Here’s where we take our annual look at some of the many anniversaries in our sector, but first let’s pause and consider some of the other noteworthy anniversaries next year. 2017 sees the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, arguably one of the most significant events in modern history – let’s see how Mr Putin decides to celebrate a ‘people’s revolt’. Also next year are the anniversaries of the fall of Saigon (75 years), Falkland’s invasion (30), Hong Kong handover (20), Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination (70) and Protestant Refermation (500). But let’s get back to the industry…
PSI SEATING 25 years
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Lancashire based office seating manufacturer PSI Seating Ltd. Company directors Siraj Mohamed and Hassan Patel started off assembling a small number chairs in their garage, travelling the country themselves in an attempt to sell their wares – a successful venture that saw the company build into a UK wide manufacturer and supplier of quality office seating – now incorporating the Pulse Design Soft Seating Collection. We are told to watch out as 2017 will see the growth trend continue.
Newmor 50 yrs
Newmor Group celebrates its 50th year of business in 2017. Started by John Morris in 1967 the company is owned and run to this day by his two grandsons. The company’s offices, design studio and factory is in Welshpool, a small picturesque town in Wales. Bringing together traditional manufacturing techniques and cutting-edge new technology means they can offer the best in design and quality. Newmor have offices in the UK, Dubai, Poland, Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong and are further supported by a distributor network in over 80 countries worldwide.
ALPHA SCOTLAND 1 yr
Alpha Scotland will be celebrating its first birthday as an independent business since the successful purchase of Steelcase Solutions from Steelcase in March 2016. The affable and always positive Scot Nick Lyons tells us, ‘It’s been a quick year and I’ve been so pleased with the continuing support from our great team, partners and clients. Looks like we will have an excuse for another party in April!’
ROCA 100 yrs
Roca began life as a family business manufacturing cast iron radiators at a factory in Gavà, near Barcelona in 1917. Over the years, the company’s portfolio gradually expanded, and in 1929 Roca entered the bathroom environment for the first time. With an attentive focus to social changes, Roca has pioneered issues surrounding sustainability, design and technology and is still at the forefront of bathroom innovations today. After 100 years, Roca now reaches over 170 countries with more than 20,000 employees worldwide but is still proud to call itself a family business.
QUAD CONTRACTS 20 yrs
Quad Contracts will have been servicing the construction industry for 20 years this April. From its offices just off Bermondsey Street, in the shadow of the Shard, the firm has undertaken over 2,000 projects and has a gross turnover for these projects of £100 million. Quad has delivered these projects working alongside and in partnership with over 1,500 different businesses on behalf of over 1,000 different clients. We are told that ‘each project has been and will continue to be Director-led and delivered to the highest standards. That’s just what we do!’
EGAN REID 60 yrs
Egan Reid, the Greater Manchester based furniture supply and fit-out company, is celebrating 60 years in business this year and is going stronger than ever after a busy 2016 which saw a move to a brand new working showroom, the delivery of several flagship projects across corporate and public sectors and an acquisition on the Isle of Man.
VANTAGE 40 yrs
Initially an interior planting specialist, Vantage has grown to become a nationally renowned supplier of products and services that create productive, healthy and engaging environments. Now, Vantage offers living and ‘Looks-Like-Real’ interior greenery, statement green walls for clients seeking a real ‘wow factor’, and hot and cold refreshments including luxury bean-to-cup coffees. The key to Vantage’s 40-year success is an ongoing commitment to design-led product innovation and the mission to create ‘stimulating spaces – lasting impressions’. Headquartered in Leeds, Vantage opened a new showspace in Clerkenwell in 2016, to satisfy continued demand from architects, designers and clients in the capital.
OVERBURY 75 yrs
2017 marks the 75th anniversary for national fit-out and refurbishment specialist Overbury. The firm was founded in 1942 by Stanley Overbury, who began his trade by repairing bomb-damaged buildings in London. In 1950 he was joined by his son, Michael, and in 1985 the pair sold their enterprise to John Morgan and John Hooper. Morgan and Hooper grew the business through multiple ventures and acquisitions, ultimately forming the Morgan Sindall Group plc, which Overbury is still part of today.
Overbury employs more than 600 people across six UK offices in Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Bracknell, Manchester and London – and has specialist teams in office, higher education and retail banking fit-out. Clients include large commercial occupiers and household names such as AstraZeneca, PwC, BBC, King’s College and HSBC, to name a few.
KINNARPS 75 yrs
Kinnarps celebrates 75 years of furniture making in 2017. It has grown from a humble Swedish company comprising just its two founders in 1942 to become Europe’s largest furniture manufacturer today, with turnover in excess of €400M. Alongside the Kinnarps brand, the group includes Swedish design icons Materia, Skandiform and NC. Recent success stories include the launch of the Capella task chair and the ‘third space’ range, Fields. The anniversary will be celebrated at this year’s Stockholm Furniture Fair in February with the theme ‘Silhouettes of Kinnarps’, designed by Johan Ronnestam (Creative Director) and architectural studio Förstberg & Ling.
WILLMOTT DIXON 165 yrs
Willmott Dixon will be celebrating 165 years in business in 2017. Over those 165 years the firm has grown into an industry leading business. As a privately-owned contracting, residential development and property support company, it has built a reputation by creating a positive and lasting impact in society. A recent project completed by Willmott Dixon Interiors (WDI), the specialist interior fit-out and refurbishment arm of the group, has been in the spotlight for just this reason – with WDI recently completing one of London’s most important cultural projects, creating a new home for the Design Museum in Kensington.
