Alliance Homes is a housing association providing social housing across the south-west of England, currently transitioning its business to more agile and collaborative ways of working. Refurbishing its Bristol headquarters to support the ongoing change programme, workplace design and build specialist Interaction was appointed to create an adaptable and characterful contemporary space.
"There was no fixed brief,” Les Wharram, facilities project manager at Alliance Homes, explained. “Our guidance to Interaction was that we wanted an inspirational and audacious space which would give us the flexibility that our ever-changing business needs."
Designed to facilitate new working practices and support Alliance Homes’ ongoing programme of business transformation and culture change, the refurbished interior incorporates improved space utilisation with a selection of flexible working spaces ideal for both individual quiet work and group collaboration as well as informal socialising areas.
Making the most of the natural light that streams in through vast windows, Interaction designed an open and engaging co-working space. To reflect its history and location close to Bristol’s docks, subtle maritime design features have been included to give the building an individual style, while a geometric flooring design in subtle tones adds detail and interest without creating visual overload.
A pared back industrial design has been created with clean lines, feature lighting and geometric patterns. Hexagon tiles from the Kaleidoscope range have been used in different colour combinations to give a sense of continuity between zones while also providing a distinct personality to each area. Other design features pick up this geometric theme such as quirky wall shelving and random geometric lines on meeting room glazing.
In the open entrance lobby, geometric flooring in a blend of three complementary stone designs introduces pattern to the pale minimal colour palette, while a large living wall brings an inspiring biophilic element. The geometric flooring continues into the staff kitchen and rest room with a subtle blend of wood designs. In this area, soft blue and grey furnishings and a feature brick wall work together with the natural flooring design to create a comfortable space where employees can relax.
Les Wharram concludes: “Our space has been developed into something that meets our business aspirations, pushing the boundaries of how we can work flexibly and collaboratively and inspiring behaviour change. The choice of flooring was key. We needed a hardwearing product for our high traffic areas that complemented the design whilst covering a large and irregular space. The combination of the hexagonal shape tiles and the variety of patterns work effectively to engage visitors and help define different areas for our staff.”