"The heritage part of the Olderfleet building reflects the old economy," says Hopton. "This is where we have located the client interface areas and where marketing and entertaining activities are carried out. The new economy was implemented in the tower, which although joined to the heritage building, has a modern interior reflecting the new technology."
The older part of the building was subject to many heritage restrictions, and Woodhead International wanted to emphasise the old-world atmosphere. Consequently, this area was restored to its former glory, with new ornate plaster work including cornices, architraves and ceilings. Hopton says all these changes needed to meet National Trust guidelines.
In keeping with the progressive outlook of the company, however, simple, modern furniture and bold, bright colours were also introduced to give the fitout a contemporary edge.
"Cap Gemini Ernst & Young wanted an office environment that would be a home base for the staff, many of whom spend a lot of time away from the office," says Hopton. "We needed to create a space where workers could touch base and interact in a relaxed, warm and friendly environment. For example, we have tried to avoid dark corners and solid walls. Meeting rooms along the edge of the open-plan areas have glazed walls and doors for maximum visibility."
A internal staircase was also designed to help unify the office, allowing easy communication between the two floors of general office space. A large stainless steel mesh curtain defines the stair void, but has a transparency in keeping with the open philosophy of the company.
The creation of a friendly and relaxing workplace was also crucial, says Hopton.