Every office design and fit out project is interesting based on its own individual merits, but every now and then a client comes along where the nature of their business is a little different from the norm. General Dynamics Land Systems-UK certainly falls into this category.
They are a leading provider of Armoured Fighting Vehicles to countries around the world. Their plan was to regenerate a site in Merthyr, as previously owned by the forklift manufacturer Linde, to house the planning, development and construction of the British Army's latest family of Armoured Fighting Vehicles, known as AJAX (in simple terms, that’s a tank to you and I).
We were approached to design and fit out the office area of the site, comprising an existing double storey office block which needed major re-configuration and new windows throughout. It also included the construction of a new blockwork wing to house toilets and showers along with a ribbon of meeting rooms, data centre and other welfare facilities.
The design had to take into account the culture of the business which, as a defence company based both in the UK and USA, was professional and corporate. But they also wanted to create an environment that would both attract and retain highly-skilled staff. It needed to feel modern, not formal and welcoming but not intimidating.
The large expanse of white and darker tones in the office spaces was broken up with a mix of paler hues. A colour scheme that complemented the corporate colour without replicating it was used to contrast with the generously-sized workstations in a white MFC finish. Complementary carpet colours were used to reinforce the different zones throughout the office areas.
A servery unit incorporating a coffee bar and full catering kitchen were sized to accommodate up to 80 staff per sitting. Areas were created for lounging at one end, dining in the middle and self-serve at the other. This allowed staff to make their own use of the space.