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About the Client

Based in Goring-on-Sea in Sussex, World of Books is one of the world’s largest second-hand book retailers. Over the last 10 years, the Sussex company has grown its shelves from 1,000 books to over 3 million.

Design Brief

Following the successful refurbishment of World of Books’ warehouse toilets in 2018, the Sussex book retailer contacted us again in 2019 to re-brand and maximise a number of spaces at its Goring-On-Sea site. The large-scale office refurbishment project would take place across a two floors and include works to workspaces, breakout areas and toilets.

Our Solution

In the early stages of the refurb project, we worked closely with World of Books to identify its design preferences. After discussing the possibility of a clean Scandinavian-style design, our Brighton office designers created 3D visuals of the prospective spaces sporting a minimalist aesthetic.

Once the designs were finalised and agreed, the next challenge was to work out an undisruptive project programme. After many internal consultations, we agreed to deliver the works in eight phases with short intervals in between each. The intervals would allow World of Books’ teams to relocate before the next works would take place, making for a number of smooth and seamless departmental transitions.

Through maintaining clear lines of communication with the client, we were able to create the clean, modern and functional space as outlined in the brief. Additionally, the intelligently devised programme allowed World of Book to remain operational throughout and, in turn, avoid any financial repercussions.

Breakdown of Phases

Phase 1 HR, Finance and Executive Departments

On first floor workspace, we used our space planning expertise to integrate the HR, Finance and Executive Departments. Within these departments, we also installed two meeting spaces. For private meetings, one of the spaces is enclosed in solid, soundproof partitions with a tinted glass panel. The other room is positioned next to the Executive Department to facilitate short, ad-hoc meetings.

Phase 2 – Customer Services Department / Waiting Area

On the entrance to the first floor, our design team implemented two ‘nook’ areas for waiting visitors. These include sofas with acoustic properties and modern white book shelves containing popular titles. Next to this, we configured the space to include several shared desk spaces for the Customer Services Department.

Phase 3 – Boardroom, Photocopying Area and Tea Point

For additional meeting space, we created a large boardroom with frosted glass partitions for privacy. Within this, we introduced an eight-person meeting table with integrated power, comfortable office chairs and a presentation screen. Next to the meeting room, our office interior designers configured a printing/photocopying area with an adjoining tea point for the HR, Finance and Executive Departments.

Phase 4 Ground Floor Canteen

Prior to the works, World of Books’ canteen area was situated on the first floor. This proved problematic, as the warehouse staff would regularly use the canteen and make the office area extremely busy and distracting. To stem the flow of people walking through the office, we moved the canteen downstairs. Key features of the canteen include a kitchenette for food prep, heavy-duty dining benches, durable vinyl flooring and a green colour scheme to reflect the company’s branding.

Phase 5 – IT, Boardroom and Breakout Area

This was one of the largest phases of work, with changes being made to four individual areas. First, we introduced an IT area with an adjoining meeting room. Once again, our designers used their office space planning expertise to add in extra desks for future departmental growth. Next came the installation of the adjoining boardroom, which, like the others in the office, contained furniture for collaboration and a LED screen. Finally, we installed breakout area with elegant modular sofas, a kitchen area with a breakfast bar and a cleaner’s cupboard.

Phase 6 – Marketing Department

Phase 6 entailed configuring a workspace for the Marketing Department, with key features including shared desks with ergonomic task chairs, poseur tables and lockable storage solutions. Additionally, our designers chose two solid block colours for the carpet in this area, creating a ‘runway’ effect leading into the other areas of the office.

Phase 7 – Ground Floor Toilets

On the ground floor, the male, female and disabled toilet facilities needed refurbishing to improve the standards for warehouse staff. To honour the design brief for a clean, understated design, we refurbished these with natural wood IPS panels and grey flooring. Additionally, we installed new sanitary ware including basins, taps, toilet bowls, urinals and soap dispensers.


Phase 8 – First Floor Toilets and Shower

Like the phase 7 toilet refurbishment, the remit here was to transform World of Books’ dated first floor toilets with a modern and understated design. Using the same natural woods and greys for the flooring and IPS panels, the office staff’s male and female toilets now sport a corporate aesthetic and look cleaner overall. Additionally, we updated the existing shower area with new tiles and a modern water system.