Rochdale Boroughwide Housing
Back in July 2014 we were approached by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) to tender for the complete office furniture package for their new customer access centre, offices and training suite in Rochdale. RBH is the UK’s first tenant and employee co-owned mutual housing society, with over 13,500 homes throughout the local area.
Our brief was to furnish the whole of the building in a modern, creative and flexible way to enable an agile way of working.
We embarked on a thorough consultation period, during which time we spoke to various user groups to gain a full understanding of how they operate. Taking on board all their essential requirements and ‘wish list’ and using our extensive interior design skills, we presented a scheme and furniture package that best met their needs. Our cost effective solution and innovative interior design scheme meant that we were able to beat off stiff competition and be awarded the project.
Work began on the customer access centre which is located on the Ground Floor. RBH needed a flexible space which was easily accessible and functional with the emphasis on paper reduction. Moving away from the formal reception desk and to enhance the comfortable atmosphere we installed a ‘meet and greet’ style counter. To this area we also introduced ‘self help’ stations, encouraging tenants to fill in forms and submit queries on-line in a relaxed environment. Screened off meeting pods and individual interview rooms were added for privacy if required.
The aim of the main office area, situated on the First Floor, was to seat as many people as possible as well as factoring in space for future growth. We achieved this with the introduction of hot-desking. Due to the nature of the space, providing effective storage was also key, therefore, a centrally located, bespoke, functional storage solution was introduced; ensuring client files and other documents were easily accessible. Lockers and a place for staff to hang their coats were also supplied, making the office look tidy and efficient. In keeping with the open-plan feel, a ‘project zone’ incorporating desks and chairs, separated only with the use of screens, provides a designated area for staff to organize project materials, work and meet. A central print area consolidates printers and copiers and other equipment into one area. A separate meeting room with a stunning teardrop style table completes this floor.
The Second Floor is home to the meeting suite, for ultimate flexibility we fitted a folding wall, giving the client the option of one large boardroom or two smaller meeting rooms, along with flip-top tables and stackable chairs. Our extensive space planning skills meant that we could also introduce a fully furnished IT training room and further meeting rooms to this floor, maximizing the space available.
Comfortable breakout areas were added to the first and second floors, which not only give staff somewhere to relax, but also provide additional informal meeting space.
A bold corporate colour scheme, teamed with natural finishes and contemporary furnishings and flooring ensures the final scheme provides a consistent look and feel that connects staff and tenants to the RBH ethos – “providing better places for members, tenants and employees to live and work”.