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Utilty win leads Lanes to new office

29 August 2012

£27 million contract win from major utility supplier prompts a new office with a smart interior for Lanes Group

The drainage specialist, under its Lanes for Drains brand, has opened another office after the utility supplier contract win. The new business, which will see the group’s turnover increase by 55%, demanded the opening of a new office solely dedicated to servicing its biggest and newest client. Commercial space with two floors was found on the Slough Trading Estate and refurbishing the 8,300 square feet was the first job.

Andy Brierley, Director at Lanes Group plc, selected MPL Interiors to refurbish the new offices. “MPL Interiors worked with our initial ideas to create a comfortable and inspiring office space for our team,” said Brierley. “We wanted the whole environment to reflect the professionalism that this new contract requires, especially as we expect our client to make regular visits.”

Harry Simons, Partner at MPL Interiors, said that working with a clear brief helped in their planning: “With such a prestigious new client, Andy and his team really wanted a sharp, professional look that carried their strong branding. The reception area is a classic example of how any space can be personalised. We produced a wood-effect wallpaper to accurately match the existing framework, designed internally-illuminated wall logos and signs to mirror the new working partnership, and produced an oversized map graphic with the waterways Lanes for Drains will service under the new contract picked out in their signature Pantone colour, rubine red.”

Incorporating the company’s corporate colour beyond the reception works to unite the office, said Simons: “We’ve kept the use of rubine red as an accent colour as it’s quite vibrant but its presence is a strong enough branding tool. Splashes of the shade can be found on bespoke wall canvasses, on feature graphics and as an upholstery colour.”

As with any business, there were specific design requirements. Lanes for Drains’ reliance on monitors was something that affected the specification of the office. “Keeping desks streamlined and cable-free was a top priority. With many staff operating two or even three monitors there was a danger that trailing cables could clutter the space and create a hazard. Each desk has cable ports so wires can be grouped together and channelled away safely and there are monitor arms to elevate the screens. We also recess set a number of 40 inch LCD screens in a built-out wall in the ‘command’ centre, as well as mounting screens in the meeting and board rooms.”

One of MPL Interiors’ specialisms is the use of feature vinyl graphics and at the Slough office this was married with Brierley’s vision for motivating staff. “We really value our team here at Slough and wanted to create an inspiring environment for them,” he said. “We came up with some key words and phrases that play an important role in our business and had MPL Interiors work them up into graphics that have been applied to our walls and glass panels. As well as creating an interesting backdrop, they also act as a creative safety requirement, as clear glass panels have to have some marking to make users aware they are there.”

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