In the last few years, our creative agency has grown to 20, and we’re still counting. In 2022, just as our cosy Fluro HQ in Bourne End had become a little cramped, the wheel of fortune spun in our favour. We heard the news that a larger space just upstairs had become available, and we knew it was time.
A New Space
As the crisp, winter sun streams through the new open-plan studio, we can’t believe how much has changed. It’s been an exciting time for our Creative Director Mat Harris. “We’d never done it this way, we’d just always done it adhoc. It was the first time we had the opportunity to step back and look at what we really needed and build something from the ground up that did exactly what we wanted it to do.”
As a business we needed more space, but we also needed our space to work in a different way. The new studio would need to accommodate more people, more meetings, private spaces for making phone calls, Zoom calls and collaboration spaces.
Asking the Experts
Of course, with a studio full of designers, we couldn’t help but have a go at designing the studio ourselves. But it didn’t take too long before we realised the space was too big and too important. Sometimes you just have to accept your own limits.
So we called in the expert eye of Heather Lehmann, Founder and Director of Crux Design Consultancy and Helen and Anthony of Shellwin Real Estate. We worked together to figure out why the old space evolved the way it had. And from there, we could figure out what we needed for this new space.
Style and Substance
The new space is open, bright and uncomplicated. But, as with everything, achieving simplicity is never simple. There were some serious hurdles to jump in order to realise this seamless aesthetic. The exposed beams in the ceiling were by far the biggest challenge to overcome. The construction team painstakingly customised and installed the insulation panels by hand. Sound-absorbing light fittings were placed in key areas of the studios to counter the impact of a large space on the acoustics.
But aesthetics were only half the battle, bringing the new studio up to scratch in terms of operational efficiencies was a critical element of the upgrade. Helen Shellabear developer and owner of Egham’s Court said that “by 2030, all commercial space will need a rating of A or B in order to be lettable.”
Factors such as insulation, heating systems and lighting all impact the operational energy efficiency of a building. Generally, the older a building is, the worse the rating. So, we were really pleased to receive an A rating, because in a retrofit, it’s almost unheard of.
“I feel like we won this battle” says Mat with a smile, “with the help of Helen and Heather we’ve created a space where people want to be. The team have a space, plenty of space. And our studio is now a place where we can be comfortable, feel inspired and be proud to invite our clients to.”
Everyone is enjoying the bigger, brighter new Fluro HQ. From the cosy break out booths to the spacious new kitchen and lunch area, we’ve got the balance just right. And while we all really love the workspace of the studio, it’s the new conference room that’s become a firm favourite. But that could have something to do with the pool table.
If you’re curious to come and see our new studio, we’d love to show you around.