2 February 2023
Now that the dust has settled on our holiday break and we are getting our teeth back into our projects, we reflect on the past three months and everything that has been going on in the world of Ward Robinson. From scooping up an award for one of our biggest international projects of 2022 to sending all hope of achieving a dry January into oblivion with our team trip to the French capital, it is safe to say that it has been a busy but exciting few months for our studio.
Mixology Awards Winner!
We were delighted to be announced as the winners of the ‘Mixology North22 Project of the Year Award: 30k-70k sq. ft’ for our workplace project with Bupa Asia in Hong Kong. Completed in July 2022 the new Bupa office space spans over the sixteenth and seventeenth floors of the Quayside building in Kowloon Bay.
In a collaboration between the UK and Hong Kong, the UK based Bupa property team along with a combination of our UK and Hong Kong based designers pushed the boundaries of working culture in Hong Kong, in line with Bupa’s aspirations to create a forward thinking workplace.
Senior Interior designer Emma Weeden reflected on the project’s unique design concept and the challenges and opportunities of working across two time zones.
We have recently completed a cat B fit-out of a floorplate within ‘The Lumen’, a new office building designed by Ryder in central Newcastle. Clifford Chance initiated a project to relocate their Newcastle office to new premises and to design a space which would fit their business needs. Occupying an entire floor with an area of 15,178sqft, the new space encompasses a modern reception with client facing meeting rooms and a boardroom.
The reception then flows into a large social space with versatile seating for a communal kitchen area. Adjacent to the kitchen is a flexible training and town hall space with sliding folding screens and movable furniture to accommodate full-office gatherings. Desks positioned around the perimeter of the floor plate with intermissions of break out and collaboration spaces that look out over panoramic views of the city. Additional supporting spaces include a post room, tea point, reflection room, colleague meeting rooms and private phone booths. The new space will support the firm’s long term growth strategy and enhanced colleague wellbeing.
Richard Doone, Project Director and Anya Gordon Clark, Senior Interior Designer were the creative leads for the project Orelle restaurant, café/bar and terrace which opened in October in the centre of Birmingham. Orelle is located on the ground and 24th floors of 103 Colmore Row, sited in the centre of the city’s Business District in close proximity to the historic Jewellery Quarter. The brief, set by the client D&D London, was to create a fine-dining restaurant on the panoramic 24th floor and to design a more informal experience in the ground floor café/bar during the daytime which becomes a glamorous bar at night.
The design of the space makes reference to the solidity of the banking heritage through the use of richly veined marble floors, oak and walnut timbers, wall panelling and a generosity of scale. The triangular motif of the banking hall doors has been referenced in the branding and graphic design as seen on the entrance totem and menus. Inspiration from the jewellery quarter is seen throughout the interiors, for example, in the use of finely detailed golden metalwork to the café bar, the gold veining of the marble restaurant floor and bar, bespoke light fittings and the jewel-like colours used in the furniture fabrics
Orelle has had a successful first few months with the restaurant and its 360-degree views creating quite a buzz around the city. Timeout magazine’s newly published ‘Best Places To Visit in the UK in 2023’ list name drops Orelle with the. “Views. For. Days,” says the guide. We concur!
‘A Day with a Designer’
We have been working with The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) to help support their incredible work. In October we donated ‘A Day with a Designer’ to GNAAS as an auction prize for their 20th birthday charity ball. The winner would be given a day’s worth of time from one of our interior designers to allow for a site visit, 2D space panning for their desired space, along with suggested mood boards, and final shopping lists to complete the scheme.
The ball marked a huge milestone for the charity, after 20 years of critical care provided to the most severely ill and injured people in the region and with over 24,000 incidents responded to, it was certainly a milestone worth celebrating. Interior designer Beth has been working closely with Mr and Mrs Corbett, the winners of the ‘A Day with a Designer’, to modernise a music room/office space within their beautiful home in Teesside. Beth has been helping them to incorporate some of their existing pieces of furniture into a new design for the space, and to help them to space plan the room to allow for its various uses.
Team Trip to Paris
In January we went on our annual team trip, this year taking on three nights in beautiful Paris. A fun-filled itinerary kept us all busy, including an open-air sunset river cruise, tours around the Pantheon and Sacré-Cœur, a climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and a day exploring the fascinating Louvre.
Despite the cold temperatures we managed lots of walking around the streets of the city, taking in most of the sights and sounds by foot with only the occasional taxi and metro when our legs had had enough. With some impressive step counts bagged and our French sufficiently brushed up on, we returned home with culture and croissants in equal measure. Merci Paris!