Ridge’s Winchester office was originally opened in 2008 and has grown year on year, including several business acquisitions that have led to the vibrant South Coast consultancy of choice that exists today.
The old office at Partnership House in Winnall was showing its age and had become too small for our continued growth strategy, so a decision was taken to move to better-quality accommodation. The move to a new office at 1 Royal Court, Kings Worthy, in November 2022 has provided a significant increase in the quality and flexibility of our working environment.
The strategy was to relocate to an office close to our previous Winchester base and in a location that allowed ease of access using a variety of methods in accordance with our travel plan. Royal Court is located close to the M3/A34 road junction, as well as to bus and rail connections and a direct footpath into the city centre. Kings Worthy is also the home to several of the office’s staff, meaning an increase in numbers able to walk or cycle to work. Ridge pays close attention to the views and wishes of all staff and a consultation process helped to develop our proposals for the new space.
Royal Court was built approximately 20 years ago, so, in close dialogue with the landlord, Ridge encouraged a complete overhaul and upgrade of the common parts and landlord’s facilities, including new sustainability measures such as LED lighting, EV charging facilities, an accessible lift and an efficient heating system. Our new demise is just over 11,000 sq ft and provides a large, open plan space. The Ridge office space fit-out was designed and managed in-house, with a close attention to detail – our works and move were delivered on time and within budget, allowing our old office space to be handed back one month earlier than our lease end long-stop.
The whole second floor has been retained as an open plan workspace with central breakout area; flexible ‘hot desking’ is used throughout, with some variable height workstations introduced alongside lean-to conferencing tables, phone booths and a focus/wellbeing room. Printing has been substantially reduced and, in our drive to become paperless, storage cupboards and desk pedestals have been omitted from the design, successfully providing a clean and uncluttered environment. The desks are also free of fixed phones and PCs as we embrace fully mobile technology that increases agility for all staff.
The first floor provides a reception area, fully Teams-equipped meeting rooms of various sizes and a large, flexible open space that includes a kitchen and event bar, rest and adaptable work facilities (including sofas, booths and mobile furniture that can be configured as required). This space has been a great success for collaborative teamwork and social activities.
Carefully selected materials help to manage acoustics and a tasteful colour palette of tone on tone provides a clean, calm and elegant finish that befits the Grade A space. Sustainability and wellbeing were important elements of the philosophy behind the move – the new office is much more energy-efficient, while the tree-lined surroundings and the bright, socialising-friendly interior help promote the team’s wellbeing.
The new working practices and agility of the new space have embraced by the Winchester team, who now have an office space of which they can be proud.