Explore the latest projects from the UK’s commercial interiors industry, featuring the best of workspace, hospitality, living and public sectors.

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The Young Designer Series from Amtico: What does the future of workplace design look like?

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Materials Matters: Fettle Design

Fettle is a boutique interior architecture and design firm specialising in the hospitality sector. This month, the firm’s Co-founders Tom Parker and Andy Goodwin offer up a selection of their favourite material products.

14/10/2021 2 min read


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Hawkins\Brown transform unloved office building into forward-thinking workspace

Hawkins\Brown took on the challenge of transforming the unloved Forge office building into a forward-thinking workplace in central Woking.

12/10/2021 2 min read

As the original 90s building was too young to demolish and redevelop, the choice to retrofit the building was made consciously to limit the use of carbon compared to a new build.

Now providing a workplace outside of London which reflects post-pandemic work culture, Forge comprises 71,906 sq ft office space on 5 floors, 2 studios for creatives, reception, atrium, café, bike storage in the basement.

The big idea was to give the building more prominence externally, by creating a new 5 storey glazed corner and level entrance facing the main pedestrian route to Woking Station, while inside the brief called for the provision of great amenity and collaboration spaces alongside high quality office space, maximising floor to ceiling heights. In order to provide additional office space, the top floor was made fully internal. To provide light to this space large, dormer windows were installed, providing spectacular views across Woking and the surrounding Surrey countryside.

The design of the reception space took its cue from hotel lobbies, with an adjoining café. Leading off the reception is the main atrium space inhabited by the new grid. A large steel structure infilled with floors and walls to provide collaboration and break-out space for the tenants. This can be adapted over time to suit tenants changing needs and provides the central social heart of the building. It is characterised by rich colours and materials, soft lighting and space for tenants and visitors to informally meet and work.

Cycle storage, changing rooms, showers and a multi-purpose fitness studio are located in the basement, using an area previously used for car parking. These are accessed via a cycle ramp leading directly off the reception area.

The material palette took inspiration from a forge, drawing on the traditional process of burning wood to heat metal, with Hawkins\Brown proposing a rich combination of charred timber – a traditional Japanese technique of preserving wood, concrete, metal and oak. To complement the rugged industrial materials, the team added more refined materials such as terrazzo, fluted glass, fabric and wallpaper. Fixed furniture has been curated to act as visual landmarks, encouraging people to enter the public lobby and to guide them through the building.

Forge is a smart building and is controlled by the Smart Spaces app. It uses the latest IoT (Internet of Things) technology to control climate, lighting, community management, and access. The app collects all available data within the building to provide 360º control, automation, and real time operational feedback. Ultimately, it puts the occupier first while encouraging sustainability.

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