A ‘Work of Art’ for New Headquarters

Refurbishment and fitout specialists, 360 Commercial Interiors of Coventry has successfully completed the new headquarters development for the UK’s leading art retailer, Castle Fine Art, at Birmingham’s iconic mixed use office and lifestyle destination, the Mailbox.

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The design & build project included the creation of a highly functional and inspirational agile workplace incorporating office, collaboration, welfare and social spaces. Reflecting the design style of Castle Fine Art’s nationwide network of 40 retail galleries, the main front reception also provides a display space for a collection of artwork, before leading into the new office space. The majority of the loose furniture was supplied by UK manufacturer, Lee & Plumpton, including a 7.2metre boardroom table chosen to match the design of the desking throughout the office space.

Accommodating the need for future proofing, 360 Commercial Interiors constructed a new 1,500 sq ft mezzanine to create over 10,000 sq ft of space. Whilst meeting the needs for the client’s current 70+ head count, the development also allows for expansion.

“Castle Fine Art and the parent publishing company, Washington Green, wanted to relocate its head office facility to this prime central Birmingham location,” explains Martin Turner, managing director at 360 Commercial Interiors. “As well as providing the office and impressive reception space, we needed to create meeting rooms, collaborative working areas, a main boardroom, a podcast suite, zoom rooms, toilets, shower room and a canteen breakout facility.”

“The location in the heart of Birmingham within a busy retail and hospitality venue has obvious logistical complexities,” continues Martin. “We also had to be considerate to the fact that the space was surrounded by boutique hotel brand, Malmaison. There are offices and a bar below our client’s floor space and hotel rooms above.”

As part of the project, 360 Commercial Interiors sourced all of the furniture and fittings. “Castle Fine Art selected Lee & Plumpton as they preferred the aesthetics and framework style for the desking together with the finish options,” continues Martin Turner. “The company’s bespoke service also meant that we were able to develop customised solutions to match their requirements.”

Lee & Plumpton’s Aurabench range was selected for the desking and meeting room requirements. Bench desking arrangements, with high density, integrated cable management, were space planned in 10, 8, 4 and 2 person configurations with coordinating storage. Aurabench’s standalone workstation option, with an L-shaped return, was used for the finance office.

The stylish continuous curve steel frame was used for the custom designed 7.2m boardroom table. The choice ensured a consistent aesthetic with inset intermediate legs providing maximum practicality. A customised 3.2m Planar poseur height table was also developed for the hot desking area.

Black metal frames were specified for the entire project. The choice provides the perfect contrast for the walnut wood finish in the meeting spaces. Similarly, black complements the Nebraska grey oak work surfaces within the open office areas.

Spire tables, with distinctive, hydroformed tapered steel legs and also finished in black, were selected for smaller meeting rooms as well as the café space on the mezzanine. The black finish legs on the café seating complete the overall aesthetic.

“We were delighted to work with Lee & Plumpton on this prestigious contract,” comments Martin Turner. “It was a truly fabulous project to design and build and for a great client. We are extremely proud of the end result.”

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About Phoebe Train

Phoebe is a Marketing and Events Executive, who joined the BCFA as an English graduate in 2021. Working closely with designers and BCFA members, Phoebe has published an array of content for Design Insider.
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