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Our 2020 office design and build projects

After a chaotic, Coronavirus-hit 2020, the fresh beginning that a New Year represents gives us all an opportunity to look ahead with positivity. Work, of course, has been one aspect of life that has been severely affected and with January's lockdown announcement for England, it may be some time yet before many firms are back in their physical offices.

However, the extended downtime can be used to prepare. By creating a COVID-safe environment now, businesses will be able to move from home working, back to the office without any undue worry.

Throughout last year, the office design and build team here at Oaktree Interiors rallied to deliver several COVID-compliant work environments for clients. As we deal with a wide array of business types (all with different requirements regarding the nature of their work), our collective skills and experience came in handy when contemplating on their adaptation to the new COVID regulations.

Here, we've listed some of these projects in our 2020 Retrospective, outlining the particular company involved, their work, what they required and how we achieved it.

G R Wrights & Sons Ltd

A family-owned flour milling business based in Ponders End Mills in Enfield, G R Wrights were seeking a new office facility to complement their new flour mill and warehouse. Situated adjacent to it, the three-storey office required a complete rip-out of its existing infrastructure, which would then be refitted with new work areas, meeting rooms, breakout spaces, reception area, staff changing facilities, cloakrooms, toilets, and a canteen.

The main reason for the full strip-out was due to the age of the building – the refresh saw us install all the core facilities to each floor, with stairways, toilets and landings requiring a full refurbishment.

A new heating, cooling and ventilation system was installed throughout, as well as a complete re-wire of all electrical and data infrastructure, new lighting and a new communications room (with links needed between the offices, warehouse and mill). New carpet and vinyl flooring were laid throughout too.

Completed over 16 weeks during the summer of 2020, this new office design and build was created with COVID-safe measures in mind; why not read more about it in our dedicated case study?

covid-compliant mud room at Corsair Components

Corsair Components.

As the pandemic has taught us all to be more mindful of hygiene, several new habits have started to make their way into our daily lives. One of these, at least in a work environment, has been to wash hands more regularly and/or to sanitise. To accommodate this we created a 'Mud Room'. This is an area within an office that acts as a 'second entrance' and is dedicated to allowing people the opportunity to come from the outside to remove coats and sanitise before entering the workplace.

Corsair Components are a long-established client of ours; the Wokingham-based PC components and peripherals company have previously sought our services to undergo several interior design projects, such as a fit out of a new office at Winnersh Triangle Business Park.

Corsair's Mud Room has been specifically designed to fit in with the design elements of the rest of the office, as well as offering an increased biophilic effect through its usage of greenery and the dark and light brown colours that evoke the thought of nature.

You can read more about how we helped Corsair prepare for work beyond the COVID-19 pandemic in their dedicated blog.

Perforce Software

A good example of how our office design and build team can adapt to any situation, was our work for Perforce; an international software provider in Bracknell. Seeking to move from their existing HQ, they selected us for the job of a new office fit out based on our previous experience of such projects. Everything was drawn up, discussed, agreed, and arranged. Then COVID hit.

The project brief was to provide open workspace for up to 70 staff, as well as a range of private offices for senior staff. Other facilities that the company wanted to provide includes a wellness room, a contemporary break area and a dedicated meeting room.

With an open 'feel' in mind, Perforce wanted to take full advantage of the natural light that comes in from the floor-to-ceiling glazed windows on the second floor.

Following our COVID-safe working practices, our team got to work after the first national lockdown to complete the project. Why not read our blog to learn more about the specific works we did?

The Canal and River Trust.

A project we undertook amid all the pandemic speculation in the early part of 2020, was an office refurbishment for The Canal and River Trust at one of their offices in Southall, West London. Seeking to breathe new life into the building (as well as to have the ability to sufficiently equip their workforce), they approached us because of our experience of turning around such projects in quick time.

Works saw us strip out back to the shell and core over the building's two floors, as well as demolition of walls and a chimney breast.

As all this created new space, it allowed us to install a brand-new electrical system throughout the building, facilitating the fitting of central heating and lighting. We also installed new WCs, a kitchen and breakout facility, along with new internal & external doors.

Already benefiting from the new facility, the CRT can continue to protect our canal and riverways safe in the knowledge that they too are equipped and protected.

Farnborough Airport.

Currently, some of our office design and build specialists are working at Farnborough Airport, reconfiguring space to suit their own management and operational teams. We have worked closely with the facilities and management team at Farnborough Airport to create the improved space.

When completed, it will allow for the various teams to be brought together into the one office, as previously, staff were accommodated across various sites within the airport's grounds. The brief was to create a more open-plan office environment that encourages cross-team collaboration.

Taking place in the terminal buildings, the layout is quite unusual – containing a column-free interior that has been inspired by the interiors of airships, ocean liners, and early art-deco airport buildings. The cylindrical design of the building, with fully glazed end walls, is designed to look like an aircraft wing and allows the natural light to flood through all floors of the entire space.

The project is set to be finished later this month; the new facility providing a sense of relief and reassurance for all staff, after such a tough year for their industry. You can read more details on the specifics in our dedicated blog post.

Our current/upcoming COVID-safe office design projects

With the Farnborough Airport project wrapping up, we are currently undergoing several other COVID-safe work adaptations for clients. Some of these include:

  • PhantomBrewery.
    A returning client, this Reading-based purveyor of ales are seeking to extend their current site to increase capacity and to introduce a second bar. After a devastating year for the hospitality industry, being COVID-safe will no doubt offer a boost for staff and customers when (hopefully) current measures are eased later in 2021.
  • Landmark. After taking over the operation of a former HMV store in London's Leadenhall Market, Landmark sought to refit the interior,which includes an office space at the back end. As we enjoy in undertaking unusual projects such as this, we're very much looking forward to creating this COVID-safe dual space for the client.
  • Tusker. Another returning client, we previously created a bespoke office design for Tusker at their new location in Croxley Green Business Park near Watford. Taking place in mid-2017, the project saw us incorporate Tusker's new brand identity throughout the new facility, utilising the company's corporate colours and company ethos. Soon, we will carry out several COVID-safe adaptations to this new space which will achieved quickly, thanks to us already being acquainted with the design of the office.
  • Thrive. Also a returning client from Croxley Green Business are Thrive; an independent housing association which owns and manages more than 4,000 rented and leasehold properties across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. After helping them with their relocation from Hemel Hempstead into an Oaktree-designed office space a couple of years ago, the company sought us out to perform several COVID-safe adaptations to allow their employees the means to work safely.

These are just a small selection of the ongoing projects we are currently undertaking or have planned; we will be posing more details in the coming weeks on their particular specifications and content.

Are you our next office fit out client?

If you would like to learn more about how your own business could benefit from a new office design, or you're in need of advice on making COVID-safe adaptations to your existing spaces, please feel free to get in touch with the Oaktree team today.

We can provide a completely FREE, no-obligation consultation service that allows our clients an opportunity to see how their office design ideas would look in 2D/3D images. To learn more about this (and the previous work we have performed for a myriad of clients in a wide range of industries), check out our case studies page.

For further information on how we can help you with our office design and build services, please feel free to give us a call on 0345 21 86955. Alternatively, you can send an e-mail enquiry to hello@oaktreeoffice.com and we'll get in touch as soon as possible.

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