2009 LABC Award Winners
Best Commercial Building up to £1 Million
Orphans Press employed GP Thomas & Son Limited to assist in their move from decaying old premises in a residential area of Leominster to a new build factory on the Enterprise Park just half a mile away. Their business is a mix of production (printing and finishing) and service (graphic design and websites). They were keen to achieve functional efficiency from accurate layout but also wanted to project an impressive, attractive front to their customers, new and old. The directors of Orphans Press had a very clear budget to work to and at rising material costs the project required very close management. GP Thomas worked closely with the architect, David Taylor, to prepare build options which satisfied the often conflicting requirements of the site developers, AWM (Advantage West Midlands) and Orphans Press. The common ground was that the building should look distinctive and complement the premium positioning of the Enterprise Park.
The months of detailed planning which preceded the confirmation to proceed were in contrast to the very tight build timescales - site preparation commenced June 2007 with a schedule to complete by mid September (timings were crucial to Orphans Press to allow the move of large machinery without jeopardising print deadlines). GP Thomas used the services of Leominster Construction to erect the steel framework and cladding and its own team of experienced tradesmen to build the offices. The factory comprises 7,000 sq ft with 6 metre eaves, a further 1,500 sq ft of office space (over 2 floors) and a large tarmac car park and delivery area; the overall site is 0.8 acres. Orphans Press were very keen that the new factory gave their staff good working space and a pleasant environment. A number of staff cycle to work so we incorporated a covered cycle bay. The offices are extremely light and spacious. There is a well equipped kitchen for breaks. And we built in a shower and wash area for staff to revitalise perhaps after cycling or jogging to work.
Perhaps more than most similar units, great attention was paid to the aesthetics of the building. We used the Orphans Press corporate colour, deep red, as a predominant feature across steelwork, window frames and the distinctive canopy in front of the main reception. The use of ash across door frames, staircase and the full width reception glazed entrance adds to the contemporary but welcoming feel of the office areas.
The factory was ready as planned for Orphans to move their machinery in September. The air testing provided an exceptional rating (less than 5) testimony to both the quality of design and diligent work undertaken. The feedback from Orphans Press on their new factory is entirely positive. They continue to receive compliments from customers and feel it has given them the productivity efficiencies they needed as well as an environment to continue to develop for decades to follow.
"Like G.P Thomas we too are a long established business. So when it came time to move from our previous home of 40 years we wanted new premises built to impress and to last. We entrusted David and Richard with this brief and they have delivered our superb new factory absolutely on time and to budget. They are a pleasure to work with. And 'impressive' is the main comment we hear when greeting our customers. "
Helen Bowden - Orphans Press, Leominster