is that this is about community rather than a space to sleep or a space to work. This is about how people come together, meet one another and create relationships. It’s then about how you manage that space and combine that with the architectural and design aspects to make it a winning design. People do want to work and live and sleep in that same space – this is almost the exact crossover of hotel and workspace. Tajal: From a commercial office perspective, our clients very much want that hotel experience. They don’t want a reception space to just have a desk and to feel austere – they want to have a business lounge, they want lively and energetic space like cafés, they want that activity to encourage people to come into that space. People want that concierge feel – and you also need to provide the right technology so that people can work.

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We’ve got one client who loves staying at the Hoxton Hotel. One of his great bugbears is that, even though he’s a resident, the lobby is always packed full of people and he can’t work there

Brian: The White Chapel Building by Derwent is probably the best example of that sort of hotel feel when coming into a workspace environment. It is a hotel lobby that just happens to be below an office space. Ben: Then you have these interesting players, such as WeWork. We’re at the Record Hall just off Leather Lane and one of the main reasons we chose there was that, when you walk in there, it actually feels like a hotel lobby. So when we get clients come along to see us, it feels quite cool and quirky.

so obsessed with having power supply in these spaces so that people can sit there for hours – so technology is a big part of it. Someone needs to produce a sexy-looking power socket! With the hotel room, you don’t need a desk because you don’t have all this paperwork – you’re working from a laptop. Our office is on our backs most of the time. We’ve got one client who loves staying at the Hoxton Hotel. One of his great bugbears is that, even though he’s a resident, the lobby is always packed full of people and he can’t work there.

Ben: Going back to that point about technology, you find that, in pretty much every hotel and

Adriane: That started when Barry Sternlicht started developing the ‘boutique hotel’ and started packing the lobby full of people. That was controversial on the one hand and loved on the other hand. Yes, they were now generating revenue from the lobby – but you were also pissing people off who were slightly more traditional and wanted the space for themselves. When it comes to meeting spaces in hotels now, we’re

even in restaurants, there needs to be a power socket under every table! Some of our clients are

starting to select office furniture – because we’re constantly been asked by the hotel brands for

Lee: A lot of these hotels are looking to draw people in and stop them from migrating across the road to a Starbucks. They’re now competing against that!

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that coworking, pod-style furniture. Things are happening differently now. There is certainly some commonality with office space. People now combine holiday with working – they want to be productive all the time. Andrew: I also think that you’re going to find more and more hotels actively not going down that route of providing ‘workspace’. Lindsey: This goes back to what we were saying earlier. This is what really makes a boutique hotel nowadays. Some brands are going back to that idea of having a hotel where, when you go into the room, it is all about sleep and nothing else – having the balls to not focus on the technology. This is about lifestyle. Ariane: We should call it houseification! Petr: Sometimes you find that the weather vane is simply blowing to the market’s needs – but sometimes you find brands that want to challenge market perception, to do something different, which obviously comes with more risk but can bring great benefits/rewards. Ariane: The only way you can challenge those brand standards and make an impact is when you have a strong client. The minute you turn a unique concept into a brand, it ceases to be as exclusive and as attractive as the singular thing was. And hat’s really tough for us as designers. w

Conclusion Ariane is spot on – it is really tough for designers right now. As with any space, when it comes to the offering and the experience, hotels need to be definite from the start. Luxury hotels should be exactly that – offering impeccable service and that sense of escape and being looked after. They do not need to look and feel like a coworking space. The rise of the city centre community hotel/bar/ restaurant/workspace facility has turned many operators’ heads as they offer much more than room rates – and, with property prices continuing to rise and technology allowing us all to be more agile/flexible than ever, they will continue to be popular alternative to the traditional workspace. Exactly what that offer will be, what that experience will entail, is for the operators themselves to consider. One word of warning, however – don’t forget the poor old resident! w In association with


Wayfinding just got easier Modern flooring means a myriad of choice and finishes are now available, with some beautiful results. However, without an encyclopedic knowledge of installation methods, it can be difficult to accommodate multi-flooring types into one design. With the new Paragon Carpets Duera luxury vinyl flooring, the 5mm thickness allows the product to be installed alongside over 300 Paragon Carpet tile ranges, with no additional sub-floor preparation. Create amazing wayfinding flooring schemes with no seams or inlay strips.

Max impact The Max Collection has been designed to be a sophisticated, but affordable, task chair, perfectly adapted to new working practices. In today’s complex workplace it’s good to keep things as simple as possible, so Max is easy to specify and simple to use. Max’s minimalist aesthetic is ‘lighter’ in form and feel, reflecting the way we work today and, through a combination of inherent strength and visual transparency, maintains a clarity of thought and simplicity of style demanded in the agile workplace.

