Estilo delivers £675k fit-out at Wilmington’s Fort Dunlop HQ

Estilo Interiors has completed the £675,000 design and build of Wilmington plc’s new Birmingham HQ.

Wilmington, which provides information, training and networking services to the risk and compliance, professional services and healthcare sectors, has relocated its 100-strong team from Sutton Coldfield to Fort Dunlop, where it has taken 11,000 sq ft on the top floor.

The £122m turnover company, which has 20 offices around the world, used the move to implement culture change and introduce a new way of working, moving from cellular offices to an open plan, agile environment.

As part of the brief, Estilo engaged Wilmington staff in the design process, through workshops, building tours and CGI virtual walkthroughs. Staff were also invited to contribute to the design scheme by selecting finishes, artworks and artefacts.

The design emphasises the unique architecture of the iconic Fort Dunlop building, and maximises views from the building.

Wilmington eschewed a traditional reception area in favour of a dynamic space focused on hospitality, refreshment and welcome. Inspired by the kitchen as the hub of a home, a boulevard flows from the refreshment hub, encouraging collaboration through a landscape of alternative work settings.

In addition to designing and building the space, Estilo supplied a full furniture package. A recording studio was also installed for virtual training courses.

Gavin Culley, head of facilities management at Wilmington, said: “We’re very proud to have completed our latest and greatest fit out project. It was an unusual journey working through the lockdown period, but our inhouse project manager and Estilo Interiors made it happen.

“The space was designed before COVID to be more than just desks. It seems strange to me that it’s taken a pandemic for everyone to start talking about how to entice people into the workplace. Judging from the amazing feedback from my colleagues who have visited in the last couple of weeks we’re ahead of the curve and they can’t wait to return!”

Lucy Hansell, from Estilo’s business development team, said: “At the forefront of the design was the need to introduce variety and space to allow for future flexibility. This approach has already delivered freedoms following the challenges of COVID-19. Wilmington do not need to make any material changes to support staff back into the office – the environment itself is encouraging employees to look at returning with positivity.

“Estilo won this prestige brief against stiff competition from national competitors. Wilmington left no stone unturned or corner cut to deliver a first-class workplace for its team. It was great to share the journey with them.”

Estilo Interiors, based in the Jewellery Quarter, specialises in commercial interior design, fit-out, refurbishment and furniture provision. Established in 2003, the business turned over £20.4million in its last financial year and is on track to grow to £25million by 2021.