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KI’s 800 Series storage defines spaces at award-winning Sunderland City Hall

February 3, 2023

As part of an ongoing £500m regeneration project for Sunderland City Centre, a new City Hall has been developed on the former Vaux brewery site on the River Wear. The brief from Sunderland City Council was to create a space that could incorporate various council departments while creating somewhere that provides opportunities to engage with the local community. This includes a multifunctional council chamber, customer service centre, and café, all of which are on the ground floor. Since its completion, the City Hall won a BCO Award and was also named ‘Best of the Best’ National & Regional winner – both in the ‘Corporate Workplace’ category.


The new 190,000 sqft headquarters were designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects whilst the furniture dealer for the project was Workpattern. The offices have been arranged in open floorplates around a light-filled atrium. KI’s 800 Series powder-coated steel shelving and storage systems were utilised throughout to create partitions and an array of different work settings.


Each system was specified in colours that complemented their respective surroundings, including dark red, dark green and powder blue. Two of them include 16 colourful storage units on plinths with shelving, while others have whiteboard fronts. The overall aim was to provide settings that were unusual and bright and help to promote wellbeing and collaboration.


Storage was also an important requirement for the project. 800 Series lockers and storage units, specified in cream, have been placed in different settings to support the workplace and give employees somewhere to securely store files or personal effects. The lockers use RFID technology so can be individually locked, while the units have lockable compartments.


The use of KI products also meant that the design was kept in line with WELL Building Standards as both the shelving units and the lockers are Certified Indoor Advantage™ Gold, meaning that they support a healthy indoor air quality.


Overall, City Hall has become an exemplar civic building that not only provides the tools for council staff, but that reflects its local cultural heritage. Also, by fulfilling Sunderland City Council’s high aspirations, it has set a new benchmark for post-covid office design.


Paul Glaister, brand principle of Workpattern, said: “We’re thrilled to be part of a key regeneration project that has been acknowledged by the BCO on the national stage. The project included a rich typology of workplace settings designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects; these included some special/bespoke solutions also created by them to provide a real synergy between the building and furnishings.


“This approach and level of detail required development and coordination with various manufacturers on bespoke design detailing and finishes. KI really engaged with us and the project designers to deliver solutions that met all aspects of the design and high-quality standards required.


“From my perspective, the Hybrid 800 series/colonnade solution provides one of the most impactful elements within the office landscape but marries this with enormous practicality and usability.” 


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