As a progressive company Benenden have always taken care to invest in their staff, including looking after their welfare. It was a cause for concern that it had been identified staff were not taking breaks that they were entitled to take. Following a consulatation process with staff, it became clear that the existing staff room did not provide a comfortable environment in which the staff wanted to spend time. ODAPS were invited to Benenden to redesign and refurbish the staff room to make this a more appealing area to use.
A working committee was established by the staff and working with our designers it became clear that the existing staff room provided a very limited variety of seating and lacked any sort of ambience. Therefore key criteria for the new design was to combine a variety of areas and seating, within a modern yet intimate environment to create a more sociable break out area to visit.
To acieve this our designers specified dwarf partitions, with a view to creating distinct areas but without isolating them. These areas included a lounge area to relax in, dining booths with bespoke bench seating for a more sociable dining experience, a formal dining area with bistro style chairs and tables and a casual drop in area with poser bars and stools, one of which was provided with power and data connections to create an internet bar.
To create the contemporary theme a variety of colours and textures were used in the furniture including hi gloss designer bistro chairs, coloured vinyl bar stools, simple comfortable sofas and bespoke high back bench seating. Hi gloss white kitchen units were installed in an accessible format for ease of use by wheelchair users and able bodied alike.
A variety of flooring was used to complement the areas, with aged timber effect vinyl planks to the dining areas and a superior broadloom carpet to the lounge areas. Lighting was also carefully specified to create the right ambience to each area. The main dining and kitchen areas having recessed LED lighting, crystal pendant lighting to the dining booths and a domestic pendant fitting to the lounge area.
The final break out area was unveiled to universal praise. Monitoring since completion has confirmed that the redesigned break out area as achieved its aim.