3 min read
22 Nov 2022

SGP expands Longbridge office to support growth in West Midlands business

By Richard Smyth

Stephen George + Partners (SGP) has expanded its Longbridge office to accommodate the extra staff recruited to meet the AJ100 practice’s business growth in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Says Richard Smyth, Partner at SGP: “Four years ago we created a strategy to focus on developing our two West Midlands offices, growing our business base and putting in place the resources to service our existing and new clients. We installed a full delivery team and set about creating a distinct identity for Longbridge. Our growth in the last 18 months has exceeded our expectations, and seen the team grow from 3 to 16 people.”

At home in the Innovation Centre at Longbridge Technology Park, SGP knocked through two offices to create an extended, open plan workspace, three times the floorspace of the original. The layout focuses on creating a friendly, flexible environment that provides all the facilities expected in a fully-fledged studio, particularly the ability to collaborate as a team and with clients and project stakeholders.

Continues Kumar Muniandy, Studio Director: “This refurbishment has given us the ability to display our skills and ethos through a calm, modern, singular space into which we can welcome potential, new and existing clients and demonstrate our capabilities and resources, all available locally. Our regional growth has mirrored SGP’s growth nationally, and we have been able to build on existing logistics expertise as well as developing our residential, mixed-use and interior design sectors. We’ve also embraced the challenges and opportunities of digital technologies such as CGI and VR as well as new sectors such as modular construction and MMC.”

The studio was able to call on the skills and expertise of the practice’s own interior design team to create a style that was in-keeping with SGP’s overarching character but with an identity specific to the locality.

Explains Jess Greenhalgh, Principle Interior Designer: “Having delivered the interior design for SGP’s London, Leeds and Leicester offices, we were excited to get to grips with Longbridge. Each office wants to identify as part of the SGP family whilst being personal to the staff who work there. Kumar wanted to create an elegant, open plan area that would be welcoming to clients, comfortable for the staff and embody the excitement of a fast-growing business.”

Primarily open plan with minimal dividers to separate the areas and help with the acoustics, SGP’s design focused on how the space would be used and how staff would feel within the space. Careful space planning, working from the business plan and current and projected staffing levels, was the basis for creating a mix of practical and adaptable spaces to suit the varying needs of the staff and workload. The layout includes private spaces for quiet concentration, informal break-out areas and a small kitchen, as well as collaborative areas such as the Col-Lab which promote integration and where SGP’s immersive VR equipment is set-up.

Concludes Kumar: “Our expanded and refurbished office is the platform on which we will continue to deliver the SGP vision, attracting new business and developing the next generation of graduates in an upbeat, inclusive, digital environment. This is an investment in the future, an unequivocal statement that SGP is looking forward to more growth and a thank you to our staff and clients who have fuelled our development over the past few years.

We are planning to have a Spring Office event in The New Year and series of Workshops.

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