Monthly Archives: April 2016

Brighton’s Top 10 Building Designers

We love Brighton, and are proud to be part of such a vibrant, creative city, which is why we are playing our part in supporting this year's Brighton Festival.

And, by coincidence, May marks our birthday - a cause for double celebrations.

Which is why we're dedicating this week's blog post to some of the architects and building designers who have either been born in Brighton, lived here, or helped in providing the city with some of its most iconic buildings.

20six Ltd.'s Top 10 Brighton Designers:

John Nash: Nash was employed from 1815 to develop King George IV's Marine Pavilion in Brighton that was originally designed by Henry Holland. By 1822 Nash had finished work on the building, which could be argued as Brighton's most iconic building - the Royal Pavilion. Amongst Nash's other rather well-known buildings is Buckingham Palace.

Thomas Read Kemp: The clue's in the name to this ‘leading citizen’ of Brighton in that his legacy remains as the name of a famous district in Brighton, Kemp Town, which he conceived and developed in the Regency-style.

Thomas Lainson: Surprisingly less well known than Kemp our second Thomas, Lainson, was born in the Brighton area. He preferred an Italianate design style and is credited with a 13-house terrace on the west side of Norfolk Terrace, on the Brighton/Hove border, and another terrace of 16 houses nearby on Sillwood Road. He was also responsible for the design of the Bristol Road Methodist Church, the then new synagogue in Middle Street, Hove Museum and Art Gallery (as is now) and the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children.

John Constable: Undoubtedly far more well know than Kemp, and not strictly responsible for any building design/construction/architecture, we had to include this famous Romantic painter who lived intermittently in Brighton, to which he referred as "Piccadilly by the Seaside". Keeping the link with famous Brighton designers, he just happened to reside in Sillwood Road....

John Leopold Denman: Born in Brighton, this John was referred to as "the leading church architect of his time in Sussex". Denman was employed by the Kemp Town Brewery in Brighton to be their in-house architect, responsible for designing new pubs and hotels in Sussex and beyond. His legacy includes properties in Rochester Gardens, Montefiore Road, Colbourne Road and New Church Road Hove. As Brighton evolved into a major commercial centre, Denman was commissioned to design several new commercial premises - had we been around in the 1930s who knows - perhaps we could have assisted in the fit out of his designs.

Charles Augustin Busby: Busby’s greatest architectural achievement was in the development of 300+ acres to the West of Brighton, much within the parish of Hove, as a Regency new town. Today you will know this part of Brighton as the Brunswick area. He was also approached by Thomas Kemp, and in 1823 Busby undertook design of the Kemp Town scheme on Kemp’s behalf.

Frederick Charles Eden: Another of our architects and designers who was born in Brighton, Eden's forte was in designing church fittings and stained glass. We have managed to track down credits to his work in churches in Burgess Hill, Henfield, Ringmer and Uckfield.

Nicholas Grimshaw: A prominent English architect, Grimshaw was born in Hove, and is particularly noted for his designs for Waterloo International railway station, the Eden Project in Cornwall, and designing Britain's pavilion for the Seville Expo in 1992.

David Mocatt: Sticking with train stations, Mocatta was appointed architect of the London and Brighton Railway in 1839, and designed the company's headquarters at Brighton railway station. Whilst the façade is now hidden by the later, 1880's, porte-cochere, Mocatt's legacy remains one of the first pieces of architecture visitors see upon arrival in Brighton.

KSS Group: OK, so we've moved away from individual Brightonian designers, and the KSS Group aren't even based, nor do they reside in Brighton. But we couldn't leave out reference to one of Brighton and Hove's newest buildings, one that has courted more controversy than most - KSS are the architects responsible for the design of The Amex Stadium, the new home of our local football team, Brighton and Hove Albion.

We are very lucky to have such a wealth of talent in this city, and the legacy of so many inspirational characters' lives on in the buildings that they gave us. We hope that you enjoy this year's Brighton Festival, and we are looking forward to many more successful years working in this great city.

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Optimising Your Office Space

Unless you have access to some serious cash, you are probably constrained by physical barriers and existing building specs when designing your office layout. It is unlikely that you will have control over the exterior of the office building and probable that you have restrictions internally.

Nonetheless, there are ways in which you can optimise the space that you do have to gain maximum productivity from your employees.

Optimising Your Office Space

Ask not what your staff can do for you, ask what you can do for your staff:

Before you move in or begin to make any existing alterations it's a wise boss who sits down and speaks to those using the office on a regular basis. What works for them and what doesn't? Are there any obvious improvements to the layout of the office that would suit their requirements better? This is not an exercise in "who gets the best office" but a way to understand what your employees need to get the job done in the most efficient way.

Planning for success will make you even more creative:

Tempting as it is to set your office up in a hierarchical order working from top manager in top office down you need to plan the layout of office and department locations with productivity in mind. Having listened to what all of your staff need you will be in a position to draw up your plans. Ensure that you place individuals and teams that need to frequently communicate with one another close together thereby assisting your employees more easily to get their work done.

