Sleeper Magazine; renowned to be the leading magazine for hotel design, development and architecture, are long standing friends of NoChintz and are located in the Heritage listed Strawberry Studios, Stockport. As a multi-disiplinary studio working across commercial, hospitality, retail and F&B sectors, we were delighted when they asked us to look at their own workspace.
Our workspace design team often look to the hospitality industry for inspiration, but with this project we also wanted to be sympathetic to their iconic location and the history of the building. On arriving at Sleeper HQ, you can’t miss the Stockport Heritage Trust blue plaque on the building façade. This explains the buildings former use (1967 to 1993) as the home to the band 10cc and usage by the likes of Joy Division, Paul McCartney, Martin Hannett, Neil Sedaka, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra.
After meetings with the whole team we started to look at the way the office works day-to-day, this enabled us to form a strategy, which produced a co-working concept to encourage conversations between colleagues and also welcoming environment to meet and entertain clients. The brief was to create a modern working environment with key zoned areas, dynamic spaces and smart working solutions. We were challenged to create bespoke units to both store and display the infinite coffee table books the teams have collected over the years, in particular the many back-issues of magazines, all with a subtle nod to the buildings history.
Much like musicians bringing together their instruments, we collaborated with a host of suppliers and local contractors on this project. The beauty of the office space is the open-plan floor plate and with a few tweaks we were able to make a large open kitchen area which is now central to the team. The existing low suspended ceiling made the old office feel dense and compact so we used soft lighting and a palette of muted materials with slight transitions in shades, this has balanced the space with light which now floods through the whole floor.
We celebrated the buildings history by introducing subtle features that are iconic to the 90’s music industry. We paid special attention at the entrance into the office to creating a welcome zone including personal storage lockers and a dark flooring to transition through into the light grey office flooring which has a bold striped carpet feature with planks by Desso flooring and we used the signature yellow in the lockers and also as a lighting feature in the kitchen with lighting by our Scandinavian friends at Muuto.
All the furniture was supplied by The Senator Group, which enabled us to offer ergonomic workstations and comfortable break-out spaces. Stunning Castrads cast iron radiators have replaced the inefficient old electric heaters and a Zip Water UK boiling water tap keeps the staff fueled with coffee, hot drinks, chilled and sparkling water. The kitchen and recycle area are finished with traditional gloss subway tiles by Johnsons Tiles, reformatted into a modern stacked format. Along with Gemini Kitchens, we ensured the seamless kitchen has ample storage for lunches – and most importantly team beers and champagne!
We are delighted with the results and have enjoyed seeing this project through from concept to completion.