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Size:

9,500 sq ft

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Location:

Basingstoke

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Activity:

Manufacturing & Industrial

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Duration:

14 weeks

Is it possible to transform a vacant warehouse building into a vibrant and exciting headquarters? We think so.

We have worked in close collaboration with fast-growing European lithium chemical supplier, LevertonHELM to design and deliver its stunning new premises in Basingstoke.

Together, we have created a sustainable workspace brimming with life.

Welcoming, accessible and inclusive, it delivers 9,500 sq ft of SKA Gold accredited and open plan workspace, seamlessly connected across two floors.

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LevertonHELM is the product of a joint venture between UK chemicals producer, Leverton Lithium and German chemicals specialist, HELM AG.

The firm has joined forces to expand Lithium production in Europe by manufacturing battery grade lithium chemicals.

Leverton has been a manufacturer of high-quality Lithium chemicals for 45 years and has a global customer base across 60 different countries.

The Lithium industry is rapidly developing. Increased demand has led to independent growth for Leverton Lithium and HELM AG, and presented opportunities to scale up the manufacturing capacity of battery grade Lithium chemicals in Europe.

The newly created LevertonHELM sought to combine its existing UK manufacturing facilities in a new prime campus in Basingstoke, allowing for expansion to 20kMT of high-quality Lithium chemicals. It’s a move that has the potential to not only generate revenue, but also bring more jobs directly and indirectly to the borough.

Our challenge was to redevelop a vacant space in a way that would attract new talent and ensure engagement between LevertonHELM’s existing warehouse operatives and office-based employees.

Environmentally conscious, the workspace would need to prioritise sustainability in its design and deliver an experience befitting the headquarters of a major new global business.

Our approach would be centred on an open and collaborative design process, with the client involved at all stages.

If we told you we had designed and fit out a flexible and open plan workspace, we’d only be telling you part of the story. This was a project with collaboration at its core - and it shows.

Office Principles and LevertonHELM have worked hand-in-hand to create a nourishing workspace that fosters employee collaboration and delivers a truly memorable visitor experience.

Our respective teams have mirrored each other in their openness and humility. Every inch a joint process, the project has spanned a myriad of workshops, video calls and site meetings, with each team challenging the other to think differently along the way.

While the client’s brief contained some ‘must haves’ and aspirations, there was never a preordained solution.

Decisions were made together: our ideas, their ideas; our colours, their colours; their staircase and our glass walls.

We even hosted client visits to London-based showrooms and a high-end Scandi-inspired outlet, generating ideas of how to dress the workspace.

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The success of the project also owes much to the completion of significant structural work. By peeling back the building’s existing ceiling, we have been able to install a ‘game changing’ new staircase that provides a seamless transition between floors.

A six-metre high, living tree connects the new reception and welcome area to a variety of formal and informal work settings, including first floor meeting and Zoom rooms, collaboration zones, break out areas and tea points, as well as new lockable storage.

The workplace includes several acoustic features to enable more effective video conferencing and provide confidentiality for occupants - especially of its offices and dual aspect boardroom.

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New full height window space has been created to extend sightlines through the building and enhance natural light, with views from the office space to the adjacent warehouse. It has also removed the ‘us’ and ‘them’ scenario so often experienced by manual and office-based workers in a manufacturing environment.

The workspace has been finished in warm, Scandi-style tones, including a fusion of wood, fabric and eco-friendly material, reflective of an environmentally conscious organisation. Large open spaces, ceiling heights, feature lighting and soft curves to connections, all complement the theme.

The use of neutral colours delivers consistency across floors and draws further attention to a stand out green wall and dramatic, eye-catching super graphics that celebrate key global locations in which the firm is based. An extensive use of planting creates a feeling of life throughout the space.

Materials have been carefully selected based on their environmental credentials, with a range of FSC-compliant furniture and seating options that have all contributed to the achievement of a SKA Gold accreditation.

Proof that a commercial fit out can be comfortable and stylish, without compromising on its commitment to environmental good practice.

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This is a hugely exciting time for LevertonHELM as it expands into new facilities in Basingstoke. We’ve worked together to design and deliver a welcoming and cohesive space that is open, light and transparent. It’s a workplace that recognises that LevertonHELM cares about its people and its impact on the world. It will not only support the needs of office and warehouse based staff but meets industry-leading environmental standards too.

Jo Jenkinson

Design Director at Office Principles

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We didn’t just give a brief and walk away and wait for OP to deliver, we all spent months putting the design together. The end product is better because of OP’s open design process and its relaxed way of working.

David Hicks

CEO of LevertonHelm