The company is a driving force in creating the modern home environment for the discerning customer. When they decided to move from their previous 7,000 sq. ft. facility in Alton to a 30,000 sq. ft. location in Basingstoke, as a result of continuous business growth, Habitech asked several contractors to quote for turning the empty shell at Basingtoke into a prestigious home-technology hub.
“We were effectively moving into a tin shed,” says Habitech’s founder and Managing Director, Jonathan Pengilley. “We presented the contractors with a blank canvas and asked them to suggest how they would transform it into a worthy home for the sort of technology we work with – extremely high-end home entertainment products and related home technology solutions – and a great location to discuss home-tech with high net worth individuals, who make up the bulk of our end user audience.”
Almost a third of the space was designated for showrooms, demo areas and offices, with the rest given over to warehousing. “The ‘experience centre’ is the critical theatre for showing products to their best and giving customers the opportunity to imagine the set-up in their own homes. CID scooped the contract on their superbly creative interpretation of what we were looking for; flair, space, ‘wow factor’ and seamless functionality,” says Jonathan.
CID viewed the project as both a challenge and a gift. From the challenge side of things, Habitech wanted a fluid approach to construction so that changes could be easily implemented in years to come. Progress never stands still in any area of technology and in home cinema there is a constant need to incorporate new ideas, new configurations, and the very latest in design as it comes along. The project was also a ‘gift’ with respect to starting with an open space; no limitations or constraints, other than the imagination. “CID were full of ideas from the day they walked in the door. They instantly got the quality imperative we were determined to stick to and they made sure that quality shone thorough in every aspect of their design.”
This was by no means a ‘normal’ office fit-out for CID and offered the rare opportunity to see things differently as the space evolved. The team worked closely with Dolby, for example, to create an angular wall system for the sound demo room design to prevent sound deflection. They also created a dramatic galleried hallway for demonstrating pendant speakers to maximum impact. Nowhere within the development was there a standard approach, nowhere was there anything less than design and construction to present a state-of-the-art setting for cutting edge experiences.
CID understood us
Jonathan explains that because the new premises were so close to Habitech’s heart, they had a tendency to keep re-thinking the next stage: “We changed our minds a lot. CID were never ruffled. They took on board new ideas no matter how late in any particular stage we may have been throwing them in. They were a great team to work with. They understood the importance of this project to Habitech, and they responded sympathetically, professionally and rapidly every day. Start to finish, they completed the entire project in just two months; pretty amazing performance from CID all round.”
Jonathan advised us that Habitech’s premises never fail to impress end customers and are extremely popular with Habitech’s direct Custom Installers: “The professional installing community brings people to our showroom so that they can experience the technology in action. The way in which CID created a fluid space, with a feel that’s both techno-friendly and reassuringly design-focused sends the right message to our direct customers and their end customers. It’s a place that inspires. It’s a place that makes technology choices easy to make. CID gave us a place to be proud of.”