The Grainger projects vary by location but all include a gym, reception/ concierge desk, post box/mail rooms and co-working facilities. The gym is a ‘must-have’ feature, ranging from boutique style facilities to larger spaces.
The co-working spaces incorporate communal tables with light and loose furniture which can be moved around. When designing these spaces, we incorporated elements from our work for Sheraton where we re-designed the brand’s standard lobby area to facilitate co-working.
Alongside the co-working space, we designed separate bookable rooms with kitchenettes. In the daytime these flexible areas can be used for working or meetings, while in the evening they can be transformed into an entertaining space. At Grainger’s latest project in Sheffield they wanted an industrial look reflecting the history of the local area. Here we installed a mobile pizza oven for use by residents and for events. Flexibility is a key feature of these rooms with modular furniture facilitating a number of uses.
The desire to promote accidental meetings between people is an important driver in our designs. Research shows that residents are far more likely to stay for longer if they know who their neighbours are. This sort of interaction can’t be forced. It requires a subtle approach embedded across the public spaces. This even extends to the mail rooms where we have created freestanding areas encouraging residents to linger while they collect and open their post. Having said this, it is also important that people retain their privacy if they don’t want interaction. It is their home after all.