Antron presents new Global Colour Trend Forecast INVISTA Antron carpet fibre has released the fifth edition of its Antron Global Colour Trend Forecast, focusing on global design trends in 2019. Compiled in collaboration with trend expert Anne Marie Commandeur of Stijlinstituut Amsterdam – a design, fashion, textiles and materials agency – the report looks at key design drivers for commercial interiors in 2019. The Forecast gives carpet manufacturers and interior designers a unique perspective on how colour will impact space in the years ahead. The Forecast is presented in a brochure exploring each theme in detail, which is now available from INVISTA Antron carpet fibre in either hard copy or digital format.

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Bring a sense of wonder to your walls with Rusticork The incredible texture of Rusticork from Granorte is bringing a truly unique aesthetic to walls within commercial interiors. Showing cork in its truest, most organic form, Rustic Cork uses raw cork bark to create statement walls with unique effects. From raw, natural cork to Bark Black and Slate Ash Grey, Rusticork not only delivers an unmistakable natural aesthetic, but also a wall that helps to combat airborne noise and retain heat. Natural, biodegradable and recyclable, Rusticork is exclusive to Granorte.

Creative walls fast with ClicWall ClicWall from UNILIN, division panels, brings creative freedom in a durable, high-quality melamine-faced wallcovering system, available in 106 different finishes. Using UNILIN’s expertise in developing authentic and creative finishes, including ultra-realistic wood and concrete designs, ClicWall is instantly transformative and brings new design scope to commercial interiors. Already used successfully in Carrefour Market store concepts, as well as in hospitals, schools and public buildings, the system is technically superior, offering excellent durability and ease of maintenance.

Moduleo flies high in one of Europe’s tallest buildings An office on the 32nd floor of 25 Canada Square has been given a new lease of life thanks to luxury vinyl flooring specialist, Moduleo. The 350 sq m office space has been transformed into a light and flexible working environment for Energy Aspects. The design utilised zoning to distinguish and differentiate areas, which comprised a reception, bar, meeting rooms and even a games space. Moduleo Impress Country Oak 54925 was installed in the majority of the space, complemented by carpet laid within areas that would receive less footfall.

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The Last Word | Opinion

ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL While the ‘kids’ were enjoying themselves in Clerkenwell last month, Emma Macleod, Associate Director at Hurley Palmer Flatt, was part of the industry elite who headed out to Berlin for this year’s BCO Conference.


e live in a world that requires a much more holistic approach to design – and quite rightly so! Gone are the days when our buildings were constructed to suit the narrow demographic of the middle aged, white male, with more of a ‘one size fits all approach’. In the UK we are fortunate to live in a society that recognises equal rights and opportunities but probably still has

designs and interrogate them without the need to imagine how it could look – and recent research from Northumbria University shows the different ways we can improve designs for the users to help them navigate buildings. Diversity was another prevalent subject at the BCO Conference. As discussed, it is not to be confused with targeting and excluding the majorities, but instead about making changes

some way to go to reach its final destination. Incorporating this into our buildings is just one of the many steps towards this accomplishment. Our working lives are shifting towards a much more flexible arrangement, with more and more people working at home and pushing the boundaries of the 9 to 5 ‘norm’. This change needs to be reflected in our buildings to facilitate alternative working arrangements and promote equality and diversity in our workplace. This shift in our working life was very much a common theme throughout various presentations at the recent BCO Conference in Berlin; Michael Kaufman discussed various aspects of the work/life balance, Araceli Camargo considered the experience of different building users and their perceptions in her work and Rajdeep Gahir spoke of the many ways the internet and technology are changing the way we work…to name just a few of the excellent speakers. User-centric design is very much a focus in today’s built environment. This is enabled by a wealth of design tools and software, some of which were also discussed at the conference. There are various virtual reality software and modelling programmes, such as VU City, which allow us to view our

to include minorities. This should be taken as a positive, as one of the key outcomes should be improving the conditions and opportunities for everyone. The various subjects discussed at the conference moved away from a strictly technical content, which reflects the importance and influence topics such as politics and diversity have on our industry. It is impossible to ignore the debate on how Brexit may influence not just our industry but the future in general – and this was discussed through various speakers at the conference, including Lyse Doucet, Janan Ganesh and Frank Gardner. Will we be able to attract the best talent? Will we even be aware of or able to measure the possible negative affect it has on our economy? Not everyone may agree with the points raised – but that can’t prevent us from having these debates and preparing for whatever the future may hold. Author Karl Scheffler famously said: ‘Berlin is a city condemned forever to becoming and never to being.’ Regine Leibinger’s view on the famous quote was quite positive and defined it as being the evolving and adapting nature of the city, parallels which can be drawn across our industry in many respects – and hopefully in the same positive manner. w

Emma Macleod is an Associate Director at leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Hurley Palmer Flatt

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Mix Interiors 185  

The leading magazine for the UK commercial interiors market

Mix Interiors 185  

The leading magazine for the UK commercial interiors market