Wednesday, 17 February 2010

CI London Office makeover #3

Kate Scott, Office Manager at CI, shows things falling into place with the London Office refurbishment.

Good news from Highbury! Over the past month Chestnut Ltd and their various contractors have been beavering away through the snow and freezing weather, and we finally have some signs of a beautiful property rising, phoenix style, from tired and battered ashes.

There's lots to report on but most importantly the new heating system is in... and working wonderfully! We have new plastic pipes throughout the building and energy efficient, compact, radiators in place of our old worn-out ones. Each sink has it's own water heater so we don't waste energy on keeping water hot when we don't need it and as you can see from the pictures, our shiny new boiler (below - click for full size) is so compact that we now have loads of space in the boiler room; although I've no idea what we can safely use that for... any ideas?

Chestnut's carpenters have been working hard on making all the windows and doors fit properly, so minimising drafts. This means removing each window frame or door, repairing or replacing wood - and sometimes the glass when the old stuff has cracked - and replacing all door handles and window catches with matching shiny brass.

The office refurbishment working group has also been in action during these past few weeks with a variety of 'final' decisions being demanded by the contractors and so we now have paint going on the walls; a fresh and clean hint of green for the walls throughout with the exception of the boardroom which has a deeper more mature shade of green. All this will be offset by dark chocolate-coloured carpet tile-flooring.

Electricians have also been on site at the same time, upgrading all the lighting to meet with office health-and-safety standards. Also upgrading the fire-alarm system to include smoke detectors, another new H&S requirement. In the pictures you will also see a green stripe (left) around some of the walls, this is a film covering up the electrical ducts where power points and data cables will be. In some cases, where desks cannot butt up against a wall, the power ducts have been attached to the floor to run under desks. Thanks to the working group we also have a new range of lights specifically chosen to enhance the style of the boardroom and main entrance hall.

We now have a brand new 'tea point' (right) upstairs on the second floor thanks to a redesign of the WC's giving us more space in that area and no more drafts up there either as the badly designed open metal grate in the windows has now been reglazed with solid glass. All the WC's have been fitted out with upgraded porcelain sinks and loos.

The plans for the kitchen are coming along well too, although we are still waiting for listed-buildings permission to take down the wall there. We now have a brand new kitchen fitted into the old storage space, which gives us much more work surface, storage and a more comfortable space for tables and seating in the main area. Unfortunately the listings permission may take a few more weeks so we will probably have to put up with that wall for a while once we move in - but don't worry, it will all be fully functional so we can go back to group lunches in the kitchen, we'll just have a scruffy floor to start with.

And to finish this report... I've included a mystery picture (left) showing a little piece of the building's history - something that's been lingering under the floorboards since the building's more elegant Edwardian days when there was an 'upstairs' and a 'downstairs' layout... can you guess what it is? Leave your guess or ideas for the boiler room in the comments.


  1. Is the object where they chained up the hired help?

  2. Perhaps used to torture companies that abuse consumer rights

  3. Good answers! I'm going for a bell-pull - to call one's servant, naturally.