We Are

Mixology Award Winning Interior

We Are, Grain Warehouse, Victoria Quays, Sheffield – Design Agency Studio – Brand communications specialists who build partnerships with their clients to create strong brands that have meaningful relationships with their customers.

Located in the Victoria Quays canal basin, the Grade II listed Grain Warehouse was built between 1816 and 1819 for the purpose of storing and distributing grain for boats.  The function of the building started to diminish in 1870 as steam engines became a more popular method to transport merchandise.  Victoria Quays then became largely neglected and was vacant for 20 years.

In 1992 Sheffield Council decided to restore the area and return Victoria Quays to its former glory with buildings in the area being re-purposed as commercial, retail, restaurants and residential.

About the project

The Grain Warehouse with its unique internal features had been empty for a long time in its unfinished state and had suffered from both water damage and minor structural faults.   The existing location benefitted from good natural light, despite the slightly oppressive feel created by the existing hoppers.

But what a space, you could almost taste the history, it just needed vision.

What they wanted:

  • To create a studio space that had a unique atmosphere.
  • An environment that fed creative minds.
  • A WOW factor for clients.
  • An element of domesticity.
  • Space to expand.
  • A bit like a pub and with nice toilets please.
  • Just make it FAB!

Our solution:

The natural grain of the structure was extremely demanding.  This was not a simple case of creating partitions wherever you wanted.  3D BIM was utilised throughout the design to aid both the designers and the Client as to how the internal features impacted upon the spatial brief requirements.

The vision was to maximise the power of the interiors natural features and form.  Those Hoppers were crying out to be something, then the light came on…

The lower part of the hopper or “spout” was modified to act as a primary source of illumination to the studio.  Energy efficient LED lighting was adopted as the solution to provide a uniform white light.

Heating was provided by a heat recovery system with plenum and heat source pumps pulling in cold air, warming it and releasing it according to demand.  Underfloor heating throughout the studio and offices, just a tad warmer than it was in the old days!

Spacial planning, location of use and disciplines maximising the interior views to the external areas was paramount.

Without going too far back in time the materials and finishes used are a subtle blend between reclaimed and new.

Frameless glazing was employed to allow natural light penetration to cellular spaces such as meeting rooms and offices and always to provide great views of the internal features.

Acoustic enhancements were added to reduce airborne sound from spaces that had a requirement for creativity and thought.

Visible links with the external spaces enhance the enjoyment of the workplace for all in the design studio, you can even feed the ducks…

The open plan studio provides a superb canvas for collaboration with the simplistic styling of ironmongery and frames to the furniture evoking and honest industrial feel.

The restoration of the internal finishes has been painstaking, not forgetting the constraints that come with a grade II listed building.

So what did we do:

  • Sympathetic refurbishment of a grade II listed building that has power and heating with RHI
  • A full change of use from historical industrial to a creative design studio in line with the clients brief and wants.
  •  Breathed new life into the interior and brought it back in harmony with the external features of the canal.
  • Used BIM technology to design, visualise, cost and implement a construction programme that would work for the client.
  • Resourced sustainable materials and systems that have a minimal impact on the environment.
  • Innovative use of existing architectural features
  • And, we know for a fact, that we made a great design company WEARE very happy and settled in their new home.

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