A call to action: delivering a conscious design

Following a competitive two stage tender process, we were given the task to transform the old Egg Prudential building within Pride Park into a rapidly expanding 111 call centre for DHU Healthcare.

We successfully delivered the project during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that the time sensitive completion date was achieved.

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Project description

Using Maber’s modern and uplifting design as our guide, we began working on the dramatic transformation of the old building into a modern and uplifting space that can accommodate the crucial work of the urgent care medical helpline service.

While the new space is intended to serve the practical function of a call centre, the client still wanted it to be warm and welcoming, with extra design elements to help staff feel as comfortable as possible. We installed acoustic wall panels and unique geometric pattern acoustic carpet tiles to aid noise absorption and add a pop of colour.

Let there be light

To maximise natural light, we created new openings in the external elevations to accommodate additional windows. We also installed new LED lighting throughout the space, as well as low-hanging feature lights and up lighters to make the best use of the very high ceilings and provide extra illumination when the natural light fades throughout the day.

A safe space

We understood that the physical and mental wellbeing of DHU’s call handlers was imperative due to the potentially distressing nature of the calls they face during their working hours. To help make the working environment as comfortable as possible, we installed several break out areas with tea points for much-needed moments of respite and relaxation.

Amenities, including the toilets' changing and shower facilities were upgraded to ensure all the needs of the staff were met.

The reception area also benefitted from a makeover, with bespoke timber cladding added to the reception desk and surrounding wall, as well as new feature lighting and branded signage.

Room to grow

A key requirement for DHU was for a constant visible link between medical advisers and the call handler teams. Visibility was optimised in the space through a circular open plan layout ordered around a raised central podium with large-scale AV screens displaying call and response information.

It was also important that all members of the organisation are able to communicate quickly and effectively. The cooperative relationship between call handlers and the management team has been enhanced by the inclusion of glass-fronted offices and meeting pods which are fully integrated in the space.

The layout of the furniture throughout the workspace and relaxation areas, including workstations, desk chairs and sofas, has been designed with easy configuration in mind to accommodate an expanded workforce in the future. To minimise waste during the project, we reused and repurposed much of the building’s existing furniture and training rooms.

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