June 2020

This newly refurbished 1960’s office building is now officially completed and handed over to WH Smith after a six month construction programme. The five storey building will provide WHS with a consolidated HQ facility, offering four floors of open-plan office space, many new individual meeting rooms, an IT suite, localised kitchen and printer pods to each floor and a fully updated staff restaurant and kitchen. The project also includes the introduction of a range of accessibility provisions to current standards – WCs, lifts, visual identification and full access. Despite these interventions, all new and upgraded elements of the design were carefully considered by SMR and WHS to compliment the unique character and details of the 50 year old building.

The original building however, fell short of current fire safety standards, elements the design team spent much time addressing. Fire protection was applied to all steel structural elements, fire lobbies introduced to both staircases, a fully approved and completely new fire alarm system introduced to the whole building and, in light of recent problems with cladding systems, fire barriers introduced to the external envelope.

All parking facilities for cars, motorcycles and bicycles, have been upgraded and extended to provide a safe environment for all staff and visitors. The project management role was fulfilled by David Okeefe of Underwood Carpenter, who commented

‘ The Project Holland refurbishment project for WHS was very demanding in terms of timescale, procurement strategy and budget. Some great work was undertaken by SMR to help deliver the end result. Overall a very good professional service’.