Beech Design & Build — an umbrella company of Beech Holdings — has occupied 5,300 sq ft of space at Bridgewater House for nearly six months.
After six months in the new office, Head of Interior Design Angela and Associate Director of Design Ian have reflected on the extensive works that went into the project.
Led by Angela and coordinated by Ian, the project was delivered in a record time of four months.
Focusing on its clear starting concept, Angela said: “We not only had to keep the Beech branding in mind, but we also wanted to create a fresh interpretation of this. An industrial feel with exposed ducting combined with the Manchester skyline was one of the focal images we had in mind, as this represents one of our core values best – ‘We love Manchester.”
The intent was also largely focused on creating a space that would encourage health and well-being within the office. This was done by incorporating plenty of plants and organising the space in a way that would encourage people to be more active.
“Having the bins at the far end of the office, and the printer paper away from the printer encourages people to walk a little further. Small details can truly make a difference in the long run”, added Angela.
Promoting a collaborative environment for over 100 employees was also of significant importance when re-thinking the design of the office: “We wanted to have larger desks than what we previously had. Being partly a design office, we needed space to look at drawings collaboratively”, said Angela.
Angela and her team also created a breakout space next to the coffee point to encourage low-key, relaxed meetings for an even more collaborative working space.
So, what was Angela’s biggest challenge when designing the new office?
Angela said: “As the business is constantly evolving, the layout and staffing requirements are also regularly changing. In the last week before we were due to move over, we were still updating desk layouts to fit people in.”
Due to being located within a Grade II-listed building with its own distinct features, the design team made sure to retain these original features to create a space with character. For example, Angela had the idea to create a meeting room within an existing lift shaft. “This is one of my favourite meeting rooms in the office, and with having glass doors, it creates a sense of privacy without being enclosed (as you can still see out into the main working space)”, said Angela.
All of the existing doors were also retained to create a link to the office’s original historical use.
To ensure that the office was not just aesthetically pleasing, but also helped maximise productivity amongst employees, the business decided to invest heavily in technology.
Jozef, Head of IT, said: “Flexibility was at the forefront of our mind when it came to the management of the boardroom facilities, which is why we decided to implement tools such as a smart boardroom AV (audiovisual) solution, controlled with a phone app, and a boardroom booking solution. Of course, none of this could have come together without a superfast 1 GIG LIST LINE, which also accommodates the most sophisticated smart CCTV management solutions across the business.”