Grey Matter

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Client
Grey Matter
Location
Ashburton, Devon
Photography
Richard Downer
Our clients needed an architect in Ashburton, Devon to provide them with a Full architectural and interior design service for their Office Refurbishment.

Grey Matter, A software supply and management company, were looking to upgrade their tired town centre offices, set within an old Brunel warehouse, that served the adjacent railway. With a projected increase in staff and a building configuration that was inefficient, Grey Matter approached van Ellen + Sheryn to completely redesign their premises.

The re-design involved a complete strip out of the offices, re-wire and new services strategy. At the heart of the design proposals sits a central entrance hall, within a double height void above. The circulation stair and lightweight bridge link the various office departments in an open plan arrangement and act as a focal point.

The industrial heritage of the building has been maintained with the restoration and enhancement of period features throughout. Adjustable external louvres provide protection from solar gain and are a modern day re-interpretation of the shutters that used to adorn the building. The project has been nominated for the insider ‘Office Development of the Year ‘ 2015.

We have commissioned van Ellen & Sheryn to design a new purpose built cookery school building in Ashburton which was opened in 2010 along with subsequent extensions to the building in more recent years.

As a customer facing business we welcome thousands of people from around the world to spend large amounts of time (up to 6 months) within our building, so it is imperative that it is welcoming and attractive from the outside and a light and enjoyable space to work in.

van Ellen & Sheryn showed an excellent understanding of the brief and gave us multiple, well-visualised concepts to help us focus towards a finished concept and plans.

We are sited within Dartmoor Park conservation area which brings with it special considerations of materials and design, and much time was saved by having architects experienced of working within these parameters. There were no issues gaining planning permission.

The finished build is exactly as visualised and designed by the architects – an outstanding building to look at and work in that makes the most of the site within which it sits and is a delight to work in.

Several years later the business needed to expand and we commissioned van Ellen & Sheryn for the extensions. This was a tricky brief, adding on two new dining rooms to the existing facade and had the potential of spoiling the strength of the original design. Their design has actually strengthened the impact of the facade of the building which is quite an achievement.

I would recommend van Ellen & Sheryn architects for projects of all sizes. They are a modern architect studio, small enough to care about all their projects, but experienced enough to cope with projects of all sizes. I feel they offer extremely good value. The work they have executed for us is contemporary yet looks better as time moves on – the sign of a great architect.

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