Hill Spink Limited
Sales Office: Bene PLC
It is attention to detail, and an innate sense for elegant and original design that accounts for Spink Property’s success as an exclusive residential developer. No wonder then that it has applied its extremely high standards to its new offices in a leafy suburb of London. Discretion sets at the heart of Spink Property’s ethos, so the new headquarter’s building – a two-storey office development – sits anonymously beside a canal, with an identical twin beside it. You could be forgiven for thinking that this unprepossessing building houses a call centre, or anonymous besuited executives, but perhaps the prestigous marques in the car park are a clue to the interior. The Audis, BMW and Smart car suggest owners who understand and appreciate excellent performance, superior engineering as much as their sophisticated style.
Thus, on arriving at the anonymous entrance to Spink Property’s headquarters, there is a sense of anticipation. The executive offices occupy the first floor.
A bright, white corridor leads directly into the central hub of the building. Its only decoration, a striking mustard-yellow vertical girder making a feature of its function, and a statement red chair. They set the understated elegant
tone of these offices and raise the level of expectation. In the reception area the visitor enjoys an immediate sense of elation as light floods from the wide pyramid skylight into the central atrium. Everywhere the fresh white surfaces and American wood finish create a calm, contemporary atmosphere. Beside the bespoke American White Oak reception desk is an area for relaxed meetings, informal breaks, and refreshments from the café facilities. It is designed to encourage communication and team spirit. With the luxury of space and privacy in the surrounding offices and studio, Spink Property recognised the importance of a centralised social area where informal exchanges occur.
It is evident that Spink’s in-house design team really understands harmonious proportions and appreciates superbly designed furniture. He has used the square footprint of the building to inform the internal layout. The work environment is set around the square shaped central atrium. In turn, all the meeting rooms, offices, storage areas are cubic, except for the long rectangular shaped design studio; meanwhile rectangular workbenches, reception desk, café bar and meeting furniture emphasise the clean lines and considered organisation of the space.
The result is a workplace that matches the standards of style and comfort that have made Spink Property’s residential projects some of the most desirable homes in the world. The atmosphere is light, white, and bright. Accent colours – apple green, scarlet, yellow, deep blue and occasional black – add character to define a specific area or momentarily startle amongst the otherwise calm white and oak surfaces. The company/Spink specified furniture from many of the most respected furniture brands, including B&B Italia, Vitra and Fritz Hansen, to create the exclusive environment.
The reception desk is part of the company’s café and break out area. Refreshments are offered from a bespoke, service unit beside a tall white bar, and accompanying Wilkhahn stools. Two white glass white B&B Italia tables create a refectory feeling and are off-set by iconic white lacquer Fritz Hansen Series 7 chairs. At a smaller round table these same chairs are upholstered in fresh apple green fabric, and similar seating can be found in offices and informal meeting areas throughout the building to create bright focal points that contrast with the predominantly white surfaces. However in the atrium, a huge white planter with tall grasses (something general for now, exact foliage tbc) adds verdant greenery, that alongside Orientally inspired open wooden screens make this feel more West Coast America than Middlesex or Great West Road
(In fact the location is deliberate. Spink Property’s clients and its executives are located equally in London and the Home Counties, and for international projects, Heathrow Airport is conveniently within easy travelling distance.)
Spink Property has used Bene’s RF glass partitioning to create separate offices and meeting rooms. These elegant structures divide the space for specific office functions, but simultaneously ensure that there is a clear view across the whole of the floor. Through the glass units you can see the architects’ studios and project offices. Only once installed can the RF system’s quality be truly appreciated for its pure, uninterrupted surface. The glass is fixed at floor and ceiling to avoid vertical joint profiles breaking the sheer continuity of the glass wall. A double skin ensures the acoustic privacy. When a meeting is in progress, you can see the occupants sitting in the translucent white mesh Eames Aluminium chairs around the glass tables from Foster, but there is no noise emanating from the room, which creates a quiet, but dynamic atmosphere.
The architect and design studio provides expansive workspace for the creative team, taking up almost the length of one side of the building. At one end, a white-walled room, houses copying and communication facilities and facilties for displaying the AO drawings. Black Bisley storage cabinets make a feature of their function. At the other end, a low-divided area, made from white Bisley storage units configured into an open square, contains architectural finishes and furnishing as a reference library. There is also a similar area for swatches and catalogues for Spink’s property furniture and art department. However, the main studio space is arranged with long back to back white white benches divided by 1.5 metre apple green storage walls with integrated filing. There are meeting tables for quick, informal gatherings or break out moments with the upholstered Fritz Hansen Series 7 seating. Each architect has approximately 3 metres worksurface and personally appointed TTO Artimede halogen lighting. Whilst they enjoy their private space for concentration, there is also a communal atmosphere as spontaneous conversations occur above the dividers.
Beside the studio, the project managers work in cellular spaces, again partitioned with Bene’s RF system with sliding doors. The partitioning means that they can conduct conversations with contractors without disturbing the quiet studio, but remain in close contact with the architects. These side offices benefit from external light, and the palette of white B&B Italia tables and Vitra’s apple green upholstered Axess Plus (design: Antonio Citterio) task seating and bright green Fritz Hansen chairs with arms, match the studios and contribute to fresh feeling environment. Similar furniture has been specified in the management offices and administrative areas on the opposite side of the building.
In the director’s offices, Bene’s RF partitioning answers the need for privacy and confidentiality, and is installed with close fitting hinged doors that completely seal the units. The transparent glass again enables natural light into the administration area.
An increasingly standard feature in high value residences are custom-made cinema and sophisticated AV entertainment facilities, and Spink Property has a dedicated design team. Testing audio equipment also requires sound-proofed facilities, and again the RF partitioning responds to the challenge.
Spink Property is renowned for its luxurious residential property developments. Its new offices underpin the corporate brand which matches the aspirations of its exclusive and sophisticated clients. They are confident, comfortable, contemporary and create an environment which actively encourages professional performance of the very highest standards. These offices provide a three dimensional corporate identity that combines Spink Property’s company philosophy and the creative vision of Mike Spink, its managing director. It is a unique and outstanding workplace.