Alone we are smart; together we are brilliant:

The wealth of experience and knowledge amongst your employees should not be underestimated, and bringing people together will enable you to harvest this talent. But we're not just talking about the odd conference or boardroom here. To encourage your work force to collaborate and communicate in the office,  set aside areas where employees can meet comfortably with desks, power outlets and anything else they may have mentioned (see point 1) to complete tasks as a team.

Education is the movement from darkness to light:

In last week's blog we touched on how important it is to get the lighting right in your reception area. This carries through to the rest of the office space. Spaces with brighter and where possible natural light have been shown to improve morale and overall employee satisfaction. Use any windows to the fullest by positioning furnishings away from them to let in the most amount of light possible, but if natural light is not a possibility use lighting that will emulate natural light.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but foresight is better.

You cannot neglect Health & Safety regulations. Consultation with your H&S staff member and double checking online will enable you to comply with UK laws. Are all your cables stored safely, even under desks? Is all of your electrical equipment PAT tested? Who is responsible for the over flowing bins? The least inspiring aspect of office design is no less important and has to be covered off.

Optimisation of the space that you have will help you achieve the maximum from your work force. If you would like help in planning your perfect office space then please do get in touch with us as it's something we know a lot about.




5 Ways To Create A Memorable Office Reception Area

First impressions count - when we say "create a memorable office reception area" we are, of course, talking in the positive sense. A drab, dreary, unfriendly and unwelcoming reception area will also create a memorable experience, but not one that you would want your clients to walk away with.

5 Ways To Create A Memorable Office Reception Area

Smile Please: The way in which your employees act is governed to a certain extent by the surroundings in which they are working: happy staff make for happy customers. And one way of ensuring a welcoming smile when someone walks into your premises is by having as much natural light as possible. The low buzzing of a yellow hued strip light does nothing for anyone's appearance nor the general ambience of the environment. Natural light creates a sense of space and comfort: get the lighting right and it will show the rest of the design off in its best light.

Office Furniture: Tempting as it is to go out and buy the latest design trends, in areas such as receptions you need furniture that is durable. In high use areas with frequent footfall and everyday use you need your office furniture to last without scuffing and looking shabby. Your reception desk also needs to welcoming - a high desk can seem intimidating, and a cluttered desk can give off the impression of general disorganisation within the establishment. Being as open as possible will help to cultivate a welcoming experience.

Legal Bits: Regulatory information such as fire exits have never been designed as aesthetic pieces of wall art - by their very nature they are designed to stick out and consequently don't usually fit in with the overall surroundings. But they need to be there, and prominent signs such as directions to the rest rooms and lifts will save your customers needing to ask. It is also pertinent, and polite, to take into account the needs of those who are less able bodied so being inclusive to all in your first impressions.

Plants and Pictures: OK, we've covered the fact that you are going to have to have your regulatory signs in place, but adding in other accessories will help you to create a positive impact. Inclusion of suitable art work can lead to an overall feeling of warmth, imagination and inspiration. Adding in real plants can demonstrate to your clients that you have the ability, and the desire to care for things.

Information, Information, Information: Display company literature in your reception area - let your waiting customers find out more about you as they sit in their luxurious surroundings. Ensure that your company logo is prominent and follow your brands colours in your decor choices. Let people see your website address and easily find you on your social media channels. The more information that you make readily accessible to people the more they are likely to trust you.

We have been able to help a wide range of businesses get their office reception areas spot on, so if you would like to make your first impressions on your customers stand out for all of the right reasons please do get in touch with us.



Happy Staff Mean Happy Customers

If you're in business you're after sales. When you consider that it costs about 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to generate new business from an existing customer, you begin to see the value of keeping your clients happy. Not only that, but happy customers are the ones who will refer you new business, and word of mouth is the most cost effective method of marketing.

Couple this with saving money by retaining staff rather than by hiring new employees - recruiting and training a new employee requires staff time and money. Frequent staff turnover has a negative impact on employee morale, productivity, and company revenue. It also detracts from being able to build strong relationships with your client base if customers are forever speaking to someone new.

To acquire loyal customers and to provide a customer experience so good that they keep coming back for more can only be achieved if your employees feel happy and engaged at work. When your employees are happier, so are your customers. And when your customers are happy, they become more loyal to your brand, spend more money with you, become brand ambassadors and help your business to make more profits.

Happy staff mean happy customers.

What has this to do with office design?

If, on average, we spend nearly 9 hours a day at work and over 7 hours asleep, then the majority of our waking hours are spend not in our homes but in our place of work.

Happy workplace, happy staff.

The working environment has a direct impact on employee productivity and morale, so it makes perfect sense to provide a workspace that is conducive to the happiness and wellbeing of your staff. The way an office is set up, along with the office furniture and accessories used, can dictate the productivity of your entire team.  It has been conclusively shown that comfortable, well-ventilated and well-lit, safe workplaces increase productivity by as much as 16 percent and job satisfaction as much as 24 percent, whilst also reducing absenteeism.

Happy workplace, happy staff, happy customers.

Your office design, fit out and furniture has a direct correlation to your workers happiness. Your workers happiness has a direct correlation to your customers' happiness. Get the working environment right and your company will prosper.