Futerra’s green-refurb: Space PlanPosted by cathy in blog November 30, 2011
Futerra’s HQ in London is a beautiful, Queen Anne, Grade II listed building set in a rather gruesomely historic part of the City on Charterhouse Square (No.4). We’ve been busy refurbishing our building over the summer and it’s now time to look back and tell you the story of what’s been done and how we did it.
Step 1: What’s possible
The first stage in any refurbishment is to figure out what to do with the space. Futerra is full of creative people with wonderful ideas, but with so many great ideas floating around we decided to enlist the help of Studio Tilt to focus our thoughts into practical solutions for No. 4. Oliver ran a workshop with as many of our team as possible to assess what we needed from our office space. We brainstormed the activities we do at the office and the areas we have available and then linked up the two. This was a great way to figure out how to use the space available to accommodate our wishes and needs within the constraints of Grade II listed building regulations.
Step 2: The vision
The outcome of this process was a clear vision of no.4 both as Futerra’s home and a building that communicates our beliefs. We need a place of inspiration that simultaneously showcases our work, values and history to our clients; a place where we can have fun and where we can schmooze, booze and play.
But most of all, no. 4 needs to reflect what we believe in and strive to achieve, both as a company and as individuals: to make sustainability so desirable it becomes normal.
Step 3: The big clear out
The next stage was to clear the space and prepare it for its new function. As we cleared, we started to work out the finer details of how we could put the plan into action.
For example, meeting space is in high demand at Futerra. By clearing out a basement cellar room nicknamed ‘the snug’ (which was being used as storage) we have managed to reclaim an under-used area in a building and put it to good use. As an aside, it’s amazing what comes out of a storage unit after years of things simply building up…
We used Newham Community Recycling Centre to help with the clear out. They have a recycling project called ‘The Wombles’ - a registered charity that helps people in need by providing them with furniture, clothing, utensils etc for a decent standard of living, all from recycled and reused items.
Step 4: Thinking outside the (box) room
We also reclaimed a basement corridor area outside ‘the snug’ that had, up to now, served no real purpose. We christened it the ‘Pen Den’ (collaboratively of course) and it’s now an extremely popular brainstorming space. By painting the walls of this area with white dry-wipe paint, Futerrans can get creative all over the walls and are not limited by the size of a piece of flipchart paper.
This new space also helps us live up to some of our sustainability aims: without even realizing it, this small change in our meeting behaviour means we save approximately 8 sheets of flipchart paper every time we fill the walls with our ideas. Considering the volume of creativity in our company – that’s a lot of paper saved!
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December 01, 2011
nice work retrofitters!