A finance company is experiencing a very modern take on living above the shop after appointing leading architects and workplace design experts Space Solutions to solve an unusual relocation problem.
Aberdeen based Celurca Investments Limited took over an impressive B-listed townhouse in the West End of Aberdeen to create an imposing new head office – but with the added feature of a built-in luxury flat for its visiting executive staff.
The result is a traditional office on the ground floor that is in keeping with the grandeur of the building with a boutique-style, self-contained two bedroom apartment on the upper floor.
The project means that not only do Celurca executives no longer have to endure spending time in soul-less hotel bedrooms, but they can react to any out of hours business issues at a moment’s notice.
Aberdeen-based Space Solutions began work on the £500,000 refurbishment of the three storey property – a former domestic house belonging to the National Trust for Scotland – in Rubislaw Terrace in 2008.
Space Solutions were able to bring multiple capabilities to the task – from design and architectural expertise to project management, professional services and CDM skills – which helped in every area, from the refurbishment of the property to converting the rear garden into car parking.
Expert interior designers
Associate Interior Designer Stephen Griffiths said the contract was one of the more interesting projects that Space Solutions had worked on – and was not without its challenges.
He said: “Effectively, this was two specific projects in one. We had to create a high quality, traditional yet well-equipped modern office on the ground floor – without ruining in any way the look of what is a magnificent building.
“But as the client represents a US-based Private Equity firm, and had grown weary of finding quality, and available, hotel accommodation, we were also tasked to create a self-contained apartment on the upper floor.
“As well as creating an extremely comfortable executive flat which is a real home-from-home, the accommodation means that the company’s executives never need worry about getting into the office to, say, handle a phone call from a client in a different time zone.
“While their workstations are only literally a few feet away, the apartment has also been designed to allow the executives to switch off and enjoy some down-time away from the office.
“I suppose you could say this is a very modern version of living above the shop.”
PR success for office design experts
Space Solutions is Scotland’s biggest independent expert in helping businesses manage change within the workplace. It operates UK-wide to design, build, fit out, refurbish and relocate modern and productive business environments.
Stephen added that as well as handling the architectural and design brief, Space Solutions also sourced and supplied all the furniture in addition to designing a bespoke carpet for the office and the reception desk.
He added: “It was a relatively straightforward project to work on, but it did have its challenges. Like any project with a Listed Building, there are restrictions on what you can do and how you do it. Our biggest challenge involved adapting the plumbing systems so that the sprinkler system in the apartment could be extended without being too destructive on the property.
“We know the client is very happy with the finished project – both upstairs and downstairs.”
Peter Stuart, Director of Celurca Investments, said: “This was clearly a slightly unusual brief for Space Solutions, but they used their expertise in design, architecture, project management and elsewhere to create a workspace that was not only useful but inspirational.
“When we bought the townhouse in Aberdeen we knew that we did not need all of the available space for office use. We also found that booking accommodation for our American colleagues when they were coming over to work in Aberdeen was often problematic, mainly due to availability, but also we were conscious that it’s never pleasant to spend long periods in a hotel.
“The best solution seemed to be to convert the upper floor into an apartment with two separate bedrooms, making full use of the available space and negating the future need for hotel accommodation.
“The brief we gave Space Solutions was to design the apartment in a style you would expect to see when staying in a boutique hotel. Space Solutions not only met our requirements but created a space that has been highly praised by all Cerlurca employees who have stayed there.”
Space Solutions is supported in its public relations in Scotland by media and PR experts the Holyrood PR.