Refurbish Thorpe Lea Manor, creating a positive and energised working environment
Type of project:
Design, Build, Furnish,Move
Kerry's began as a small dairy company in the South-West of Ireland and since then they have gone on to partner with suppliers, customers, and communities to help them source, innovate and create better food and beverage products for consumers around the world.
Today, they are a global leader in their industry, committed to creating a world of sustainable nutrition. Their consumer foods division, Kerry Foods, has many strong and well-loved brands that can be found in kitchens, supermarkets, service stations, convenience stores and entertainment venues the length and breadth of Ireland and the UK.
The brief was to refurbish the majority of Thorpe Lea Manor, a building originally built in 1794. The main objective was to uplift and create a positive and energising working environment. Kerry Foods didn't want to change anything structurally to the building, so a modern and engaging workplace would be created by making improvements to communal areas, decorations, flooring and furniture.
Originally the plan was to complete the transformation a floor at a time, whilst employees continued to work in the manor, splitting the building into areas so we could tackle each section without too much disruption. Then COVID-19 struck, leading the company to reconsider the office design, seeking a more flexible approach to work.
The brief was to refurbish the majority of Thorpe Lea Manor, a building originally built in 1794. The main objective being to uplift and create a positive and energising working environment. Kerry Foods didn't want to change anything structurally to the building, so a modern and engaging workplace would be created by improving communal areas, decorations, flooring and furniture.
Originally the plan was to complete the transformation a floor at a time, whilst Kerry Foods employees continued to work in the manor, splitting the building into areas, so we could tackle each section without too much disruption. Then COVID-19 struck, the country went into lockdown and Kerry Foods, like many other companies, transitioned to a 'work from home' policy, where possible.
Midway through the lockdown period Active were contacted by Kerry Foods to advise that they wanted to take steps to re-open the Egham office, but wanted to do so safely, progressively and effectively due tothe pandemic.KerryFoodsalso wanted to promote a more flexible approach to work in the future, whilst adapting the manor to be a safe, modern environment. A destination that employees would want to visit and that aided collaboration. The manor was to become Kerry Foods' future progressive workplace.
When Active first met the Kerry Foods project team, pre-COVID-19, our workplace and design specialists challenged the companies way of working, teams were packed in quite densely and the business still wanted to provide a high volume of workstations across all the three floors. Kerry Foods also required more meeting, private and collaboration spaces.
Active presented its design solution and developed this with the client's project team over a number of weeks. The target was to work on the first floor and then to phase the design throughout the building over a longer period of time. Finishes emphasised the family/homely feel of the business, whilst also keeping a keen eye on the budget.
Following the necessary pause and subsequent re-evaluation due to lockdown, Active started the process to re-design the new, post COVID-19, workplace. We encouraged Kerry Foods to consult with their employees and provided a selection of questionnaires to help facilitate this. Understanding their needs and any changes to behaviour provided key insight to designing the new space. Our design team wanted to design a positive space, something to revitalise the office and make it an exciting destination for the staff. Health, wellbeing and space was key in creating the design. A lot of thought went into choosing products that would enhance the building, whilst also working with items that were not to be replaced until later in the project.
The washroom refurbishment was a huge change as the new design created more space and a better flow whilst using sensor products such as the toilet flush and taps to reduce touch points.
Old carpets and vinyl were removed and recycled, whilst new were supplied and fitted. Old graphics and manifestations were removed and replaced, all internal walls and skirtings were decorated. Perimeter trunking was replaced and cabling reinstated. Old store-walls had the doors wrapped to give an 'as new' finish, as did the lift. New and used furniture was procured to give the finishing touch, whilst all surplus furniture was removed, re-used or recycled. Internal moves of remaining furniture and equipment ensured that the works could progress with the minimum of disruption.
Active worked alongside Urban Planters, to create a biophilic design that would provide the desired environment Kerry Foods were looking for. Creating that feeling of health and wellbeing.
Benefits and results
The new design and finishes gave the feeling of a more modern, spacious and breathable space, this was a huge change to the original cluttered, densely populated, tired environment. The designed space has encouraged Kerry Foods to adopt a more flexible way of working and change their behaviours for the better. The space can now be used in a far more collaborative way, which in turn makes more connections, whilst being COVID-19 safe.
“It has been a pleasure working on this project with the Active team. This year has been a challenge to say the least, and Active were on hand to support and adapt our original plans, quickly and effectively. Ensuring we had a fit for purpose and safe working environment for Kerry Foods employees. The office now feels spacious, modern and bright, and the design team have done a great job to achieve this whilst having health and safety of employees as the number one priority. The project team were extremely helpful, always contactable and on-hand to support. We look forward to when the full team can return to the office in the new year and see the space in full action."
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