Fit-out

Crisis UK Archway

Case study – Crisis UK, Archway, London

Background

In 2012, Crisis UK first approached Hannaford to undertake the refurbishment of its head office in London. Following the acquisition of two additional retail units in the capital in 2017, the national charity appointed Hannaford to deliver a ‘turnkey’ fit-out service for both its newest retail units.

Brief

The first property in Archway, previously an office for a taxi firm, was derelict. Hannaford’s team had a six-week window to transform the unit into a new retail showroom. Located on the ground floor of a residential block, noise had to be kept to a minimum with daily site closure at 5pm and no work at weekends.

Delivery

Hannaford was responsible for the entire project at Crisis UK Archway, which included the installation of a goods lift from the shop floor to the basement, necessitating significant structural steelwork.

Being located in central London meant that site access was extremely limited. No skips were allowed, which meant manual disposal of all strip-out waste and timely co-ordination for its collection.

Within the project window, Hannaford’s team completed all the necessary works, including the installation of lighting and air-conditioning, security, fire safety system and decorating. The sales counter and shelving for the unit was also manufactured to a bespoke specification at Hannaford’s workshop in St Albans.

Manj Sihra, Hannaford’s Contracts Manager, who was responsible for the project delivery, said:

 “We were privileged to work for Crisis UK once again at both Archway and Walworth Road sites, where we overcame a number of logistical challenges to create fresh and modern retail spaces. Since the completion of both units, the charity has asked Hannaford to become closely involved in future site selection, cementing a close working relationship.”

Kimchee Pancras Square

Case study – Kimchee Pancras Square

Established in 2011 by Korean businessman, Dong Hyun Kim, the Kimchee brand consists of two restaurants in London, in Holborn and Pancras Square. The latter was opened in April 2017, following a comprehensive fit-out programme, managed exclusively by Hannaford.

Appointed in July 2015, Hannaford was responsible for delivering the vision of the conceptual designer, Aiji Inoue, CEO of Japanese based design studio, Doyle Collection.

Located adjacent to St Pancras International and King’s Cross stations, Kimchee Pancras Square occupies the ground floor and basement of a nine-floor office block. Working with the landlord of the building and architect, Haskoll, Hannaford’s team were on site for 30 weeks with responsibility for every facet of the project. This included the necessary redevelopment of the restaurant exterior to allow for a bespoke entrance foyer. All of the external dining furniture and planters were handmade at Hannaford’s workshop in St Albans.

A raised floor was constructed, to incorporate plumbing for decorative fixtures, such as the water feature in the customer welcome area and the required utilities for the bar and kitchen. Stonemasons were appointed to clad the kitchen walls in specialist Neolith tiles, as well undertaking complementary decorative tiling throughout the restaurant.

Ensuring a faithful representation of Aiji Inoue’s unique concept, Hannaford’s team of skilled craftsmen used a range of joinery techniques to create the highly intricate walnut lattice work, designed for dining privacy and ornamental purposes. Among a number of joinery features, Kimchee had a 4m high ‘hidden door’ installed, which is the largest ever made by Hannaford. All timber used in the project was acquired from sources accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), of which Hannaford is a founder member.

Such is the nature of authentic Korean cuisine, the kitchen required a significant number of gas burners. Hannaford co-ordinated the complete Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) works, which included the installation of lifts, fire suppression system, CCTV and digital audio system.

Kimchee Pancras Square occupies two floors, which necessitated the addition of three structural mezzanine floors, for plant and storage. Each of these was suspended from the floor above, to ensure maximum efficiency of the space available.

Unique to Kimchee in the UK, ‘Shinpo’ BBQs were installed under each table in the downstairs restaurant. Requiring both fume and heat extraction to comply with the necessary Health and Safety regulations, this added further complexity to the MEP installation but ultimately has ensured a special dining experience for guests.

Commenting on the project delivery, Keith Speed, Managing Director, Hannaford, said:

 “As retail brands innovate, Hannaford has built a reputation for seamless management of fit-out projects, as well as superior craftsmanship, professionalism and attention to detail. Kimchee Pancras Square enabled Hannaford’s team to apply their technical proficiency to a highly challenging design brief. A number of intricate, large-scale walnut fixtures were all hand-made at our workshop in St Albans, delivering stunning impact.

