We are delighted to share with you one of our largest ever commercial projects for successful law firm Clear Legal.
We were appointed by creative design consultants at Chalkspace to collaborate and manage all aspects of the project from rip-out right the way through to office relocation.
Clear Legal purchased new premises for their expanding business in the iconic Urban Splash building Timber Wharf in October 2015. With pleasant views of the canal, the unique space consists of five individual units linked via a central corridor creating over 800 sq m across two floors. Although in need of a complete overhaul, it was clear to see the huge potential to create a dynamic and visually exciting office space; the concrete walls and double height glass facades being the perfect blank canvas to work on.
Working in partnership with Chalkspace, graphic designers at Field, and landscape architect Carolyn Willitts, there is a seamless connection between the branding, interiors and outdoor spaces creating an entirely cohesive look.
Our expert knowledge of product specification, manufacturing, hands on project management and proximity of the project was key to its successful delivery. We have chosen and supplied products which not only looked beautiful and of the highest quality, but were practical and within the constraints of the time scale and budget.
The 16-week programme began with the removal of dated office furniture and carpet tiles, the rip out of random stud partitions, bog standard kitchen and unattractive glazed cubicles, most of which were thoughtfully disposed of or recycled. One of the biggest challenges was to improve the structural stability of the floor and its acoustics. This was successfully achieved by reinforcing the substructure, over-plying the entire floor and the use of a specialist acoustic underlay prior to the application of the stunning Bolon and Noraplan floor finishes. The impact this has made on the space is remarkable.
Other building works included housing state of the art monitors and smart boards within new walls to conceal cabling which also closed off sections of the open plan areas to create mini sub offices.
As part of our design package we supplied a full set of lighting and electrical plans and subcontracted specialist electrical installers to install the lighting with care and attention to detail. More ambient lighting from Flos Clara was used in more informal areas such as the reception, hub and library. Whereas super efficient LED surface mounted lights provided a practical light source within the work areas, doing away with the ugly fluorescent strip lights commonly used in offices. Simple and elegant Flos Globall pendants were used to illuminate the double height spaces, whereas concrete Aplomb pendants from Foscarini hang above the reception desk to echo the finish of the walls.
Having previously invested a significant amount of money in some Vitra office furniture, the client wanted to incorporate this into the design. To accommodate the additional staff and in order to compliment the existing furniture, a brand new desking product from HAY was specified, making this the first project of its kind and scale to use the system. New Order by Stefan Diez is an incredibly versatile system of aluminium frames with integrated cable management combined with desk tops coated in Forbo linoleum providing a practical work surface in a range of contemporary colours. Each desk was supplied with its own Anglepoise Type 75 light to provide more directional lighting for shift workers. The desking was supplemented by a series of bespoke designed New order shelving systems, specifically designed to meets the clients storage needs (you can design your own here!)
HAY products were used widely throughout the scheme, to provide continuity between the different zones, but clever use of colour also provided differentiation. The About a Lounge collection of high & low back chairs and sofas provided a variety of different meeting environments, whereas the Mags modular sofa provided comfortable seating area which could be reconfigured as and when required.
A bespoke pattern was designed by Field, which was then applied to the certain areas to reinforce the companies new brand identity. This flowed through from the window vinyls onto bespoke cabinet doors on the kitchen and sideboard, and bespoke reception counter fabricated from Valchromat.
The terrace was a real triumph. An eco friendly composite decking material was used to reduce slipping/algael growth in our harsh Manchester winters. This was softened by some architectural planting designed by Carolyn Willetts in giant pots from Vondom. A combination of highly practical outdoor furniture from Moooi 9container table & stool), Moroso (Little Albert) and Vitra (Vegetal chair) offers flexible seating arrangements and a pop of colour. By night, architectural lighting from Marset highlights the concrete fins.
A space that was once a lethal slip hazard has now been transformed into a delightful balcony which enhances the interior and provides an open air extension to the office space.
Finally the whole look was completed with a range of accessories, indoor plants and stunning artwork from Manchester photographer Jan Chlebik. The feedback from the client and their staff has been overwhelmingly positive, and so it should be, what a fantastic environment to work in!
You can see all the photos in higher quality on our Interiors website.