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Every office fit out and refurbishment project has its own unique story and our project with United Reformed Church Trust was one steeped in history. This project was an opportunity to transform the building and bring the space into the modern day. The Presbyterian Church of England built new offices at 86 Tavistock Place, Kings Cross in 1938.
After being bombed during the war, and sadly losing 10 staff members of the church in 1945, the offices were rebuilt in 1955. When the Presbyterian Church of England became part of the newly formed United Reformed Church (URC) in 1972, the offices became the central administration and support centre for the new denomination.
Naturally the space requirements changed during this time and without a coherent plan for the building, the space had become outdated and did not meet the current needs of the United Reformed Church. To achieve this much-needed modernisation, their London office needed to be totally restructured with an extensive CAT A fit out. This included updating the mechanical and electrical supplies to the building, as well as constructing a new elevator shaft which totally reconfigured access throughout the office.
This office refurbishment was a chance for United Reformed Church to do something special with their London office space. We wanted to repurpose wasted space and over-sized storage areas, to enable the letting of the office space on the second floor and replace all the mechanical and electrical services throughout the building.
With these changes, we could introduce cycling facilities, showers and locker areas as well as new tea points which give staff bigger break out spaces. These new wellbeing facilities help to rejuvenate the workplace and transform the previously empty areas into purposeful, beneficial spaces. Reception is now a bright, organic space which greets you into the office. The lighting and increased flow of natural light creates a clean, refined atmosphere that is continued throughout the space.
One of the most striking features in the office is the original parquet flooring which we restored and reused in the building. We followed a rigorous 8-part process to clean, sand down and relay the flooring. This included refitting and re-laying flooring in areas where walls had been removed and doorways moved.
We removed some structural walls and a lot of the existing partitions to restructure the office layout and maximise the use of the space. The new conference room was created by knocking 3 rooms together into one connected space that can host both large meetings and small meetings, made possible by the foldable walls we have installed.
Approximately 800 Acrow props were used during the refurbishment, displaying the extent of the structural changes we made to maximise the space. These structural changes enhanced the flow of natural light through the space, particularly in the lower ground floor.
An essential part of this project was to update all the buildings services and modernise the property so it would be an energy efficient space, that staff would be comfortable working in. We put forward a proposal which changed the entire plant area in the lower ground floor into office space and added a new heat exchange system. The office fit out economised the building by replacing the existing fluorescent tube lighting with PIR and LED light fittings, to offer a more economical solution that enhanced the lighting levels in each space.
This CAT A fit out also included replacing the air conditioning, services, fresh air ventilation and electrics in the building. These changes ensure the building can run at optimum levels and meet the latest building regulations. We managed this CAT A work so that we could guarantee the levels of quality required.
The courtyard underwent a big transformation as it was previously an unused space. This was renovated to make space for the elevator shaft, the new air handling unit and condensers for the air conditioning. Adding these new services has transformed the efficiency of the building and improved the quality of the environment. This now also provides a pleasant, paved area with tables and chairs which staff can enjoy when weather permits.