Boden UK Headquarters
The infamous “Nice Clothes, Ugly Building” tagline is no more at global retailers Boden. Boden’s newly refurbished office promotes communication and staff integration through flexible, open-plan spaces – unrecognizable from its previous existence as a 1960’s building and rear disused warehouse. The clothing company, which sells to customers globally, have increased staff numbers year on year due to successful market growth and therefore sought Elementa’s services, along with the rest of the design team, to expand and develop their headquarter offices.
Separated into 2 phases to meet the required occupation dates, the extension of Boden’s current head office included refurbishing a 1960’s five-story building and additionally a warehouse to office conversion, located at the back of their current building. Now complete, the warehouse conversion incorporates two mezzanine levels centered around two large atriums. The second phase of the project refurbished the previously occupied original workplace which has been seamlessly connected to the newly converted warehouse space as one integrative office.
Prior to Elementa’s appointment, workplace strategy studies had been carried out by Spacelab in coordination with Boden and there were a number of key factors to determine the use of the existing space and how the warehouse could be converted into a usable workspace. The aim for the new space was to encourage collaboration, a sense of community and allow “Town Hall” style presentations to take place. The placements of the workstations, departments, and local amenities were all considered to help improve efficiency and productivity too.
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To understand the client’s goals and aspirations, several meetings and workshops were facilitated by Elementa and architects Spacelab during the early stages of design. This included a dedicated workshop with the design team and the client to discuss sustainability goals, knowing that the warehouse would have to be reinsulated and brought up to Building Regulations Part L energy standards as a minimum. This workshop also demonstrated to the team and client how adopting methods such as improved daylighting into the warehouse, increased fresh air rates, and good levels of temperature comfort could improve productivity when using the lowest measured levels of improvement percentages, from data collected by the Center for Built Environment in Berkley, USA.
For the mechanical services ventilation and environmental temperature control systems Elementa presented three options to demonstrate how different levels of user comfort can be achieved with Radiant panels, chilled beams, and fan coil units. Flexibility was embedded within the design, to allow for future change in requirements without reconfiguration of all services. These workshops allowed stakeholders to confidently visualize a clear end goal for the project and unified the whole design team for a holistic design.