We were asked at the end of March 2016 to furnish 140 bedrooms in Nutford House – a 100-year-old student accommodation building owned by the University of London. Work was scheduled to start at the end of June with completion at the beginning of September.
Initially, our client intended this to be a straightforward replacement of loose furniture using standard available items. However, funding for the project was not confirmed internally until April, at which point the budget and scope of works was significantly expanded to include replacement of the central heating system (including all radiators), painting and decorating throughout, replacement of all carpets, signage, and refurbishment of a common room.
As a result, our brief was changed to include supply of bespoke vanity units for each room, design of a comprehensive interior finishing specification for the building, furnishing the common room and outdoor space, installation of wayfinding and signage, and fitting of carpets and vinyl throughout.
What at first looked like a fairly straightforward project quickly became our most challenging to date!
Project highlights include:
- Almost every bedroom was unique in shape, size and M&E layout, including plumbing for the vanity unit in unique locations
- We designed, developed and prototyped a new contract bedroom furniture collection – including vanity units – exclusively for this project in less than 4 weeks
- We supplied 140 vanity units to the plumbing contractor less than 3 weeks from product sign off
- Our furniture installation window was reduced from 2 months to 3 weeks as a result of the additional M&E works and the discovery of Asbestos in the roof
- At peak activity, we had more than 20 installers on site – many working through the night
- Having agreed the location of every radiator with the heating contractor and planned the furnishing of each room individually, we arrived to discover that every single radiator was in a different location to the plan, forcing us to re-plan each room in real time as we furnished it
- We commissioned original artworks from 5 renowned illustrators themed on Nutford House to display in the building and to incorporate into original and unusual door numbering for each room (the retained doors were bland and in a poor state)
- We commissioned and installed custom signage throughout the building