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What is wealth? Well, that depends on who you ask. It doesn’t necessarily involve the trinkets and status symbols of the super-rich. For many, wealth could be as simple as having choice. A feeling of financial wellbeing. Schroders Personal Wealth, a new financial planning business, understands this. Its raison d'etre is to make financial advice more accessible - not just the preserve of the traditionally wealthy – so that more people can build a better future. Its first HQ, located in London, needed to be a true reflection of this ambition.
Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW) sought our help at an exciting time when the company was searching for the right location for its new HQ. The Arcadis team was appointed to deliver project management, cost management and principle designer services. A partnership which involved tp bennet to deliver the interior design, and WSP delivering the mechanical, electrical and public health design services.
Keeping SPW’s ethos central to the design process was key in creating a unique and inclusive business environment. With SPW being a new organisation, there was a lot of emphasis on stakeholder engagement. This included collaborating with the various strands of the organisation to ensure that we understood every aspect of the brief.
Working with strict schedules and timelines, we put our client at the heart of the design journey. This ensured their vision could be realized, thanks to clear and regular communication throughout.
The delivery of the project took 10 months from inception to realisation and, although very successful, was not without its challenges. With time being a critical success factor, there was no ‘give’ in the schedule. This presented an immediate challenge in that the team could not afford to have much time (known as the license to alter period) between the completion of the design stage and the works commencing.
We recognised this early on, so agreed a reduced timescale for the alteration approval period within the lease negotiations. In addition, before the license to alter period concluded, the team gained early site access to start carrying out demolition works. This helped to accelerate the smooth running of the project schedule.
Another challenge was only having one goods lift in the building, and this was out of service for 4-weeks of an already tight schedule. We worked with the contractor (ISG) to minimise the impact of this by breaking down deliveries and agreeing alternative means of access with the building management team.
Designs on the future
In overcoming all of these challenges, we worked collaboratively to successfully deliver a new London HQ to Schroders Personal Wealth on time, on budget and on brief.
Reflecting SPW’s core values, this bright, modern and flexible environment now provides the space in which to help customers envision and plan for their ideal future. A true centre of financial wellbeing.