During the height of the pandemic lockdown, Dale Office Interiors had the opportunity to support ORE Catapult in refurbishing their new space in Grimsby as part of the organisation’s expansion.
As part of ORE Catapults growth strategy, they decided to open a new office location in the Yorkshire town of Grimsby and engaged with Dale Office Interiors to bring their new space to life.
Our Design and Build team delivered a complete turnkey solution in just 5 weeks, completing the project on time and on budget, all during what has been a challenging period due to the COVID-19 lockdown. During this period we created a collaborative, sustainable and smart space that supports their team to continue driving the organisation forward, whilst also creating a space that invites people from external organisations to visit, share and learn in an inspiring professional and flexible working environment.
About ORE Catapult
ORE Catapult is the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy. ORE Catapult plays a key role in delivering the UK’s largest clean growth opportunity, via their mission to accelerate the creation and growth of UK companies in the offshore renewable energy sector. They do this by leveraging their unique facilities and research and engineering capabilities to bring together industry and academia and drive innovation in renewable energy.
“The team at Dale interpreted our brief perfectly, going above and beyond to make everything happen smoothly and on schedule during the challenging times of the COVID crisis”
The primary goal of the design was to create a flexible, adaptive space that could support collaborative, formal and singular working, whilst also offering a space that could be used to learn and inspire both internal and external patrons, reflecting ORE Catapults focus on renewable energy. To achieve this we created different spaces and zones within the building, with traditional “formal style” meeting rooms, mixed with relaxed small informal spaces and break out zones within the main office space for adhoc impromptu ideas generation. All with the shared goal of creating an environment that was fit for an organisation with a forward-thinking mindset who are pushing the boundaries within their industry.
Creating the space to facilitate these activities was just the start. The next phase was how do we make these areas fit for purpose, creating spaces that are inviting and inspiring, whilst linking back to the organisations industry?
To achieve this, one of the key tools used was colour. Blue was used throughout the design, utilising different Pantone shades via wall paint, flooring, furniture and fabric. All of which relate the design to the idea of the ocean and atmosphere – the water and the air to which ORE catapult harness to generate renewable energy. Blue also has a psychological effect, boosting intellectual thought and stability, whilst supporting the body and mind to relax, which will be valuable for the kind of complex forward-thinking work ORE Catapult are about.
We wanted to harness the environmental focus of the business within the design, with the building offering so much natural light and its proximity to the ocean. We wanted the design to feature plant life, which we felt continued the theme of sustainability and the fusing of machine and environment. We integrated storage planters into the scheme, offering the client the ability to bring organic life into the office whilst also having a functional storage solution.
Sustainability was key to our renewable energy client and therefore became a big part of the design thought process. The furniture choices have sustainability at their heart; sourcing furniture that was produced using natural materials, whilst also being mindful of their impact on the environment in regards to the location of manufacturing. ORE Catapult were keen on sourcing and supporting UK manufacturers where possible.
With the aim of supporting UK manufacturers, we teamed up with Rigg, based in Birmingham, to supply the desking and break out furniture.
The reasons for collaborating with Rigg went beyond their Birmingham location; their mix of metal and wooden furniture resonated with our design team. Their Wire range offered a parallel to that of an offshore rig and enabled our team to reimagine this within the office environment. This can be seen in no better way than with the circular collaborative table. (as pictured below) The blue carpet flooring represents the ocean, the metal framework of the Wire table forms the structure of an offshore wind farm rig, connecting to the circular top inspired by the circular motion of the turbine and with the pale blue meeting chairs representing the flow of air around the table. These are subtle design choices that have a meaning and they are a constant through-out this design.
This attention to detail and the additional layer of thinking continues in the main meeting area, with the choice of the zinc coated Modela table, which not only creates a stunning visually attractive finish, but is also a material used on offshore structures as it is particularly effective to atmospheric corrosion.
The synergy between the design and offshore energy continues with the use of Vanna‘s Chuck and Marco meeting room chairs, with their metal structure continuing the theme of a turbine meeting the ocean.
Overall, our approach was to create a collaborative space that supported employees and visitors alike, whilst linking that to the foundation of the business, its industry, and its environmental focus.
Fabric Choices have a real meaning
Camira’s Oceanic fabric was utilised on the scheme’s task chairs, which is made from recycled plastic bottles retrieved from our oceans. This fabric choice takes on even more meaning when you learn that Catapult generate renewable energy via offshore wind and tidal energy.
But this isn’t where the synergy between the values of Catapult as a business and the fabric choices ends. With the aptly named Synergy being used on the poufs and stools, which for every metre of fabric sold, Camira donate to the international water aid charity “Just A Drop” working towards cleaner water for those who need it.
Every part of the scheme was considered back to Catapults ethos of sustainability and that cannot be demonstrated more than in the fabric choices used.