Office Principles was contracted by facilities management company, EMCOR Group (UK) plc on behalf of its client, Anglian Water to support their planned expansion to an adjacent building in Lincoln. The project at Witham Park House, an old factory, was made up of both a CAT A and CAT B fit out. CAT A work comprised of a full strip out of the space, which had been previously tenanted, to take it back to its original shell. This then provided the canvas for a full CAT B fit out for Anglian Water. By combining the CAT A and B installation it resulted in a much faster programme and associated cost savings.
The designers worked with the client to create two distinctive working areas. One wing was orientated to workstations and activity-based working, for engineers and the other hosted a more collaborative environment, housing the main cafe, washrooms, agile working zones, sofas and quiet booths. A corridor divided the two main areas however the space was planned to encourage movement and a regular flow between each wing.
Work on the project included the design and installation of new M&E services, lighting, an underfloor busbar power distribution system and floor boxes, gender neutral individual WC and wash room facilities, raised access flooring, ceilings, state of the art technology, furniture, independent AV systems and acoustic products. The latter included acoustic curtains, ceiling baffles and hanging horizontal panels, which also acted as dividers in the space between activity functions and gave a firm nod to specific Anglian design features and branding.
The main cafe comprised of a commercial kitchen installation to provide a varied offering for the staff. The space was to be run by an external catering company and so there was much liaison while the project was underway to ensure the area contained all the necessary kit and was completed to specification. Detail included stainless steel tops with silver laminate fronts and a particular coffee machine which is used throughout the property portfolio.
Gender neutral, individual toilet spaces were agreed, with individual sinks and hand-driers. New drainage runs had to be provided and a concrete slab removed to accommodate these new facilities.
During the works, it was realised that there was a lift shaft in the middle of the space that we then set about converting into small meeting rooms, utilising the space whilst not incurring unnecessary costs.
The overall new look reflected a step forward for both Anglian Water’s workplace environment and its standing as a business.
The design was intended to create an industrial look and feel, with exposed services and brick panel walls to complement the external façade of the old manufacturing factory. This look was countered by the high technology, complete with interactive screens on mobile stands and AV systems coupled with immersive wireless devices.
This project involved a lot of third party engagement and liaison, from the facilities management company and the landlord involvement in the early stages to the catering provider and the neighbouring tenants, with whom we had to negotiate the timing of some of the work. Covid presented the expected challenges but we sought to work around the limitations imposed by lockdown where possible and we’re pleased with the response to the completed space at handover.
The project delivery was flexible and proactive. As with all projects which have multiple stakeholders, during the construction phase there was adaptations to the design which were incredibly well managed and implemented by the Office Principles delivery team. Change is always difficult to manage; however, the Office Principles team were able to swiftly meet our expectations and pass these changes onto their site team and contractors. This, along with an open and honest approach to project management ensured the result was exactly what the client was expecting. I found Office Principles to be very accommodating throughout the whole process and they showed great enthusiasm to overcome any challenges found. I would highly recommend using Office Principles and hope to work with them again in the future.