When names like actor Kevin Spacey’s enter conversations with your client, you know this will be a job with a difference. And so it proved to be with this memorable project for client Peter de Haan.
An entrepreneur and patron of the arts, Peter de Haan approached Amalgam asking for a new headquarters for his company, Opus Trust Group Ltd – but one that would also combine new offices and facilities for his various businesses and charities. So, as well as housing the main company, the building would also need to accommodate charities Ideas Tap and the National Youth Theatre, his wine company Bancroft Wines, a photographic studio, and a café / exhibition / performance suite too.
The raw material presented was a Victorian warehouse in Bermondsey, London, offering a great deal of potential but also many challenges. And it would take working closely with the client every step of the way, involving them in every major decision, to make the new building a success.
The challenge — flexibility
“The client wanted a hub for all his enterprises, so the main brief was to create a flexible working environment,” says Carole Cobban, Amalgam Interior Designer and project leader. “This meant combining an older, existing warehouse-style building with some new, more contemporary, constructed spaces that we designed, and had built. So it was about making the old and new work together,” she adds.
Amalgam worked with a number of trusted contractors to deliver ‘The Woolyard’. The conversion was carried out by Paragon, while Amalgam led on design, under a ‘design and build’ contract. The work took 14 weeks to complete.
Now ranging over three floors and totalling approximately 15,000 sq. ft, the completely reinvented premises includes a variety of different work and meeting spaces, a café for occupants and visitors; and an exhibition and performance space, called The Green Room.
The Green Room
The client made one very specific request — for some interactive spaces, and this resulted in something very appropriate to a project with a theatrical connection: The Green Room.
“The Green Room is a flexible working space that can also be used by external groups to hire for workshops,” says Carol Cobban.
“Names such as Kevin Spacey and the National Youth Theatre have used it — youth theatre workshops.”