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Interior design, fit out and furniture for Blackcircles Edinburgh

Interior design, fit out and furniture for Blackcircles Edinburgh

I suppose if you are an internet based company you are going to use the internet to find your own suppliers and that is what BlackCircles did when they embarked on an office relocation and fit-out.

We were contacted and arranged to meet with the senior management team in one of Edinburgh’s coffee shops to discuss their plans away from the eyes and ears of their staff as it wasn’t yet public knowledge.

Interior design, fit out and furniture for Blackcircles Edinburgh

As is often the case, we went through a couple of potential locations and then settled on what seemed like the ideal space only to then hear that the company who was moving out of the suite was now staying.

First interior design pencil sketch

So back to the drawing board and the next door suite was selected. To be fair, the space was a much easier shape to work with and it is also larger so the cloud had a silver lining but other challenges were looming. A bigger space but no more budget!

So maximum creativity required – step forward the design team and bring about a functional, minimalist space with just enough accents to keep Nick happy – whose eye for detail and nose for a bargain is the stuff of legends.

Some pretty clear lines were drawn and making the best use of space as well as planning for their future growth, a design emerged. Making sure that the natural daylight was allowed to filter through from reception whilst retaining some privacy for the office staff was achieved using some material more associated with conservatories, but the result is spectacular.

Allowing the staff the opportunity to work away from their desk was another consideration and various spaces have been incorporated to include quiet/concentration space, more open collaborative areas and a town hall space with tiered seating where the staff can gather for company announcements.

BlackCircles parent company is Michelin and another component of the project was branding – the desire to have it but not in an overt way.  Using the original inverted M design from Michelins first tyre design, we have created window manifestation for the meeting rooms. 

Shared components on the Samuel Bruce Team Bench desk design kept the cost per workstation down and allowed BlackCircles to specify the award winning Drumback from Viasit for all their operator chairs.

The making of:

The biggest talking point though goes to their wall mural in the reception and something that our Interior Photographer was the most pleased with – a line drawing of an iconic vehicle that he drives himself, the one and only Land Rover Defender 110 with the proper engine (and if you don’t know what he means – that’s not the Ford one!)

Publication date: September 17th 2018

Text: Sam James

Photography and time-lapse: Photographer Stirling

ORCHARD NEWCASTLE, OFFICE INTERIORS fit out and refurbishment

ORCHARD NEWCASTLE, OFFICE INTERIORS fit out and refurbishment

When Orchard Information Services took the decision to move their offices from the Technopole in Newcastle they turned to Amos Beech again for workplace consultancy regarding the interior design and fit-out of their new office interiors.

Any office refurbishment and fit-out project in Newcastle has 4 steps:

1. Research

This is partly done by the client and partly done by the interior design team. Together, we have to answer a few questions.

What works for the office space and what doesn’t (based on the company’s needs and on those of the employees)? What are the space limitations (those perfect office chairs may be too big for some areas)? What is your long-term growth plan (scalability is very important)? How is technology helping or hampering the refurbishment and fit out?

2. Budgeting

Of course, office refurbishment costs per square metre vary a lot depending on what the client wants. The costs can be tweaked a lot, but there are some areas that are set in stone. The right Newcastle refurbishment company can help you identify the areas and item that leave wiggle room and get you the best costs without sacrificing the outcome.

The best results in terms of both outcome and budgets happen when you work closely together with your office refurbishment and fit-out specialists. They are part of your team and you have to trust them enough to know that your best outcome is their best outcome. Be honest about your budget and about your needs.

3. Project Plan

As soon as the details are agreed upon, the client receives the office fit out and refurbishment project plan. This document contains an outline of what the office will look like as soon as the work is completed.

Office refurbishment and fit-out Newcastle for Orchard

For the client, this is one of the last stages in which they can ask for changes without seriously affecting the final office refurbishment cost. In our project with Orchard, the project plan was the result of close collaboration, so we had minimal changes to make after the client review.

4. Building, Installations and Review

After the office refurbishment and fit-out specialists work their magic and everything is in place, the client is ready to move in. But this doesn’t mean that the work is done for the designers and technicians.

We always ask our clients to review the changes and tell us how they feel in their newly refurbished office. This way, it’s easy to deal with minor creases early on.

The entire process is, of course, more complicated. But these are the stages where the client is most involved.

Furniture and technology

Integral to this was their desire to move their existing workstations which had been supplied by Amos Beech previously and complement them with a bench desk system that would manage the large volume of data and electrical cabling that their development teams needed.

