Hannah Houston from BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design has completed a project for Amigo Loans as chief designer, working with Michael Grubb studios who were the lighting designers for the London Olympic Park, 2012. She tells us about the new design:

“I was employed as the chief designer for the project which ran from June to November 2013. Amigo Loans had approached me as their current setup was not working very well for them – they had multiple office locations all around Bournemouth town centre and a large cafe just for staff and they wanted to have all of this under one roof.

Initially the first few weeks was spent finalising which building we were going to redevelop, we eventually settled on the Nova building in the triangle.  The chief aim for the build was identified by the CEO of Amigo Loans, James Benamor, he wanted every faction of the business under one roof and on one floor.  The concept was to be a large open plan office where every person can intermingle with the focal point being the cafe.

The Nova building offered us the opportunity to have a reasonably open plan office, the building was originally four separate retail units which we cut openings through to join the spaces.  Three of the units were to be used as open plan offices housing up to 250 staff, and the remaining unit was to be divided between office space and the cafe.

James wanted a vintage industrial look for the entire space with exposed concrete, reclaimed wooden flooring, exposed services and vintage furnishings.  We were able to capitalise on the original concrete walls and managed to source a large amount of reclaimed oak flooring from the redevelopment of the original BBC building at Bush House.  The key features, according to James, had to be the cafe and the bathrooms, everything else had to be simple and functional, but he wanted very spacial bathrooms and the ability to have meetings and socialise within the cafe space.  The lighting for the building was provided by Michael Grubb studios, I approached him as a lighting consultant to aid with lux levels and meeting lighting compliance, and he was able to come up with an amazing lighting scheme which highlights the building’s features as well as softening the industrial nature of the space.

The building was completed in November 2013 and Amigo loans have been working there happily since then.”