Feature project: Venture House, Stratford-upon-Avon

  • Squaredot re-energises the council building by challenging individual cellular offices to deliver interactive spaces

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277802/large/vent-1-main.jpg$,

  • Both open and private space feature to support four key work styles: concentration, collaboration, socialisation and education

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277802/large/vent-1-main.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277803/large/vent-2.jpg$,

  • Both open and private space feature to support four key work styles: concentration, collaboration, socialisation and education

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277802/large/vent-1-main.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277803/large/vent-2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277804/large/vent-3.jpg$,

  • Aiming to attract start-ups, the design by Squaredot features a ‘simple, honest use of materials’ and a stripped-down, contemporary look. Exposed ceiling trunking is part of the look and feel of the place

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277802/large/vent-1-main.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277803/large/vent-2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277804/large/vent-3.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277805/large/vent-4.jpg$,

  • The use of bright colours helps revitalise the former nondescript space

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277802/large/vent-1-main.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277803/large/vent-2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277804/large/vent-3.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277805/large/vent-4.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9632/images/277806/large/vent-5.jpg$,

The practice took a nondescript, largely unused, former council building and created an inspirational centre for start-ups and small businesses


Project Info

Client : Stratford-upon-Avon, District Council
Design: Squaredot
Size: 450 sq m
Duration: 10 months


Words by: Emily Martin

Briefed by client Stratford-upon-Avon District Council to transform an aging and mostly disused council building into a dynamic business incubation hub in the heart of the town, Squaredot has delivered exactly this inside and out. Now known as Venture House, the building operates as a co-working and new-business development centre, and provides a unique alternative to traditional office space, offering easy-in easy-out terms to suit business needs. ‘Initially, the driver was to utilise as much of the existing interior as possible, based around providing varying-sized rentable spaces for start-ups and small businesses,’ says David Kramer, Squaredot’s director and project leader for Venture House.

Both open and private space feature to support four key work styles: concentration, collaboration, socialisation and education
Both open and private space feature to support four key work styles: concentration, collaboration, socialisation and education

‘It soon become apparent to Squaredot, however, that the most appropriate way to re-energise the building would be to completely challenge the notion of providing so many small, individual, cellular spaces.’ The new interior design scheme encourages interaction and collaboration; a variety of spaces feature for users to work individually or in small teams, both open and private with a mix of facilities supporting four key work styles: concentration, collaboration, socialisation and education. Creative use of simple and cost-effective building materials, coupled with space solutions, have resulted in a workplace with a design philosophy aiming to inspire and encourage interaction while working in a friendly and professional environment.

Both open and private space feature to support four key work styles: concentration, collaboration, socialisation and education
Both open and private space feature to support four key work styles: concentration, collaboration, socialisation and education

Challenged with a small budget to create a transformation of the council-owned site, Squaredot says it nevertheless needed something different in order to attract the business start-ups. ‘For us it was vital not to try and turn the building into something that didn’t reflect the use and context, therefore stripping back to basics was the logical approach appealing to a perhaps younger, creative and diverse demographic of potential users,’ says Kramer. With design scheme featuring an exposed ceiling; a trunking system for lighting, data and power to all desks, coupled with a simple use of materials has resulted in a cost-effective workspace ‘worthy of the hippest East London growth hubs’. Fundamental to the offer is comprehensive business support, in many forms, from mentoring to classes and networking.

Aiming to attract start-ups, the design by Squaredot features a ‘simple, honest use of materials’ and a stripped-down, contemporary look. Exposed ceiling trunking is part of the look and feel of the place
Aiming to attract start-ups, the design by Squaredot features a ‘simple, honest use of materials’ and a stripped-down, contemporary look. Exposed ceiling trunking is part of the look and feel of the place

The centre, located close to the town centre of Stratford-upon-Avon and major road and rail networks, provides an environment that aims to help home-based and small businesses wishing to grow to make their first move into commercial premises in a central business location. ‘As the external building fabric was in such a poor condition there was an opportunity not only to re-roof and clad the building, but also to greatly improve it, not just visually but in its thermal performance at the same time’, says Kramer. Venture House is expected to become the template for additional facilities in the district, in particular areas with higher levels of deprivation and youth unemployment. ‘Stratford-upon-Avon is a different, exciting and interesting space,’ he adds.

The use of bright colours helps revitalise the former nondescript space
The use of bright colours helps revitalise the former nondescript space

Key Suppliers

Furniture
Boss Design
Actiu
Senator
naughtone
Pedrali
Bisley

Flooring
Forbo
Interface





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