Hannaford’s ability to tackle issues and implement innovative and creative techniques to exceed client expectations, sets us apart. We pride ourselves on our accountability and end-to-end management, which instils confidence and trust in our business. It was a great pleasure to successfully hand over Kimchee Pancras Square.”

Testimonial from Dong Hyun Kim, Founder, Kimchee:

“I had long envisioned bringing my native Korean cuisine to London and welcoming diners to a sleek and stylish interior, whilst maintaining a real sense of Korean authenticity. Hannaford has delivered this vision at our newest venue in Pancras Square, of which I am exceptionally proud. Their work is simply excellent.”

St Albans shop fit-out specialist Hannaford

A look ahead for the fit-out sector in 2017

The UK interior fit-out and refurbishment market is estimated to have seen substantial growth of 8% per annum in 2014 and 2015, according to a new report by AMA Research.   Fit-out and refurbishment output continued to increase during the last recession, albeit at lower levels of 2-4% per year, as many major clients, particularly in the office and retail sectors, commissioned interior refurbishment works rather than costlier new build projects.

Overall, commercial offices constitute the largest market for interior refurbishment and fit-out with around 27% of projects focused on Central London, constituting the largest market.   Despite renewed growth in speculative development, many estate holders remain cautious, opting to ‘stay and refurbish’, as a shortage of affordable Grade-A space looks likely to drive up demand for high quality refurbishment.   As a result, retrofit refurbishment and remodelling of existing space into Grade-A space is providing the main focus for occupiers over the short to medium term, says the report.

In the retail sector, where Hannaford is a specialist in high-end fit-outs, store conversions and interior refurbishments, especially among the grocery multiples, are far more significant areas of activity than new build.   The trend towards online shopping, changes in consumer food shopping habits and the changing composition of the High Street are among factors driving these changes.   Reductions in government capital spending in education and healthcare have forced a significant shift in development programmes from new build to lower cost remodelling and refurbishment of existing buildings.  Hannaford is currently working within the care home sector, undertaking a number of upgrade projects for a major organisation.

In the education arena, the conversion of Local Authority supported schools to Academies and Free Schools, the creation of new primary school places and the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) are all factors driving demand for fit-out and interior refurbishment, an area in which Hannaford has recently become involved.   In the higher education sector too, there are significant opportunities for fit-out and refurbishment work going forward, as universities remodel their capital programmes to meet revised funding expectations.   The main emphasis on construction projects in the higher education sector is now towards refurbishment and upgrade of existing facilities as well as ongoing maintenance and improvements and less towards new build projects, unless privately funded.

According to the research, the outlook for fit-out and refurbishment work in the leisure sector remains mixed with significant expansion plans announced by the budget hotels, hospitality sector and budget fitness clubs, contrasting with less buoyant prospects for sectors such as the betting industry. This would square with Hannaford’s outlook, as the St Albans based commercial joinery and fit-out company is currently working on a fit-out for a major London restaurant chain, as well as a number of other privately funded projects.

During summer 2016 the general feeling in the fit-out market has been one of waiting for the fallout of ‘Brexit’, effectively placing a pause on expectations. Notwithstanding this, there was an expectation that input costs (labour, plant, materials) would continue to increase after the ‘Brexit’ vote, regardless of outcome.

Whilst there is buoyancy in the market, the short-term impact of Brexit has led to price increases due to the weak pound but it’s unknown what the effect of leaving the EU will be in the medium term. At present, industry commentators report little evidence of schemes being cancelled or put on hold, although uncertainty over the future direction of the economy may put off some investors.

Unsurprisingly, the research found London remains the most active in terms of redevelopment activity but regions outside the capital are benefiting from the heat of the London market, with developers starting to invest in areas surrounding major cities such as Cardiff, Bristol, Watford, St Albans and Oxford.

According to Richard Williams, Finance Director for Hannaford, the market for fit-out and refurbishment still has plenty of opportunities for 2017 and beyond:

“Hannaford has been around for over 70 years, during which time the market has been cyclical in nature, in line with the wider economy. As we’ve diversified our commercial joinery and project management expertise into new markets, however, the business has increased its capacity and we forecast another busy year ahead, particularly within the hospitality, care and education sectors.”