Revolutionising the traditional institution

This government department is on a mission to move past paper. Its inspiring new Edinburgh workplace has welcomed a digital revolution with a space that reflects better, smarter ways of working.

Project description

Smart working is revolutionising every corner of the workplace, and our fit out for Registers of Scotland shows that the public sector won’t be left behind. The non-ministerial government department, which is responsible for compiling and maintaining 18 public registers, is a traditional institution but its workplace is most certainly not.

National importance

Registers of Scotland is on a journey to embrace digital transformation and invest in employee wellbeing. These ambitions shaped our brief for the organisation’s Edinburgh office: to deliver a digital, future-focused and collaborative workspace that can hold its own in the world of smart working.

Our Cat B fit out in Meadowbank House was the first of a handful that will be procured through a three-year framework agreement. In addition to the original design an amount of collaborative change was undertaken to the work areas which were reconfigured to accommodate social distancing within the work place. This initial 6,100 sq ft project sets the tone for the rest of the building, an important home for the nation’s public registers of land, property and accompanying legal documents.

Activity-based working

Our transformation started with getting back to basics. We removed all the existing fittings from top to bottom, including the outdated mechanical and electrical services, suspended ceilings, partitions and flooring. Then we installed all-new plasterboard and glazed partitions to outline the layout of the activity-based workspace, which provides zones for different types of work.

An activity-based working model provides areas that support not just desk-based individual work, but also collaborating, brainstorming and informal meet-ups. It’s about offering spaces that are equipped with the right mix of flexible furniture and technology to accommodate any task. To finish the space, we installed new flooring and enhanced the exposed ceilings with raft and baffle-style acoustic panels.This panel system is a great addition to the distinctive, higher-than-usual vaulted ceiling, especially as it aids noise absorption and provides a handy mount for lighting.

Other mechanical and electrical alterations included an impressive new large-scale ductless heating, ventilation and cooling system that can perform at a very high capacity.

Communal areas

No modern office is complete without communal spaces for rest, reflection and relaxation. We replaced the tea point with a fully-equipped deli space with shelving, a food display area, an order-and-pay counter and recycling points. We also built a dining hall with cafe tables, booths and window benches.

Outdoors, on the large terrace, we installed quirky weather-resistant enclosed benches. These large submarine-type pods have integrated heaters, data and power and are perfect for meetings and informal working all-year-round.

Onwards and upwards

Registers of Scotland is an exemplar organisation, illustrating how the public sector is leading the way in providing standout workplaces. Our fit out, the first completed project in Meadowbank House, is the starting block for the building’s significant transformation. Watch this space.

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