YARWOOD LEATHER 50 yrs
In 2017 Yarwood Leather celebrates its 50th year of successfully supplying high quality leather into diverse global markets including hospitality and commercial furniture, aviation and transport and bespoke designed products. This milestone is being celebrated with new product launches, including additions to Yarwood’s faux leather ranges and an expansion of its embroidery and debossing services.
ERA 20 yrs
Era will be celebrating 20 years of trading in 2017. Originally established in 1997 by Terry Coleman and two others, Era looked to fill a gap in the UK market for aluminum-framed screens manufactured simply with great adaptability. Over the last two decades it has seen its business model evolve from a screen supplier into a bespoke manufacturer; best known for flexibility and service with its greatest success in agile working products, especially pods and booths. Era is still based in Hampshire, where it started life, out of its impressive 28,000 sq ft factory.
CLAREMONT 40 yrs
Although the nationwide commercial interior design and fit-out business is staying tight-lipped about its planned anniversary celebrations for now, there’s sure to be a real charitable focus as Claremont’s 108-strong team continues its fundraising legacy. There’s also talk of a new commemorative 40th year treatment to the Claremont logo. (Ed’s note: We were given a small clue when they picked up the Fit-Out Company of the year at Mixology North, but we are obviously not saying anything!)
Claremont has completed thousands of interior design, fit-out and furniture projects over the last 40 years and has an impressive number of long-standing employees as well as new talent. 2017 will see the business capitalise on its hard-earned reputation delivering workspaces that motivate and inspire.
BUCKLEYGRAYYEOMAN 20 yrs
Formed in 1997, BuckleyGrayYeoman is an award-winning architecture and design practice based in Shoreditch, London. Directed by Matt Yeoman and Paul White, the firm provides pragmatic and deliverable solutions to complex design issues. With an expanding portfolio of work across a range of sectors including offices, residential, retail, hotels, schools and masterplanning, BuckleyGrayYeoman prides itself on delivering projects on time and within budget, regardless of the size or complexity of the challenge.
Completed projects include: the Buckley Building, an award-winning project in Clerkenwell; Henry Wood House, a major co-working space for The Office Group in the West End of London; C-Space, a refurbishment of an old carpet factory in Old Street; The Passage, London’s largest voluntary sector resource centre for the homeless; Channing School in Highgate; the Fred Perry headquarters in Covent Garden and several boutique stores for the brand in London, Cologne, Munich and Bangkok; Citadines Apart’hotels in London, Paris and Hamburg and Pure Aldgate, a high quality student accommodation building in East London.
MORGAN LOVELL 40 yrs
Morgan Lovell, the office interior design, fit-out and refurbishment firm that also offers workplace consultancy and furniture solutions, celebrates 40 years of business in 2017.
The brainchild of John Morgan and Jack Lovell, the company has grown and evolved and now employs around 110 people in London and Bracknell and has worked with the likes of Prudential, Lindt, Nuffield Health, Splunk and Livability.
The workplace has changed considerably in the four decades Morgan Lovell has been transforming offices. From cellular offices, fax machines and a clock-in/clock-out culture to open-plan floorplates, numerous schemes for ‘generation perk’ and destination workplaces. Morgan Lovell has seen it all.
RAW BROTHERS 5 yrs
The RAW Brothers will be five years old in 2017. Rich and Andy are a powerful brotherly duo, passionate about improving people’s lives with honest thinking and creative solutions. The RAW Brothers are experts in connecting brand personality to people and place. Their blend of skills across branding and architectural interiors enables them to bring unique overarching vision to clients’ challenges. They believe organisations are more effective when they are connected up and moving as one, and when people understand the magic behind their brand and begin to live their organisation’s values every day in a place that is motivating and inspiring.
GODFREY SYRETT 70 yrs
In 2017, furniture manufacturer Godfrey Syrett will celebrate its 70th anniversary. Established in 1947 as a supplier to the newly-formed NHS, its market base has since widened to include universities, accommodation, defence and commercial projects, and it has worked on projects ranging from University of Leicester’s award-winning Centre for Medicine, through to a multinational engineering firm based in Stafford.
Fuelled by passionate people, a wealth of knowledge and a fair few years’ experience, Godfrey Syrett credits its success to its sustainable approach to growth and a continued investment in its factories, facilities and staff.
NOMIQUE 15 yrs
Telford-based Nomique has come a long way in 15 years, with a complete rebrand last year, including two new websites and a set of new colourful NOM literature to match its new brand identity. The business has also launched a new London showroom, right in the heart of Clerkenwell, which will be brimming with new and exciting products to inspire all. Nomique recently told us that it has ‘always focused on manufacturing high quality, design led products at an affordable price and we are pleased to say that we will continue to do so for a long time to come’.
SPACELAB 15 yrs
Andrew Budgen and Nathan Lonsdale founded Spacelab in 2002 in the belief that social science and architectural creativity complement and strengthen each other. This is reflected in Spacelab’s approach, which involves taking the time to fully understand how people use space before proposing a design solution. This has seen Spacelab grow from two people working in a live/work unit through to an award-winning team of 40, who still passionately believe people are the heart and soul of the spaces they create.
FRITZ HANSEN 145 yrs
The Danish manufacturer of timeless design, Republic of Fritz Hansen, celebrates it’s 145 year anniversary in 2017. Fritz Hansen is behind some of the most iconic pieces of Danish furniture from Arne Jacobsen and Poul Kjærholm, including the Egg, Swan and Series 7 chairs. Fritz Hansen also holds a contemporary collection with designs by Spanish designer Jaime Hayon, Piero Lissoni, Cecilie Manz, Kasper Salto and, recently, British designer Benjamin Hubert, who is behind the PAIR chair.