Manchester-based commercial refurbishment specialist Rische Group is on a high.
The company is experiencing an unprecedented rate of growth and recently announced record turnover up 31 per cent year-on-year, with a four per cent increase in net profit. To service demand, the business has hired five new staff to expand its site crew by ten per cent.
Rische has been working with clients for over 20 years, offering a comprehensive service that includes design, planning and construction of workplaces, bars, residential spaces and schools. Premier Construction caught up with managing director, Martyn Richards, to discuss one of their most recent projects, a refurbishment at iconic Bentley Motors’ headquarters in Crewe.
“Bentley Motors is synonymous with quality, luxury, innovative design and exceptional craftsmanship. When the brief for the refurbishment of the entrance and new shopping area at Bentley’s headquarters, design and manufacturing centre was delivered, these characteristics had to be prominent in the final construction.
“We were involved in the detail design for Bentley, which incorporated an aesthetic vision mirroring that of their car interiors. Something Rische is passionate about is our ability to deliver outstanding results, but cost-effectively. To achieve this, we are always on the lookout for new materials or products that are unique and can deliver real benefits to both the look of a space and the cost of its construction. Two particular aspects of the Bentley project demonstrate this; the ceiling and backdrop to the reception area,” explained Martyn.
For the design and fitting of the main ceiling, Martyn said that the design demanded a seamless finish with no visible joins and clean lines, similar to the exacting standards present when manufacturing Bentley cars. To achieve this, materials such as Perspex were discounted almost immediately, as they would leave a visible shadow at the edge and could not be guaranteed to match the colour of the surroundings.
“Barrisol stretch ceiling material, cut out of one large sheet, allowed our team to achieve a flawlessly consistent, glass-like finish with absolute colour consistency and, perhaps surprisingly in a project for a brand of Bentley’s stature, at minimal cost,” he continued.
“Before fitting, the main ceiling was fashioned out of MF plasterboard, before an eye-catching trough effect was carved out of the plaster. The grooves were lined with plywood, chosen for durability and simplicity, to form a back box in which to house LED lighting over which the stretch material would be fitted.
“The team then had to template the channels, measuring all openings and the exact dimensions of the trough, which was complicated by their curved nature. Details in such a project have to be precise, especially if other installations such as additional lighting or air conditioning units are expected to come through the stretch material. This work requires laser leveling of fittings to ensure that all are flush and exactly level,” Martyn concluded.
Martyn went on to detail how one of the most technically challenging aspects of the project was transforming the reception’s gloss white laminated backdrop into a butter-soft, leather-covered creation that mimics the luxurious interiors of the brand’s motors.
“We measured the 3.5 metre by 3 metre unit and created a bespoke timber frame that provided the core structure of the entire design. This frame houses 20 individual panels, which were draped in the finest quality dark grey hide by Bentley’s highly-skilled team of leather upholsterers,” he explained.
“We then edged these panels, some of which house concealed storage units, using a specialist joinery technique. This involved the careful molding of a highly-polished brightware steel trim that measured 30mm by 5mm.
“Shaping the brightware trim was a complex exercise, as we had to shape the curved sections at either side of the teardrop-end structure. Relying on precision skills, we used a specialist laser cutting technique to manipulate the two-metre long rods of stainless steel into horseshoe shapes.
“The final result for visitors arriving at the Crewe facility is a backdrop delivering the most stunning of welcomes from one of the world’s most prestigious brands,” he finished.
The fit-out work at Bentley was completed on-time, within budget and with minimum disruption to Bentley services. The brand was so pleased with the final result and success of the project that they have opened discussions with Rische to work in partnership at other locations.
The Bentley refurbishment is just one of many that bear Rische’s distinctive ability in combining new materials, creative design and a cost-effective ethos. The company’s recent success, Martyn contends, is down not just to a resurgent construction sector, but to their proposition resonating with customers more than ever before.
“With the continued economic recovery, the North West’s construction sector is booming at the moment. Businesses are looking to perhaps expand office space or construct brand-new workplaces and bars might be seeking to revitalise an old building. The financial benefits of doing so are well-documented, but it’s also important for staff to come to a place they enjoy working in. We try to work together with our partners from the beginning at the planning stage to ensure that all goals can be met with a knock-out design, and then are involved end-to-end until the last piece of equipment is taken off-site and the doors are opened to guarantee successful delivery, and it’s that which I think sets us apart,” he concluded.
To find out more about Rische Group or its work for Bentley, visit www.rischegroup.co.uk