Elegance, functionality and style were on the timetable for the University of York’s Heslington Hall reception area, when it was refurbished by Stonehouse. As design and management consultants, they devised an interior solution that perfectly complemented their strikingly beautiful, Elizabethan building but with a modernistic feel for a first class university.
Carol Nicholson, Facilities Manager for the area, outlined that the regeneration from the early sixties style was necessary as Heslington Hall was not only the headquarters of the University, but also a meeting and conference venue.
“The exterior of the Hall is stunning, but the interior needed to reflect a world class university and needed updating, both aesthetically and functionally. Operationally, it wasn’t the most practical areas to work in either with full meetings booked and staff working in various operational areas. We wanted a concept that was in keeping with the age of the building, but something that had a vibrant modern feel”.
When asked why Stonehouse were chosen, Carol replied, “The University were drawn to their design concepts and the way in which their professional expertise and ability to find solutions came across throughout the initial design meetings. The University of York were looking for a turn key solution to the fit out of the area and Stonehouse offered that type of professional service”.
The installation was not without its challenges however as it involved some demolition in an occupied building. “Trying to keep everyone happy was difficult as this is a very busy area” exclaimed Carol. “However, Stonehouse and their contractors were extremely approachable and flexible and were never fazed by last minute changes”.
The whole area Carol says “is exactly what we signed for, the end result is as we were promised and shown in the 3D designs visuals. It is now a fabulous environment to work in, complies with the Disability Act and looks wonderful – the staff and visitors are very impressed when they enter the building and it does project a very professional image. Who would have thought that a building steeped in tradition and history would lend itself so beautifully to this modernist interior with its sweeping shapes, clean lines and retro touches”.