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The Waterloo Foundation is a highly regarded, independent grant-making foundation that can trace its roots back to 2007.  The charity makes annual grants of around £11 million available for charitable purposes, with particular emphasis in:

  • World development
  • The environment
  • Child development
  • Wales

Approaching the end of their office lease, The Waterloo Foundation reached out to Powell directly, to undertake dilapidation work of their existing premises – with a view to handing the space back to their letters, ready for the next occupant.  Powell was selected as the preferred supplier for the delapse, on the grounds of our responsible recycling and disposal processes, which mirrors the charity’s own ethical stance on the climate.  Powell was also responsible for designing and developing TWF’s (The Waterloo Foundation) newly acquired space, and soon-to-be headquarters.

In keeping with their brand values, TWF sought a sustainable workspace, which would also provide a suitably modern, positive and stimulating environment – acting as a springboard for the inspiring work the organisation carries out.

The Waterloo Foundation rendered concepts (below).

Design and consultation:
During the initial consultation, Workplace Consultant, Alex Thau and Lead Interior Designer, Krystina Marriott visited the newly acquired facility, to discuss project expectations, budgets, ‘wish lists’ and deadlines.

Krystina Marriott, Head Designer, Powell:

“Following a comprehensive site audit and several meetings with the client, we were able to produce and deliver a ‘first concept’, which met TWF’s existing requirements and included plenty of scope for future expansion.  We recognise that it can sometimes be difficult to ‘see what success will look like’ from simple swatches and mood boards, so wherever possible, we try use design tools and technologies, like Revit and Enscape, to develop complete clarity.  These facilities included flythroughs, floorplans, axos and more.  As well as ensuring a clear, joint-vision, these tools help take clients along ‘for the journey’, which is something we really pride ourselves on at Powell.

At Powell, in everything we do, we work with the environment in mind – it is always a pleasure when our clients feel the same way.  We therefore specified an incredibly sustainable office for TWF, including environmentally friendly furniture from our approved, green partners and suppliers, as well as nature inspired products – carrying through the values of the company into their new space, creating that positive, calming atmosphere to support staff well-being.”

The Waterloo Foundation completed project images (below).

Step 2: Construction Phase, what we did and the challenges we faced – in and out.

Internal construction was essential in transforming the existing floorspace into a modern office, with meeting rooms, a large breakout space, and kitchen – to name a few features.  During very early discussions, it became clear that TWF’s new space would need to be worked on sympathetically, taking other businesses and members of the public into account, as their new location was in a shared building, with regular third-party access.  In recent years, and probably over the last decade, Powell have become quite accustomed to these restrictions, but as Alex Thau explains, each job is entirely different.

Alex Thau, Business Development Manager:

“When it comes to working in buildings with multiple tenants, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to timetabling or mitigating disruption.  TWF’s new office was on an upper floor of a busy building, and in a tricky-to-access location near the city centre – particularly for larger deliveries.  Thankfully, this is something that we’ve become quite practiced at over the last several years at Powell.  I think it’s fair to say that we’ve become the ‘go to organisation’ to work with when the circumstances are tricky and the environment is busy or difficult to work in.”

While all jobs are different in terms of dealing with multiple occupancy buildings, the aims are always the same.  To ensure minimal disruption, maintain the highest levels of health and safety, ensure all partners (and where necessary, the public) are kept informed and updated, and meet targets and deadlines.  Our installation teams initial focus was securing the premises by replacing broken windows, with new, high-quality, double-glazing units – ensuring the space was safe, and energy positive for the future.  Continuing with the strip out, worn carpets were removed and recycled appropriately, and energy-inefficient lighting and heating apparatus, were also taken away their component parts, recycled.

To meet the client’s requirements of getting bright, light private offices as well as meeting rooms and inspiring breakout spaces, designers had to work carefully, to track the natural light movement within the building, before specifying partitions walls to make the most of the natural benefits the space enjoyed.  The team also installed glass panels with manifestations depicting forest scenes, which better connected the team to nature, and complimented the wonderful views enjoyed from the elevated floor.  Following the new internal structure agreement, new M&E facilities were routed to meet updated requirements and layouts, with several additional power points distributed around the perimeter of the premise, allowing for future expansion.  A bespoke, sustainable reception desk was commissioned and installed at the main entrance and welcome area.  This was crafted using recycled timber, which also allowed it to be implemented in a very cost-efficient way.  The oak carries through to nearby, stylised dividers, which allows additional light to filter through the space but manages to maintain a professional separation in the space.  More, nature-inspired features can be found throughout the offices, even down to the environmentally friendly clay paint which can be seen on every wall.  As well as being an incredibly long-lasting, durable material, this nature-friendly material is water-based and oil free and oozes personality.  The neutral colour palette creates a fresh and bright welcome.

A neutral kitchen, boasting lots of storage, a full sink basin, an integrated dishwasher, and a bin compartment, is nestled comfortably in the corner of the office – overlooking the evergreen views of Sophia Gardens.  Ethically sourced stone worktops and upstands offer a touch of class to the space, as well as ensuring a long-lasting, quality investment.  Meanwhile, the flooring throughout the space ensures a steady, calming flow with the use of natural curves and lines, again, using inspiration from the natural world.

Step 3: Completion.

Krystina Marriott concludes:

“I’m thrilled with the finish on TWF’s new office, which looks exactly as I imagined some weeks back, when I first met with the client and we agreed the design – moreover, the work was carried out on time and in budget.  Perhaps most importantly, I’m proud of the ethical-first approach to the project -beautiful, practical, and designed with the environment in mind, just as all workplaces should be.  Our relationship with the client continues.”

fit out and furniture project
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