Understanding the working environment and how staff interact is a key part of what we do. Before starting the design for the new Canteen area in GM Financial Cardiff, we worked on the key things that needed to be changed to turn this into a better environment for staff. The original old uninspiring canteen could not cope with staff numbers and also suffered from acoustic problems, a wall of noise would rise in from the office floor down below through the open spaces looking down on to the main floor.
Our design and specification involved increasing the amount of spaces available while also offering different styles of furniture to break up the area. The acoustic problems were solved by removing the existing open fronted bannister and replacing it with large panels of glass partitioning, overlooking the office floor.
A games area was installed, with artificial grass as a visual divider while we also used Orb desking to create an IT area for staff to use.
It was crucial that we enabled the canteen to still be operational throughout this project, this was achieved by phasing the build stages to keep select areas open and accessible safely for all members of staff.
The final outcome was a bright and vibrant area for staff to refresh and interact.