Taking shopfitting to commercial spaces: Glassons’ head office

Taking shopfitting to commercial spaces: Glassons’ head office

We’ve had the privilege of working on several of Glassons’ retail fit-outs over the years. So when we got a call about renovating the Glassons head office in Newmarket, we were excited to jump on board and bring our fit-out expertise to a commercial space. 

Transforming the old offices into a modern, collaborative, and on-brand space was an awesome opportunity for us  – but of course, it wasn’t without the challenges that every fit-out brings!

Giving the space a spruce up

The team at Glassons were familiar with Datum through our work together on store fit-outs – so Datum was the obvious choice when it came to revamping their head office.

“We thought it was the best idea to use a trusted shopfitter that we already knew,” recalls Mike Odgers, Glassons Operations Manager. 

The office floor in question hadn’t been given much attention in 15 years and was in dire need of some TLC. The plan was to remove the previous rooms and convert the space into an open-plan office. On top of looking great, the new space also needed to be able to accommodate a significantly higher number of team members than the earlier design had.

“Perhaps the largest change though was making the space much more brand relevant,” says Mike. “When you are working with a brand like Glassons, the team need to be able to arrive at work and feel as though they’re living the brand.”

With this in mind, their designers created a look and feel that reflected Glassons’ brand and design language and we got to work making it happen. The result is a space that will feel pretty familiar to anyone who’s ever shopped at Glassons, with colours and materials reflecting the store designs. 

The challenges of commercial fit-outs

The build put up some challenges, including a strict time schedule, constraining building conditions, and other tenants to deal with in the building. The Datum team had to be efficient and problem-solving savvy to get the job done. 

As we were working directly above other building tenants, no loud work could happen during business hours. One small lift serviced the entire building, which meant the team had to significantly plan ahead to ensure everything could be where it needed to be at the right time. The project was further complicated by construction work happening on the building’s roof at the same time – it was one hectic office building! 

Typical of commercial fit-outs, the Glassons’ head office team also had to vacate the building during the build. We needed to get the process done as quickly as possible so they could get back to work.  

“It was a fairly tight programme the team at Datum came up with,” says Mike. “The programme was a real winner – they finished the job on the 19th March, whereas other fit-out providers who had quoted us wouldn’t have finished until the end of April or first week in May.”

In some sort of twisted fate, the Glassons team moved in only 3 days before lockdown began. So while they haven’t been able to spend too much time in their new space yet, they’re excited to get in and get working. 

Shop-fitting skills in an office-fitting space

“We had every confidence in Datum throughout the whole process,” recalls Mike. “They coped with everything we threw at them and brought a successful shop-fitting approach to office-fitting.

“They’re not afraid to have more than one trade working onsite at the same time and overlap them to get the work done. As soon the space is ready for the next process, they’ll get them in to do it – whereas others tend to finish one trade before moving on to the next one.”

That’s the Datum difference. With the majority of trades in-house, we don’t drag out timelines by waiting for each trade to finish – our coordinated programmes ensure quicker turnarounds and no additional margins. Our retail fit-out experience ensures we’re used to strict deadlines and challenging environments – we bring that experience and our hard-working attitude to every commercial project.

It’s always a privilege to work with Glassons and the Datum team were stoked to be able to help them with their new offices. Now, Mike and the team are looking forward to what they’ll be able to achieve in the new space.

“We’re really, really pleased and very happy with the overall level of detail.”