Using Samuel Bruce TeamTable as a starting point and developing a specific product that met the needs of Orchard Newcastle was all in a days work for the product design team. By utilising the unit construction of the system a solution was developed that allows all sides of the bench to be worked from without intrusion from legs, support rails or cable management.

All data and power is perfectly integrated beneath the desk and an on desk grommet offering power and USB charging points make it extremely easy for staff to stay connected without the usual tangle of cables.

Interior design, office fit-out and refurbishment Newcastle Upon Tyne 

The scheme isn’t just about desks and task chairs – in todays ‘smart office’ break-out spaces and meeting booths all form an integral part of a ‘knowledge business’ and Orchard Newcastle has plenty. Collaboration spaces are fully fitted with power and data points, staff can choose where they work and who they are working with. Flexibility and communication along with a relaxed homely feel to the office interiors makes this space in Newcastle so much more than a workplace. Maybe even a home from home – although the staff might never admit that too readily to their partners who wish they would spend more time at home!

Amos Beech: working with businesses in Newcastle Upon Tyne on a wide range of office fit out and refurbishment projects!

Publication date: March 21st 2016

Text: Roy James

Interior photography: Jill Tate

Office refurbishment and fit out Dundee

Office refurbishment and fit out Dundee

When Scotland's only tyre manufacturer asked us to draft a plan for their office refurbishment and fit out in Dundee, the team here at Amos Beech set out to transform the 40 year old building.

Office fit out and refurbishment for Michelin Dundee

The Dundee plant has been transformed into a “state-of-the-art factory under the five-year investment programme. The Dundee factory opened its doors 43 years ago it is now the city's biggest industrial employer, with just 1000 staff. It manufactures more than seven million car tyres every year. The 'Bâtiment 10' or 'Building 10' hosts 70 office staff and every factory around the world has a 'Building 10' with office accommodation for similar office tasks.

The brief for this Dundee office refurbishment project

The need for this office refurbishment and fit out project in Dundee was clear from the outset. The building was old, uninspiring and even a depressing place to work. For a company of this stature, refurbishment was long overdue. 

Michelin Dundee is Michelin’s best-in-class and is now topping the tables in efficiency and quality. Dundee was the first first Michelin factory in the world to embrace wind energy with two wind turbine generators helping to reduce environmental impact and energy bills.

It's standing attracts high profile visitors from across the world and needs an interior that you expect from a company like Michelin. 

Also graduates were keen to start their career at Michelin, but the company struggled to keep staff on board. Michelin offers excellent training programs and career perspectives, but many talent left after a short period of time and when asked they mentioned the working environment was less then inspiring to say the least. You don't want that as an innovative and global company. After all “A better way forward” is the Michelin way: 

The interior design and Lay-Out

The long rectangular building with cellular offices along corridors was to be transformed into a more open plan space with organic shapes. The desks were positioned off set from the walls and in the final design the wave desks were shaped nicely around the circular meeting pods.

Furniture specification

At Michelin 20 million euros are invested each year to develop new solutions for workstation ergonomics. Amos Beech have always been at the forefront of innovative seating and desking solutions and for this project sit-stand desking from Samuel Bruce, originally from Dundee was specified.

The days that working days were an important source for people's exercise are long gone for most people, especially for those that work in offices. Sedentary working applies to in between 4 and 6 hours per day in an average office and in total you are talking about 9 and 11 hours a day! A sit stand desk will bring in more variety in working posture during the day and reduces health risks. It also gives the flexibility in adjustment an international workforce like Michelin needs. 

Changing between sitting and standing increases concentration and output which is essential for a best-in-class tyre manufacturing plant.

Office fit out project management

The office refurbishment was completed over two phases. We started on the ground floor and the initial works included the removal of part of the 1st floor to open up a more impressive staircase entrance reception area. A new staircase was manufactured to the designers specifications and all internal doors were replaced.

As the project was underway it was decided to build an entrance vestibule in front of the reception and despite the already tight time frame, this had to be completed within the timescales allowed.

Walls were opened up and replaced with glazed partitions to allow light to flood through the interior. These new glass partitions have been subtly branded with the iconic Bibendum and other Michelin marketing images.

The overall interior design scheme takes full cognisance of the Michelin brand and uses the approved branding colour palette to establish the Michelin identity whilst retaining a sense of belonging for the individuals who work in the space.

When the second phase started, we had to remove from the building a large safe that had been built in originally. Heavy lifting equipment and careful health and safety planning allowed this to happen without delays or damage to property or person.

