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Prime and Sublime: This Cat A refurbishment project at Guildford’s Cathedral Square, has created the perfect setting for a brand new out-of-town workplace to entice future tenants.

The brief

Based in the popular Cathedral Square complex in Guildford, Buildings 1000 and 2000 needed a complete makeover to be restored back to prime letting real estate. Joined by a shared reception space, the refurbishment needed to include an entrance with a real wow factor, along with new facilities to entice prospective tenants.

First impressions count

The shared reception area at Cathedral Square provided the perfect opportunity to impress new tenants. Outside, we installed a new Brise soleil canopy, so the triple-height glass walls below could be enjoyed without overheating the entrance hall within.

The reception space was refurbished with new herringbone-style tiled floor, and a sleek new marble and wood reception desk. Clusters of suspended strip lighting above the seating area serves to enhance the stunning double height ceilings, whilst creating more cosy meeting points for visitors and employees.

A suspended walkway above the reception hall connects the two buildings, whilst creating a real wow factor to the space below.

Beyond the reception

We built a new highstreet-style coffee shop, so that staff and visitors can enjoy great coffee on site, whilst also providing an informal work or meeting space for anyone who’s keen to take a break from the office.

Within the buildings, we stripped the existing toilet facilities back to shell and remodelled to a high standard, with new walls, floors, ceilings and partitioning installed. Full length hand basins and mood lighting was used to create a sophisticated, executive feel.

Connecting with nature

Biophilic elements have been used throughout the design, including wood panel-clad columns and indoor plants and trees in the reception space. These help to create a sense of wellbeing whilst connecting with the landscaped gardens outside, clearly visible through the tall glass walls of the entrance hall.

To continue the theme, we installed floor tiles with a natural wood effect that complemented the natural finishes used on the storage units and cubicles.

Enabling workplaces that attract and retain talent

A key consideration for this refurbishment was how to create a ‘destination workplace’ that could attract and retain talent for its tenants. This has been embraced through a number of shared facilities, including the café, agile work areas, as well as garden seating to promote truly flexible working. One exciting feature of this fit out was the installation of a cutting-edge electrical cycle facility that encourages staff to cycle from the nearby train station.

This is the first of its kind in the country and supports healthy living whilst providing an alternative way for staff to reach the office. For those who cycle to work, the new shower, change and bike storage areas help make the choice to implementing a healthy routine even easier.

Sustainable and efficient

With environmental impact a key consideration for potential tenants, this fit out needed to be sustainable and efficient. Not only is this project set to be awarded a BREEAM Very Good accreditation, but with an adaptable and efficient M&E infrastructure, prospective tenants can pursue further environmental accreditations and cost savings in their own fit out.

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