The stylish environment emerging at the Clearblue Innovation Centre today is a world apart from the one taken on by Amalgam interior designer Ian Gunter in 2006.
For several years now, Ian has been helping his client (now SPD — jointly owned by Alere and Proctor & Gamble) to reorganise, redesign and refurbish parts of their Bedford HQ building.
Working with Gerald Eve LLP, and cost consultants Press & Starkey, the project has involved carrying out major feasibility studies regarding the client’s accommodation needs, which included considering relocation to smaller 35,000 sq.ft premises.
A new master-plan
The company eventually decided to stay where they were, however, and take over the lease on the current 60,000 sq.ft. building. And this lead to Ian and SPD’s management team working closely on a ‘master-plan’ to gradually transform the site.
Outlining a phased programme of projects, the plan’s aim is to make the building ‘fit for purpose’; to rebrand (as The Clearblue Innovation Centre); and ultimately, to release around 20,000 sq.ft of space for sub-letting.
Reflecting the brand
Ian’s brief is to deliver an efficient workplace for the client’s growing operations — creating a new environment for 120 staff, including offices, laboratories, reception, meeting and cafe areas.
But it is also about projecting brand identity and values. The company, who are behind Clear Blue and Persona brands of women’s’ healthcare products, define these as ‘clean, natural, innovative and creative’.
In completed areas, the company’s brand is evident from top to bottom. Extensive use of Clearblue’s fresh greens and clean whites, natural finishes and floor to ceiling tree murals in gantried and sky-lit passageways, generate a bright, almost peaceful naturalness. And these elements combine with clean lines, contemporary office furniture and fittings, and sleek reception areas to impart a sense of the cutting edge, too.
The client has been impressed.
“Ian has taken the time to understand our business, our people and our needs, to the point that he can anticipate our requirements almost better than we can. — Simon Alaluf, Finance Director of SPD Development Company.”
The first phase of the Clearblue plan is now complete, and the second has been outlined for implementation.