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We refurbished our office in Wimbledon to provide our people with a better working environment, an office that would create a sense of pride amongst our people. Sterling House has been our home for nearly 20 years, so this was an opportunity to repurpose and extend our existing space. We wanted this project to instil pride in our people and reflect who we are – at the centre of our business is our people and our culture. The office is 11,000 sq ft and designed around a smart working concept and inspired by a residential look and feel.
Over a 60-week programme, we carried out a full Cat A and Cat B fit out which has unlocked more space and enabled us to use our real estate more efficiently. By adding an extra floor to the building and extending the building footprint, we have increased our total space by 3,300 sq ft. A key step in the project was the construction elements involved in the technical aspects of the building that needed to be upgraded, such as the M&E systems as well as the layout of the property. To facilitate a smart working concept in the space, we have introduced neighbourhoods and given each department an allocation for team storage and workstations. In addition to the neighbourhoods, collaboration spaces have been introduced to encourage people to move away from their desk to work together.
We’ve always referred to Sterling House as our home, so this was how we wanted people to feel in the space. The design vision was about promoting a highly functional space that retained a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Moving to a smart working concept meant that space needed to be created for a variety of meeting rooms, collaboration and breakout areas.
We wanted the office to represent us and the ground floor forms the heartbeat of the space and is an essential part of keeping people connected when the office is spread over four floors. The ground floor has undergone a big transformation and by opening up this ground floor, we have been able to create a family-kitchen style space which draws people together. We have stripped out the traditional reception area and opened up the entire space to improve our front of house experience. We’re proud of this part of the office and we want our clients and visitors to get a true sense of what it is like to work at Peldon Rose.
As well as the main breakout area, the ground floor is also the main meeting floor. We added 4 new meeting spaces to the ground floor, as well as adding 3 Zoom rooms, to ensure we had enough versatility in the meeting spaces to accommodate our people's needs. The main boardroom has been fitted with a bespoke folding Crittal-style wall and foldable table. This flexibility means we can now host our all hands meetings and monthly business presentations in a more suitable space.
Our culture and personality has always been an important part of our identity. To make people feel part of the space and bring our people to the front of the business, we created the Tapestry Wall. On moving back in, each member of staff was asked to submit an image that inspired them. These images would be ‘stitched’ together to create the Tapestry Wall which runs through the stairwell of the building. It was a great way to engage our people with the new space and sparks conversation.
This refurbishment was also a great opportunity to consider how we incorporated our brand into the design of the office. We wanted to make sure we retained the originality behind Peldon Rose, so we installed a graphic of the Peldon Rose Love Story in the front of house. The Love Story is a short story that explains the background behind the origins and naming of our business. Then through the naming of the meeting rooms, we have introduced our core values. Each of core values is represented by an influential 'Thinker and Maker' which helps to bring our values to life in a new way.
Smart working relies on having the right mix of furniture to encourage it and the right IT solutions to enable it. We have introduced high benches, booth seating and fixed desks on each floor as well as height adjustable desks at every workstation. We focused on giving our people flexibility, so the IT specifications are consistent through the building allowing people to work wherever they want without restriction. Other key features such as a quiet working library, individual focus booths and a project room give people a choice on the types of environment they work in. Creating these spaces was an output of the workplace consultancy programme we carried out. Staff wanted to have choice in where and how they worked depending on the task they were working on.
Having removed all pedestals in the office, we needed a solution that would allow people to access things they might need without returning to their locker. Each floor has a core wall which holds communal stationery, charging stations and connectivity cables to make it easier to find essential items. Similarly, with the requirement for each member of staff to have their own locker, we wanted these to be discreet and not dominate the space. We designed a bespoke contactless system so that the lockers don’t have any locks or keys on display.
Design is at the heart of everything we do and we wanted to create a space for our design team that was in a central location. We wanted the designers to have a space where they could unlock their creativity, collaborate as a team and learn and share together. The design studio was an important part of the project as it encourages a collaborative approach and opens the possibility for greater engagement. As a design-led business, it was an important statement for us to include a design studio that gave us flexibility and space to work more efficiently on our projects.