A project to provide new head office premises for the National Union of Students (NUS) has reached completion.
The project – which took place at 275 Gray’s Inn Road – comprised the refurbishment of a 13,000 sq ft, six floor, commercial building, to transform it into the new office accommodation. The project went ahead after Dorrington, advised by Savills and Glinsman Weller, sold the freehold investment of the building to the NUS for £4.2 million.
NUS Group Finance Director, Dave Farbrother, said:
“We moved out of our former premises in 1984 and have been renting in between whilst we looked for an appropriate property. We then sold the original building and re-invested the proceeds into Gray’s Inn Road.
“This office is a vast improvement on our previous working environment. It’s been a long time coming and we had a tight schedule to work to. We acquired the building in July 2012 and we were in by April 2013. Longcross had to work at a frantic pace to complete the works but they did a great job.
“We are proud to have one of the greenest refurbishments in London. We have incorporated a whole range of sustainable features from rainwater harvesting, to state of the art building management system for the entirely LED lit building.”
Longcross was the main contractor on the NUS office project at 275 Gray’s Inn Road, whilst Cumbria-based architects Manning Elliot provided all architectural services. Longross is a leading name in the construction industry and as well as working on the new NUS Office, the company has completed high profile works, from Centre Point Tower and the V&A Museum, to Royal Brompton Hospital.
During the refurbishment of 275 Gray’s Inn Road, the ground floor through to the fourth floor was stripped out and re-fitted, with floors three and four refurbished in order to let out to a third party tenant and the ground floor let out to a retail unit.
Interior acoustic specialists Re-Space Acoustics was responsible for designing and installing acoustic rafts within the new office space. The rafts were printed in different colours and the largest raft measured 2.4 metres by 2.4 metres.
Re-Space Acoustics Partner, Rupert Nahum, commented:
“In any office space that has exposed surfaces and does not include a traditional suspended ceiling there are always a number of acoustic issues. The new NUS Office was no different, so in order to solve this problem we employed an innovative solution through the creation of 48 acoustic rafts.
“The rafts were CNC cut, digitally printed, hand painted and reinforced to support very heavy lights. The work was time consuming, but the results are stunning.”
“This was a great project for us and a fantastic showcase for our products. Had the panels not been put into place the acoustics in the office would have been terrible, so they solve a real issue.”
As 275 Gray’s Inn Road looks out onto a main road, all deliveries for the project – as well as the removal of materials – were agreed and coordinated with Transport for London and Camden Highways department.
Building services engineering company, Loop Engineering was appointed the mechanical and electrical engineer on the project and also provided services including fire engineering, public health, acoustic and vertical transportation duties.
Commercial and high end residential window treatment specialists, Window Shading Systems Ltd, supplied and installed more than 100 chain operated roller blinds on the project at 275 Gray’s Inn Road.
Commenting on their involvement, Leon Berry of Window Shading Systems Ltd, said:
“We have completed several projects with Longcross and it is important for us to build a good working relationship with our clients by supplying quality reliable products on time and on budget.”
Now that work is complete on the project, the NUS will use the premises to continue to promote, defend and extend the rights of students, whilst at the same time develop and champion strong student unions.
The National Union of Students (NUS) is a voluntary membership organisation focusing on the lives and welfare of students and its member students’ unions. NUS is a confederation of 600 students’ unions and represents the interests of more than 7 million students.
For more information about the NUS, please visit: www.nus.org.uk.