As one of the world’s oldest, leading and largest pharmaceutical enterprises – with roots that go back to 1885 – it’s crucial that Boehringer Ingelheim’s operations always make the right first impression. And nowhere is that more important than in their front of house reception in their UK headquarters building, where they welcome a lot of visitors from around the world – including customers and colleagues.
Having already carried out a full renovation of the building – including a fresh, vibrant and greatly more efficient servery – we were tasked to focus our attention on transforming their front of house reception and WC’s to ensure both were in keeping with the rest of the revitalised building.
Our task was to create a warm, welcoming and thoroughly professional space for our client, their people and their visitors. One that clearly represented Boehringer Ingelheim’s values and created a contemporary first impression.
Often it’s easiest to work with a complete blank canvass but that’s not always possible. In this case, we had to work with the existing layout of the area and some of the existing finishes, such as the marble flooring. Another key part of the brief was to increase the amount of people that could move through the secure turnstile the client used, as they often had large groups of visitors which could result in congestion.
So, we had new speed stiles designed that also allowed the adjacent corridor space to become part of the reception space visually. We used timber slats to follow the curve of the space through from reception to create a smooth, feature transition from one area to the other.
In addition, we utilised bespoke pin-strip lighting and the client’s strong corporate blue to create a dramatic and eye-catching feature around the reception desk.
We deliberately created a warm and decidedly non-corporate aesthetic in the WC’s, taking inspiration from the many hospitality interiors we’ve created. Here, glazed porcelain tiles and dark muted paints provided an intimate feel, complimented by the use of oak timber. An element of luxury was added with feature wall lighting and Corian wash troughs featuring innovative Dyson Airblade taps.
So that we could work fast, efficiently and effectively – particularly to enable noise to be kept low and access to be kept high – the client’s reception function was relocated to another part of the building so that we were able to completely take over the refurbishment space.
We carefully gutted and refurbished the entire space so as not to damage the existing marble tiles.
The transition from the old reception to the new was highly dramatic with the new led pin strip lighting ensuring that the client’s corporate brand could now be easily seen from outside, while providing additional way finding for visitors.
What’s more, the new speed stiles we installed totally alleviated the congestion experienced when large groups of visitors came into the building.