Relocating an entire office to a new location is a major decision for any organisation but if you get it right, it can be highly beneficial. In December 2017, Overbury and TP Bennett were selected by international property advisor CBRE to deliver its new flagship office in Manchester city centre.

Philip Westwood, Director, Overbury Northern, takes us through the process and explains how it came to be a stand out project for fit out and relocation.

How did the project come about?

CBRE had outgrown their office space at the Belvedere office building in Manchester and had selected the flagship One St. Peter’s Square building in the city centre as their new home. This meant CBRE would increase their office space by a third, taking over 11,300 sq ft on the tenth floor and relocate 130 employees. With fellow building occupiers including KPMG, Addleshaw Goddard, DLA and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, the address was very much a statement for CBRE and the office design needed to match. CBRE already had an in-house building consultancy provision, so the tender was initially put out inviting submissions on a design and build basis.

After careful consideration, we approached the project from a different angle and took the decision to offer a solution with design specialist TP Bennett as the scheme’s lead designer. TP Bennett is highly respected for its high-end, sophisticated design and would also provide specific architectural input into some of the areas. Having designed large corporate environments, TP Bennett and Overbury brought in-depth experience of agile working to the table, and were confident we could successfully adapt this skill to CBRE’s workspace needs.

This partnership also gave CBRE the opportunity to have a greater involvement in the design process.

Tell us about the work involved

Over a 10-week intensive project, we worked closely with CBRE and TP Bennett to a deliver a best in class office environment for its employees and clients alike. From the outset an exceptional experience for CBRE’s clients and employees was central to the brief.

From the moment the client arrives they are welcomed into a large reception and visitor lounge they are free to use. The client meeting suites incorporate the latest IT and audio-visual technologies, with the backdrop of a city view and St. Peter’s Square.

The journey of the employee sees them being taken into strategic “neighbourhoods”. Rather than working in silos, the investment in the staff breakout and informal meeting areas has helped to encourage the teams to work across departments, share space and resources.

Is this kind of design and build partnership unique?

It’s certainly a new way of working we believe benefits all parties. Our expertise has helped to create a quality design-led solution to deliver a best in class environment for CBRE’s employees, clients and visitors, whilst ensuring a proven competitive practical solution within a ‘one stop shop’ arrangement led by Overbury.

We have a long-standing relationship with CBRE and TP Bennett and look forward to continuing this partnership in the future. At Overbury, we have established relationships with consultants and are open to partnering with more to help deliver the most suitable spaces for our clients across a range of budgets.

Key contacts