Sector: Financial Services
Scope of Works: Design, Fit Out, Furniture Installation
Ashcourt Rowan completed a management buyout of UK Wealth Management and opted to relocate their Pontefract and Leeds offices to a new facility in central Leeds. Joining the two businesses meant merging two very different cultures; one a very traditional, cellular business, the other had long adapted new ways of working.
Full transparency across the floor and lots of light was a key to the design brief. This was to encourage staff to accept the cultural change and embrace open plan working as a means of increasing transparency & communication across all teams. The client area had to be on-brand – particularly the monochrome pallet – in order to mirror the London design and decor. The meeting rooms had to support a range of meeting scenarios both internal and external, formal and informal, for training and video conferencing. As users were moving from cellular offices to open plan, quiet areas and phone pods were also required within the workspace.
Due to lease expiry and a delay on signing the new lease the fit-out programme was tight: the client needed to be operational within 5 weeks. Ben Johnson worked with the client to find a solution, and a split programme was decided on.The programme was split into two phases: firstly the offices were completed in 5 weeks, secondly the client suites completed in 4 weeks. Total programme length : 9 weeks.
The illusion of light in the working areas was key to the design. Ben Johnson utilised the monochrome scheme, using the various shades together with feature lighting and re-lamping existing fittings to increase the light within the working areas. All partitions were glazed with branded manifestation to ensure transparency throughout.
The desks were planned around a central resource hub and breakout area. The circle concept accentuated with a feature carpet helped create a flow through the space and alleviated the risk of the space resembling a call centre. The two entrances were utilised to create a client and staff entrance.
Design features included glazed doors between the client and work area so clients got a feel for the business behind the brand, feature acoustic hanging panels and phone booths for confidential calls.
For more information on the furniture package for this project please see our furniture case study.
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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bobby and the team who worked on this project for Ashcourt Rowan to its end. The management team and indeed the staff are extremely happy with the outcome and look of our new office in Leeds City centre. Ashcourt Rowan would be more than happy to use and recommend Ben Johnson for any future work in this area.