State-of-the-art headquarters for 150 staff at Willson Grange image

State-of-the-art headquarters for 150 staff at Willson Grange

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Willson Grange is one of the largest financial planning businesses in the North West and last year, relocated their Wirral office to a new 3-floor headquarters in Liverpool’s Princes Dock. This exciting move was a result of substantial expansion of the team and plans to continue this growth going forward. The new HQ houses 150 staff and a state-of-the-art training facility which aims to attract and retain top industry talent.

Willson Grange came to us and told us their objectives and ambitions for the sizable space and then asked us to pitch our ideas in response, against two other design companies. After submitting our initial designs and pricing plans, we were delighted to be selected as furniture, fit out and design partner for the job with a brief to challenge the expectations of a traditional office within the finance sector.

  • Sectors: Finance
  • Project Type: Furniture & Fit Out
  • Project Date: January 2019

Response

Stuart Willson, CEO Willson Grange

“The team at Penketh Group more than fulfilled the brief and delivered us with modern and inspiring office space to be proud of. Our first class facilities are now one of the key reasons why staff come to work here.”

Personalisation & brand identity

As well as challenging workspace style conventions within the industry through innovative use of fabrics, colours and furniture, we also wanted to give Willson Grange a unique identity within a shared space.

The office building which houses the new HQ has a glazed central atrium which enables staff and visitors from other businesses to see in – we wanted these people to experience the WOW factor as well as our client’s own workforce.

One floor is comprised of a large, open-plan office space with an expanse of bench desking and Steelcase Series 1 chairs. We chose this particular seating solution for its customisation potential as the client wanted to incorporate a diverse palette of vibrant colours throughout the design scheme.

Future-proof flexibility

Across all three floors, we also wanted to create a number of opportunities for breakout and focus work, as well as facilities for enclosed meeting spaces for added privacy and concentration.

We did this by incorporating a series of semi-shielded pods and the JDD Bea roofed meeting booth. Bea features comfortable soft seating, still lets natural light in and is easily moved around the space for future-proof flexibility.

Streamlining idea-sharing & office storage

In a fast-paced workspace like this one, information-sharing and communication are key. As part of our brief, we were tasked to improve these processes through design and technology and chose Steelcase media:scape, ONELAN electronic room booking system and BuzziSpace acoustic wall panels to address this.

Making storage more efficient was another aim of the project and we tackled this with the new Calvert grid system by Sixteen3. This modular frame accommodates a visually stimulating way to present plants, trophies and books, as well as multifunctional space division for a more informal meeting space.

Other elements included…

  • A bespoke veneer reception desk designed by local furniture designer, Todd Hunter Davies
  • A resimercial cafe area with adjacent games space, lockers and soft seating area with tech-integrated furniture 
  • Purpose-built meditation space to nurture improved staff wellbeing
  • Executive boardrooms, training rooms and interview rooms
  • Bespoke signage and lighting

Response

Shelley Hatton, Interior Designer Penketh Group

“I wanted this project to stand out from the crowd. The aim was for everyone in the building to see Willson Grange and be impressed. This project was about making staff feel comfortable too though. We wanted them to feel good, uplifted and motivated when they come into work.”

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