Open-access content 3rd November 2008
Integrating FM and project management at Nomura has created an environment strong on design, function and brand
by Louisa Roberts
06 November 2008
BIFM Awards Winner: Fit-out
The project, on the 9th floor of Nomura House, the group's European headquarters in London, involved a complete fit-out of the 33,100 sq ft floor area. Work included upgrading the electrics, air conditioning, lighting and life safety systems, all of which would require complete replacement within 3 to 5 years.
The floor features client and executive meeting rooms, accommodating anything up to 28 and 24 people respectively, and a conference centre which holds up to 420 people which is used for major events such as financial presentations, conferences and the annual Nomura children's party. It was clear that the 9th floor was one of the most important in the Edwardian building, as not only did it have to encompass the Nomura brand by combining an east/west aesthetic - but it also needed to provide a flawless customer experience.
Combining eastern and western influences was helped by initial consultation by conceptual design agency Team Iwakiri and then this concept was turned into reality by designers TTSP. Many of Nomura's heads of business are Japanese and the restaurant facilities offer Asian cuisine for meetings and formal client dinners. But the project team, led by Bartle, was keen to avoid any heavy-handed Japanese clichés.
Instead, the team faced the challenge of transforming what it describes as a 'long, low, very dark and deep' floor plate into a flexible space that is full of light and colour.
The team maximised the height of the major spaces such as the floor's lift lobby, reception and main auditorium by placing services over secondary spaces such as meeting rooms and offices. This meant that the main rooms could have vaulted and coffered ceilings in solid plaster which formed the backdrop for the lighting design. Lighting was used a means of achieving the brief for a bright and welcoming space (or as they describe it, "the journey of walking from the dark into the sky") to reinforce the hierarchy of space on the floor; the lift lobbies, reception and auditorium were given a combination of perimeter uplighting with light vaults and wall washing to light the walls, with the vaults themselves broken by curved lighting slots to emphasise their height and curved form.
The use of colour was again subtle and drew from the cross-cultural influences of the project. Natural colours and textures were achieved through the use of multi-hued wood, veneers and stone. The design includes patterned dado panels, latticed wall panelling, striped veneer ceilings, highlights of gloss laquer to doors and frames, all of which reflects a strong regard for nature and the natural world.
Returning to the issue of cost, Bartle explains that an essential feature of the design was that it would achieve a 10-year life span without dating or looking shabby, in order to realise full value for the company.
This again explains the classic feel to the floor, and the absence of any trendy design features. As simple it may appear at first, Bartle and the team were also adamant that the floor featured an extremely high quality finish. ISG InteriorExterior took on the main fit-out work, while M&E was provided by Meit Associates and cost consultancy by EC Harris. The project was completed in time for Nomura's major event period, three weeks ahead of schedule in October 2007. In the 17- week work period, disruption was kept to an absolute minimum. Bartle says that the success of the project was helped greatly by the fact that he is not only head of FM but project manager, so both strands worked in parallel at all times.
"I was able to consider both sides - not only how the floor would look, but how the services would operate and how we could maintain, secure and clean the space too." He adds that the floor has not only attracted attention and awards from industry, but high praise from clients and visitors.
MORGAN LOVELL - 16 NOEL STREET
The refurbishment of Morgan Lovell's London headquarters broke new ground by creating a green workplace in a 1960s multi-tenanted office block - the type of building normally considered an environmental write-off. The fit-out achieved a Breeam excellent environmental rating, the highest scoring development of its type in the UK.