Chameleon Business Interiors appointed to deliver new hub for Yorkshire Housing

by Francesca

Yorkshire Housing – Yorkshire’s largest developing housing association – has announced that Chameleon Business Interiors will be leading the fit-out of The Place, its new city centre hub in Leeds.

The Place builds on Yorkshire Housing’s long-standing ‘Hub, Home and Roam’ approach – which enables its colleagues to work anywhere, anytime.

Shaun Watts, chairman of Chameleon said: “We feel proud to have the opportunity to be working with Yorkshire Housing on delivering its new hub. 

“Yorkshire Housing shares the same values and culture as Chameleon, so we feel we can really deliver a fun, vibrant and engaging new space for its employees to come together in and thrive. There are many stand out design features that we are excited to see come to life. The carbon neutral scheme emulates our ethos at Chameleon – to deliver sustainable schemes – as well as Yorkshire Housing’s commitment to prioritising people and sustainability.”

The design will allow Yorkshire Housing to provide a forward-thinking, fun, yet practical space for colleagues that inspires collaboration, innovation, and learning. Supporting colleagues’ mental and physical health throughout the pandemic has been a priority for Yorkshire Housing and the space has been designed with a focus on wellbeing. Some of the standout features include wellness cubes, that use sound and light to create a safe space for anyone who needs it – for prayer, meditation, some down time, breastfeeding or for wellbeing or medical reasons.

There are also moveable booths, breakout areas, a rotating amphitheatre, digital walls, and a Yorkshire-themed village green. The space will also make use of the latest technology that will enable its colleagues to collaborate with each other whether working from a hub, home or out in local communities.

The design concepts are the idea of award-winning Ingo Interiors and will see a flexible workspace come to life, moving away from the traditional ‘office’ model. Ingo Interiors founder Jenny Hill said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Yorkshire Housing to create a workspace fit for the future. 

“This is not an office; this is a workplace destination. I am pleased that the pandemic has inspired a change in the way people work. Yorkshire Housing understand the benefits of this style of design.”

The move to The Place, at the heart of the Climate and Innovation District in Leeds, will also see Yorkshire Housing make significant cost savings thanks to the buildings ‘fabric first’ approach. 

The timber frame used to construct the building was manufactured just next door and the building does not need boilers for heating, instead triple glazed windows, thick insulation, and airtightness help it to retain heat. Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery Systems (MVHR) bring a constant flow of fresh air into the building as well as making heating and cooling more energy efficient.

Nick Atkin, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Housing said: “The Place is not an office. It’s a space where people can get together to share ideas, socialise and learn from each other. It makes use of the latest technology to enable our people to connect no matter where they are.

“We’re delighted to be working with Ingo and Chameleon to deliver this ground-breaking workspace. 

“The Place will transform how we deliver our services and will be an integral part of our hub, home and roam approach, enabling us to respond more quickly to the needs of our customers at a time and place that suits them.” 

Yorkshire Housing signed a 10-year lease for The Place in August last year, which saw it become the first Yorkshire-based business to invest in the Climate and Innovation District of the city. It also became the first to commit to the region’s only zero-carbon commercial building, which has been developed by Citu as part of a wider £500m regeneration scheme of the South Bank area of Leeds. The move follows the sale of their previous city centre HQ, Dysons Chambers.

Work has already started on site and will be completed by summer 2022.

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