The project comprised of a European Public Space / Information Point with an adjacent Conference Room on the ground floor, the open plan Class B standard offices on the fourth floor, including reception and a video conference/meeting room. Our client required a design solution that created an inviting and attractive environment, reflecting themes of sustainable development, using colours and materials in harmony with the natural environment.
The objective was to attract members of the public and encourage them to walk in and seek information on EU related topics, thus developing improved usability and increased foot fall, assisting the EU in maximising its public awareness. It needed to be a multi-functional space for use by the European Commission and associated organisations, a place to help nurture and develop the Commission’s ongoing presence in Belfast as well as build stronger connections with the public.
The solution was an open, modern and stylish interior where the furniture and fittings created a sense of movement and flow through the open plan public space and presentational area with some key features. These being the two feature oak panelled arches which ensured the two spaces felt more unified when the space was in its fully open plan layout, and the large back wall graphic that provided a vibrant image while functioning as a visual screen to hide the security window from the public but allowing full view into the info-point from the security room.
The design incorporated the most up-to-date technology and presentational equipment for conferences and events, and with the use of flexible screens and furniture the space is easily adaptable for a number of uses. The flexibility of this space allows a much higher utilisation rate for conferences and events, as desired by the client, but maintaining the option to act as an informal public information and meeting place.
The commercial benefits of the project are that the open and inviting design has created a place which, since opening in June 2010, is already attracting additional public access thereby raising awareness of the European Commission.