As part of the overall scheme, all external single glazed windows were replaced by new double glazed units to improve the thermal efficiencies of the building and the heating and ventilations system was similarly upgraded to meet with the current standards.

The end result is a refreshing and modern interior which is already making a huge difference to the first impressions given to visitors on arrival. Going forward the Michelin management team are confident that the investment will reap rewards in terms of productivity and staff satisfaction.

Publication date: April 11th, 2017

Text: Sam James

Photography: STUDIOVHF

Interior design and office refurbishment Stirling

Interior design and office refurbishment Stirling

Little did we know that when we started working on our own corporate video way back in 2017 that we would be filming some frames in the winter of January 2018 at the offices of CitNOW in Stirling. We had just finalised the details for the interior design and were planning to start the office refurbishment in Stirling the week after.

CitNOW is a provider of video services for the automotive industry. They have recognised that customer behaviour has changed dramatically over the last few years as the information required to make a buying decision is available online which affects showroom visits. That is where video comes in. CitNOW, who's product development team are based in Stirling, have developed a range of simple to use video applications that really make it easy for their clients to use video effectively. We perhaps should have known this earlier, but nevertheless are chuffed that their online research led to us. Amos Beech were initially approached by CitNOW along with a couple of other potential suppliers and we quickly differentiated ourselves by providing a level of service that gave them the confidence that we were the right partner to engage with for the interior design and office refurbishment project.

Interior design office refurbishment and fit out stirling 

The initial space that they were looking at was surveyed. From this we were able to give them a trial fit to demonstrate how much room for expansion they would have as the company is looking to grow significantly over the coming years. Whilst this space worked in principle, the location was not perfect, and we were then asked to assess the space they actually moved into a couple of weeks later. Once again, our interior design team carried out a space survey and produced a trial fit along with some high level costs to compare against the previous space. Their preference initially was to have air conditioning but whilst nice to have, this was going to be difficult to install as the building is listed and in a conservation area.

The project quickly progressed and the new space won CitNOW’s approval. Amos Beech were instructed to carry out the design and build of their new offices.  A full drawings package was created, and our construction team moved on to site and got the build program underway.

For the interior design, the office furniture and finishes have been kept minimal by using light oak, whites and greys to keep the area feeling light and airy.

We installed a ‘clear erase’ backwall to be painted on. This allows the surface to become dry erase, therefore can be used with white board and chalkboard pens. By making the wall a writable and wipeable surface, it supports  innovation and creates opportunities.

  • Capturing Impromptu Ideas

  • Leave messages and notices

  • Out-breaking brainstorming

CitNOW were concerned to make sure that the furniture they ordered for their new offices was going to meet the ergonomic needs of their staff.  After careful consideration of the various options they selected the Viasit Drumback chair for their operator seating which is winning awards for its new and innovative features.  For the desking, they selected the Samuel Bruce UP2U electrically adjustable sit/stand desks with full cable management to keep the environment clean and clutter free. In the boardroom Wilkhahn's new meeting chair, the Occo, is paired with Actiu’s innovative Cool500 table system – a tool free flexible table system that allows quick and simple reconfiguration.

Break-out areas, collaboration zones and quiet areas are all included in the space as well as a great meeting room where we installed astroturf on the floor and paired this with a glass table and some great informal meeting chairs. 

Vinyl graphic of Old Man of Storr made from image taken by CitNOW employee Robert Fyfe.

Date of publication: February 27th, 2018

Text: Sam James

Images: Photographer Stirling

Understandably, CitNOW are delighted with the result and we look forward to spending some time with their team at the office launch party!  more photos 

More projects:

 Office fit-out, Lomond Plant Falkirk

Office fit-out, Lomond Plant Falkirk

When Ross dropped into our showroom he only had in mind to pick up some desks and chairs to give his office a bit of a face lift.  What he got has completely transformed the space.

Lomonds purpose built facility was completed about 15 years ago and whilst at the time, the fit-out was not flamboyant, it was functional and lasted well. Time takes it toll though and when Ross and his joint MD Amanda started to see what the possibilities were, they quickly changed the brief.

Office fit-out Falkirk

Before

Working with our interior designers, a scheme was designed which made the office much more functional in terms of work flow whilst at the same time recognising that not everyone is always in the office.

After

By reducing circulation space and improving space efficiencies, we were able to provide a separate meeting room which means that visitors no longer need to be brought through the general office to a private space. This has reduced distractions and has improved the professional feel that Amanda and Ross were keen to enhance.

office design ideas.jpg

As part of the refurbishment, and given the fact that staff numbers had increased significantly over the past 15 years, a new toilet facility was designed and built as well as a complete refresh of the kitchen area with new units and breakfast bar.

