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Multipurpose room transformed into an office

How to make a crude space that has been empty for more than six years, into an inspiring office environment


Interior designer Fiona Rennick of Amos Beech in Scotland is responsible for the design. “The open environment of the Sphinx in Edinburgh is representative of who we want to be: open, accessible, flexible and accessible,” said one of the two satisfied customers, Christine Smith managing director of the Fountain Group. It is a known phenomenon in 2008, permits for new office premises, whether or not combined with apartments, stores or other applications were like hot cakes. After 2008, the interest in office properties fell away, but teh actual building kept on for a while. The result: many brand new buildings that were vacant, often down to the present day. One example is the Sphinx in Edinburgh. The 128 apartments in the thirteen-storey complex were let, but the multi-purpose room on the ground floor, called ‘Plint’, remained empty.



Amos Beech, interior designers and office fit out


However, two tenants: Rimolr and Fountain Group signed up as tenants. Two healthcare organizations using both their own expertise, but also the intention to intensify their cooperation. Amos Beech, interior designers and fit out company from Scotland was approached to look at the still vacant completed space and transform it shape. Design Manager Fiona Rennich took up the task. “The two organizations came from a very traditional cubicle office envionment. We have the interior of the Sphinx based on the joint use by the two organizations. The plan was that the two organizations were sharing the space. The ground floor a multifunctional center, was as originally intended and were meant for social and health care services.” 


The area has not been developed as office space, which is clearly reflected in the unusual dimensions. The ground floor is unusually high with a ceiling height of 4,400 millimeters while the first floor, which connects with the residential space is unusually low, with a ceiling height of 2,600 millimeters. “We have used the expertise of Sam James of the Amos Beech workplace consultants in Scotland, for the new way of working of the two organisations – the unusual hull space transformed into an inspiring work environment.”


Interior design and space planning The surface of the space is about 3,500 square meters, of which the two organizations have now 1,100 square meter as joint space. The unusual dimensions demanded the necessary creativity. Rennick: “It is a challenge to change such a non-standard shell space into a contemporary office, unhindered by a fixed device or existing installation. It was a blank sheet op paper on which we could start drawing the spatial quality. “


For the interior design, freel standing consultation rooms were eventually chosen, constructed from chip wood material. Rennick: “These consultation rooms create a dynamic office environment with surprising places for consultation, meeting and relaxation. We have retained an industrial feel and left many of the concrete shell in sight, as well as much of the pipework. The untreated raw nature of the concrete, along with the warmth and natural look of wood, is a contrasting and attractive combination, “said Rennick, who stressed that the decision for this industrial look was not fueled by budget constraitnts . “The spatial quality and a desire for an unusual approach were leading in the design. The use of standard construction materials and simple detailing made it possible for the building contractos to make a great part of the elements prefabricated in the factory. This saved a lot of time in the office fit out. ” McKellar office furniture Glasgow supplied and fitted all the furniture.



On the first floor the chosen interior was a multifunctional colaboration space with kitchen and a large meeting / training room. This is as well a common room, that is in use intensively by the two organisations. “Both organisations are now working completely intergated in the space, using all functions. No one has a private room, also the management of the two organizations have not. “The project was completed in March 2015.