923m² three-storey marketing suite – one of the largest ever built in London – for Taylor Wimpey in the first neighbourhood in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Modular, ‘foundation-free’ technology used in temporary structures adapted for construction industry
Brentford, 16 June 2014 – Marketing suite specialist Octink has recently completed a state-of-the-art marketing suite for Taylor Wimpey at Chobham Manor, the first of five neighbourhoods to be created in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. At almost 1000m², the suite is the largest Octink has ever built and one of the largest in the London residential property sector.
The three-storey marketing suite is designed around the sales journey that the customer will take from arrival at the site through to purchase decisions and even specifying finishes. On the ground floor, an impressive reception area is flanked by individual sales desks and also encompasses a lounge area where potential homebuyers will be able to look at site layouts and home designs on iPads. Instead of a model of the site, a large flat screen featuring a user-friendly interactive tool developed by Wagstaffs Design allows visitors to explore the development in 3D and find detailed information about each building. After virtually exploring the development, customers will then proceed upstairs to explore a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom show apartment, while an impressive roof terrace affords stunning views across the development, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Central London. Finally, for customers who have chosen to make a purchase, a private area upstairs affords them a comfortable space to relax with a coffee while they mull over their selections of finishes.
Making the most of location and legacy
“The homes that are being developed here will not only be energy efficient and finished to superb internal specifications, but they’ve been designed to offer a real sense of light and space, so creating a marketing suite that conveyed all of this was vital,” says Simon Martin, Client Services Director of Octink. “The site also has views across the River Lea wetland park to Canary Wharf and the City, as well as of the nearby Lee Valley VeloPark, so our design needed to make the most of those.”
The suite was designed for Chobham Manor LLP, which comprises Taylor Wimpey and housing association L&Q, one of London’s largest residential developers. The different needs of the two different organisations had to be considered in the design. A bespoke sales office with its own separate entrance has been developed for L&Q, but has been designed so that its customers will be also be able to access the elements of the customer journey – such as the interactive screen – that are relevant to them.
Mike Freely, Managing Director of Octink says that this forethought and detail-orientated approach are at the heart of the company’s approach: “We understand the construction industry and we understand property marketing. In each and every project we are constantly looking for ways to marry up both the marketing and technical aspects – that’s why our marketing suites work so well for our clients. It is not only that we are able to create a customer experience that evokes a feeling of what the finished development will be like; we are able to anticipate our clients’ needs. Importantly that includes the requirement for us to be flexible throughout the build process, even when that means changing a design element.”
Bringing events know-how to the construction industry
Chobham Manor is Octink’s first marketing suite to utilise Suitebox, a bespoke steel frame using modular elements which is installed on adjustable steel pad feet, eliminating the need for perfectly level ground. This enables considerable cost savings, while reducing build time by as much as three weeks, and making the structure easy to demount and relocate.
From the point of view of Tim Hatfield, Senior Site Manager for Octink, who managed the project from start to finish, one of the main challenges presented by the project was time. “For most companies an ideal timeline for building a marketing suite such as this would usually be up to six months, but the techniques we use have enabled us to take the project from concept and design through to completion in only 16 weeks. As a result we’ve delivered on time and in budget.”
Another benefit is that when Taylor Wimpey chooses to remove the marketing suite in the future, this will be able to be done quickly with no pilings, concrete slabs or other foundations left behind.
“The pads were laid and formed the base for the modular steel sections. The steel work was pre-drilled off site and pinned rather than bolted which helped to expedite the erection and future dismantling of the suite. The structural skeleton was complete in only a matter of days which was key in maintaining a particularly tight programme“, says Hatfield. “As a result, from the moment that we started the build in January until we had a watertight structure took only two weeks. This meant that we could get our installation teams in to start the next phase of the build – erecting interior walls, installing wiring, plumbing and communications, fitting furniture, applying wall graphics and so on.”
Octink’s comprehensive service offering has enabled the company to meet every requirement throughout the project. In addition to start-to-finish management of the project – from the design access statement to the concept and design through to build and decoration – the company has also printed all of the way-finding, safety and exterior signage on-site, as well as 150m² of wall graphics in the marketing suite and the 1km of advertising hoardings that surrounds the site.
Michael O'Leary, Sales & Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey East London comments: “I am extremely pleased with the new marketing suite at Chobham Manor. Octink have created a superb facility of the highest quality that is certain to impress and will enable us to offer home-buyers the very best service throughout their visit to the development. The standard quality and budget were all in line with our expectations.”