|CLIENT:||No 5 the Heights, Weybridge|
|TOTAL AREA:||15,000 sq feet|
|SECTOR:||Commercial Interior Design Projects|
MPL Interiors was invited by a repeat client, YoooServ, to work at No5 The Heights in Weybridge. Our brief was to create an interior design and finish schedule for an incoming commercial tenant. The client – a leading pharmaceutical company - had a keen focus on staff wellbeing; required a sustainable stance when specifying fixtures and fittings; wanted maximum accessibility for all its employees and requested a focus on agile working for amplified collaboration.
As a specialist in designing and fitting out co-working spaces in the commercial sector, MPL put its past experiences to good use. Our focus was on taking a Cat A space and creating a Cat B fit out blueprint that would meet the needs of this company’s busy day-to-day schedule.
Our work was particularly fluid as there were numerous stakeholders involved, a multinational company at the helm and a new sub-brand identity evolving alongside MPL’s design and specification phase.
As with many open plan commercial offices, the key was to create distinct zones using different fittings, fixtures, flooring and furniture but in a way that felt cohesive and comfortable. Uniting this space is an overriding biophilic design, with the use of plants dialling in to the client’s request for heightened wellbeing and eco attributes.
Flora and fauna wraps around structural columns, creates feature walls, tops storage units, adds interest to space dividers and softens stark spaces. Keeping in with the sustainable brief, all low-level plants are living and need watering, while those out of reach take the form of real plants that have been preserved, avoiding the use of anything synthetic.
Sustainable design was also carried through into the specification of the fixtures, fittings and aesthetic treatments. Emphasis was put on the use of recycled materials, with the client requesting to see the green credentials of each supplier.
Accessibility was a big consideration, with many aspects that go above and beyond the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements. As well as practical touches, such as all working desks specified as height adjustable options and maximum wheelchair access, there was a particular emphasis on areas suitable for the neurodiverse.
A number of sound-proofed and insulated pods provide peace and privacy, with less harsh lighting, a décor that creates a cocooning effect and some with doors or curtains that can be pulled shut for complete enclosure.
This project has a high number of break out and collaborative areas, with MPL embracing some of the most current office trends to create a stimulating and productive environment. A ‘bleachers’ style seating corner – with stepped bench seating, wooden slat feature wall and lush planting – provides the perfect place for staff to interact. The addition of a digital screen and a 10-person workstation creates a central ‘town hall’ environment, where training or presentations can be delivered. Elsewhere are high level work benches, counters with perching stools, chairs and/or sofas arranged around coffee tables and a large island in the open plan kitchen.
There has also been the incorporation of plush curtains instead of glass or stud-wall partitions. These full-height fabric panels can be drawn to create informal meeting environments at a moment’s notice and opened again so not to compromise the flow of light. The furniture specified alongside the curtains reflects the trend for creating residential ‘living room’ environments within commercial office settings for a less harsh look.
The curtains also have the added benefit of providing privacy and sound-absorbing properties. With vast swathes of open plan space and a very dynamic, busy workforce, MPL also specified suspended foam panels with a delicate fret-cut design to improve acoustics.
The MPL design team was keen to personalise and soften this commercial space with homely elements. There are statement pendant light fittings, a marble-effect splashback in the kitchen, 3D feature walls, an earthy palette of paint colours and feature ceiling treatments – such as timber slats and intricate mouldings – that help differentiate areas.
MPL is currently consulting with this client to plan further onsite works. Our future involvement will help it accommodate expansion plans, meet its ever-evolving diversity and accessibility goals, and support its ongoing development of new sites.
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