How do you turn a rough shell, that has been empty for more than 6 years into an inspiring office environment and new multifunctional space? Interior Designer Sam James of Amos Beech in Glasgow signed for the design. “The open work environment in the Sphinx building in Glasgow is representative of who we want to be: open, accessible, flexible and accessible,” said one of the two satisfied customers, Nyncke Bouma, Managing Director of Fountain Mountain.
It is a well known phenomenon: before 2008, the planning permission for new office buildings, whether or not in combination with apartments, stores or other uses were sold cakes. After 2008, the interest in office buildings dropped down, but there was still a lot of building going on. The result: many brand new buildings that remained empty, often to this day. One example is the Sphinx in Glasgow. The 128 apartments in the thirteen-story high complex were let, but the multipurpose space on the ground floor, the so-called ‘Plinth’, remained empty.
Two care organisations with each their own expertise, but also with the intention to intensify their cooperation. Amos Beech Commercial Interior Design Consultants from Glasgow was approached to transform the vacant space. Sam James of Amos Beech, never shy for a challenge, grabbed the opportunity. “The two organisations come from a ‘cellular’ and therefore very traditional office environment. We based the whole decor of the ‘Plinth’ on the mutual usage by both organisations. The intent of the two organisations was to share the space. The groundfloor was originally intended as a multi-purpose centre, filled with social and health care facilities. “
The space was not developed as office space, which is clearly reflected by the unusual size. The ground floor with a ceiling height of 4,400 millimeters is unusually high while the first floor, which connects to the appartments, is unusually low with a ceiling height of 2,600 millimeters. “We were responsible for the implementation of the new working style of the two organisations and converted this unusual empty space into an inspiring working environment.”
The floor space is about 11,500 square foot, of which the two organisations together now have 3,600 square foot in use. The unusual dimensions of the necessary creativity asked Peters. “It’s a challenge to change such an uncommon empty shell into a contemporary office space, not bothered by fixed elements or existing installations. A blank sheet of paper, where we could exploit the spatial quality.”
In the end we opted for free standing consultation rooms, made up of chipwood-material. James: “these consultation rooms create dynamic office environments with surprising places for meetings, collaboration and relaxation. We have managed to retain an industrial look with many of the airframe concrete in sight, as well as much of the pipe work. The untreated raw character of the concrete, along with the warmth and natural look of wood, forms a rich contrast and are an attractive combination, “said Peters, who stressed that the choice for this industrial look has no budgetary reason. “The spatial quality and the desire for an unusual approach were leading in the design. The use of standard building materials and a simple detailing made it possible for the builders to a large part of the elements prefabricated in the factory. In particular, this saved a lot of time in the office fit out. “
On the first floor there is a multifunctional work Cafe with kitchen and a large meeting/trainings space. This is also a common room, used by both organisations. “Both organisations are now completely free and together in the same space, making use of all the features. No one has a private room, not even the management of the two organisations. ” The project was completed in March 2017.