The charity was embarking on a £70m revitalisation scheme. At the heart of this scheme was the restoration of the 900-year-old Auckland Castle, once a private Palace for the Prince Bishops of Durham. This meant that the charity’s employees, currently based at the castle needed a new place to work. Vinonium House was chosen as a new interim HQ, the building benefited from 360-degree views, high up over Bishop Auckland town centre, the Castle and the surrounding areas, giving a great overview of the revitalisation scheme as it progressed. So as not to hold up the restoration project, it was critical that the charity’s employees be relocated as soon as possible. Ben Johnson Interiors were asked to prioritise the fifth floor and allocate more labour, plus work out of hours to improve the delivery date. Completion of the remaining floors would follow closely behind as programmed. Although the Trust were occupying the majority of the building, other tenants occupied the remaining floors, therefore careful planning and measures were requested of the Ben Johnson delivery team to eliminate disruption, noise and mess.
The Auckland Castle Trust accommodated the 5th, 6th and 7th Floors. The 5th and 7th Floors were designed in an open plan arrangement with only a few offices/meeting rooms and informal booth-style soft seating to encourage collaborative working. The 6th Floor saw the biggest refurbishment, Ben Johnson completely renovated the floor by building new partition offices, meeting rooms and a boardroom, all with a high-level acoustic rating. The scope of works included, new flooring and decoration throughout, as well as new kitchens and food prep areas, and a mixture of new and existing furniture. Visitors are now greeted in the newly formed reception area, defined by the modular Sedus reception desk with a back-lit feature panel and upholstered tub chairs, all in a monochrome colour palette. The boardroom has the ‘WOW Factor’ furnished with a Hands high quality table and credenza made in walnut veneer and black glass.
We are delighted with the work that Ben Johnson Interiors has carried out for us. Vinovium House will allow all of the charity’s growing number of staff to be based in one central location and, more importantly, to remain in the heart of Bishop Auckland while restoration of Auckland Castle and building on its associated developments is underway.