All the circulation space was redecorated and because of the office & workshop nature of their work, a hard wearing vinyl wall covering was specified as being washable/wipeable and ideal to ensure that the smart appearance was maintained easily going forward.

The reception area was not exempt and the area has been given a lift with new lighting and floor coverings as well as repainting the staircase to bring it in line with the new colour scheme.

The overall result is a massive improvement for the Lomond team and there is a buzz to the office which reflects this. Amanda’s own words were that she has a real spring in her step when she arrives in the office each morning.

All of this was achieved in a 3 week period in the run up to Christmas 2017 and whilst it wasn’t without its challenges, the project was finished on time and within the original budget for the scope of works we set out to complete.

Publication date: January 5th, 2018

Text: Sam James

Interior Photography: Commercial Photographer Falkirk

Office Fit Out Perth

Office Fit Out Perth

If this office fit out project in Perth was intended to be our ‘showcase’ extreme before and after case study then it could easily be thought that these pictures are not real! Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers is the largest independent insurance broker in Scotland.  When Sean O’Reilly first asked us to come in and meet him it is fair to say that the transformation we achieved was not even a figment of his imagination.

Office Fit Out Perth

This was not the first time that Sean had initiated office fit-out works but this was the first time he worked with a company who could look after the entire process from initial design concept meetings to the final handover and staff move.

Here at Amos Beech we are not simply an office fit-out company, we are much more than that and this project epitomises our approach. 

Before starting the design process we interrogated and challenged the business model to establish whether or not their head office building was still a ‘fit’ for them and if it wasn’t, what would be their options.  From this we were able to rationally come up with a realistic budget to refurbish the building in a way that didn’t restrict the growth plans for the business going forward.

From here we were able to reshape the space around the current and known future needs of the business and integrate, into the design, subtle branding to bring out the values of Clark Thomson.

Core to the success of this project from a business performance perspective was the opportunity to bring the three teams together onto the same floor. The immediate difference this has made in terms of collaboration and improvements have been noticed.

Freeing up the ground floor has meant that a complete suite of meeting rooms and client interview rooms has been created. 

As staff numbers increase, the need for amenities also increases and to meet this additional tea-prep, staff break-out space and toilet upgrades were also completed as part of the project.

To create the ambience that we felt was right for a large open plan office we made sure that the area was flooded with as much natural light and complemented by new LED low energy light fittings.

Completing the look and feel of the interior design, the team also incorporated some large scale images onto the storage wall elevations and also on a large wall in the staff break-out area.

The finished result is a bright airy and inspirational space that everyone is using instinctively which is sound testament to the integrity of the design process and the skills of our excellent team of professionals.

Publication date: November 3rd, 2017

Text: Grant Ker

Images: Photographer Stirling

A new office for Calero Edinburgh

A new office for Calero Edinburgh

Veropath, headquartered in Edinburgh, helps large companies optimise their expenditure on telecoms and have recently been acquired by US software group Calero Software for further expansion. Calero manages more than $7 billion of annual telecom, mobility and cloud spend for over 3,000 customers operating in more than 50 countries globally.

The acquisition meant the company was moving from Castle Street to 40 Torphichen Street, near Haymarket Station, the heart of Edinburgh's financial district. The building has undergone a major refurbishment to provide high quality open plan offices and a new entrance. Calero were taking space on the 4th floor and Amos Beech were engaged to fulfill this project from design creation through to the fit out and furniture.

Office fit out and furniture for calero Edinburgh

The interior needed to be in line with the new status of the company within a global group and there was a tight budget and timeline to work to.

It was important that the open plan office had several collaboration and break out spaces as well as 45 workstations. To enable the data team to have their daily meeting, the new office space now has a town hall seating area with 20 seats alongside a writable wall and surrounded by acoustic screens.

A further breakout area was created and this has a double function as a cafe as it is located next to the tea/coffee prep area. It features pendant lighting with laminate oak veneer shade, rich in tactility, providing warmth to the area. Obviously, key to the success of this space, and any organisation for that matter, is the fresh bean coffee machine!

Operable Moving Wall

An acoustic operable moving wall between the boardroom and a further meeting room or client area, gives the space the flexibility to have either two meetings at the same time, or one large meeting space with great views over the surrounding area. The wall is the ultimate in terms of acoustic integrity, achieving the highest possible sound ratings whilst leaving the floor free of any track or obstruction.

Date of publication: Nov 14th 2018

Text & Images: Vincent Hartman