Improving the asset value and attracting staff back
Woodhouse was engaged by Frasers Property to refurbish two flagship properties, the Hub and Templar buildings in Farnborough. The brief was to maximise the asset value of both buildings with a design led refurbishment of the common areas, as well as attract tenants back to the office post-Covid by providing improved amenities. Thus, the design needed to be striking and engaging, with a nod to the rich aviation heritage of the site, whilst remaining cost-effective and as sustainable as possible. Both buildings were to remain occupied whilst the project was conducted so work had to be planned accordingly to minimise disruption and maintain fire safety protocols.
Allowing the heritage to shine
Farnborough is the historic home of British military aviation and it is from here that Samuel Cody flew Britain’s first powered airship in 1907 and made the first powered flight in a heavier than air aeroplane the following year.
The Hub is an award-winning listed 1930s art deco building that was originally used as an airport departure lounge and control tower. This presented a very inspiring site to work with and Woodhouse was very keen to embrace the existing Art Deco style in its interior redesign, weaving in tasteful thematic nods to its history.
Marrying history with function
The new reception desk is a reminder of the building’s past and the large corridor that leads off it displays original black and white artwork of key moments in aviation history. The palette here is subtle, allowing the images to shine, creating a journey through time. The corridor is softened with people spaces – the alcoves have inviting soft seating for touch down meetings. Upstairs, the second-floor lobby has been updated with new furniture and wall art.
Mirroring art deco
The Templar building is a more modern structure with a large atrium to the rear of the space, which sports a brand new coffee bar and breakout area; an engaging space with different types of seating to draw people in. At the centre, sits a pergola of which the design iterations took inspiration from various aviation heritage features such asSamuel Cody’s first flight box kite, andthe famous black shed aircraft hanger at Farnborough airport – a tribute to a bygone era. Lighting and geometric shapes mirror the art deco style, while modern touches of luxury, such as the state-of-the-art TopBrewer tap on the coffee bar, seamlessly blend in, and provide top-quality refreshments to employees and visitors alike.
Both of these refurbished buildings are welcoming, people-centred spaces, significantly adding to the desirability and asset value of each property. In both cases, we collaborated closely with the client to agree concepts that did justice to the heritage of the sites whilst catering to the needs of a busy modern office building.