Second Step

Interior & Exterior Refurbishment
Charity
4,930 sq.ft
Bristol
Services Delivered

A new home for Second Step, a leading UK mental health charity, delivering an inclusive and sensitively designed space for the team, partners and clients.

The Brief

Bespa were instructed by Second Step, a leading UK mental health charity, to create a design and complete a refurbishment project for their new home in Bristol. The charity's objective was to provide a brand new space to accommodate a hybrid working environment and consultation facility, a space that would be sustainable and ‘psychologically, adversity trauma informed’ for their clients.

The Space

Second Step’s new office is set out across two floors and includes an existing extension, which was added to the rear of the building in 2015 in the form of an atrium. Bespa ran a design workshop with the Second Step team to establish the preferred ‘look and feel’ for their new workspace, which was then translated into our design. The results of the workshop indicated a preference for a combination of natural finishes with an injection of colour to brighten the interior, whilst softer colours were suggested for consultation spaces. As part of their relocation process Second Step also completed an internal consultation to understand the key requirements the team had for their new space. The results illustrated how important it was that our design provided areas for collaboration, a variety of workspaces and a welcoming environment for partners and clients, and essentially an inclusive space that works for all. In addition to this, an ‘accessibility audit’ was conducted for Second Step to ensure that their new building is fully accessible and provides an ‘inclusive’ space for all. Bespa’s design incorporates the requirements identified. For example: a new accessible main entrance door and the car park upgraded to provide additional accessible parking. Banisters to the first floor have been updated and continue around the corner on the first floor to ensure that the visually impaired can find their way around the space. Way finding signage has been installed to ensure that the interior layout can be easily navigated. The brief was to complete an exterior and interior refurbishment of the 1970s building to enhance the current layout and rejuvenate the existing space. Our design needed to provide an uplifting and inclusive workspace for Second Step’s team, and a space that accommodates, and is sensitive to the needs of clients, staff and visitors. Bespa worked with Second Step to complete a refurbishment within budget. Key areas where savings were achieved included a furniture audit and assisting with the sourcing of pre-owned items, which significantly reduced costs. The scope of works included updating, and repairs to the building exterior, which involved replacement windows, guttering, fascias, soffits and painting the existing render. Work to the car park included the installation of EV charging points. On arrival, employees, clients and visitors are welcomed to the building with a newly painted exterior, which includes a cheerful shade of green applied to the external cladding. This colour is taken into the entrance lobby and continued on to the banisters to the first floor to provide continuity. Building work to the interior also involved the enlargement of the rear access point, which serves as an additional accessible entrance from the rear car park and adjoins the kitchen. This area has been opened up to create a light and airy staff recreation facility and spacious breakout space for the team and visiting partners. Alterations in the lobby area included the demolition of a previous store creating a larger and more accessible reception area. Additional meeting rooms have been created on the ground floor using acoustic partitioning and fire rated doors with vision panels. Due to the sensitive nature of client meetings, additional sound proofing has been extended into the ceiling space to ensure absolute privacy and confidentiality. This also provides a space for visitors and staff who are neurodiverse to avoid noise and brighter light levels of the more busy areas of the building. First floor building work included the removal of partition walls to create a larger workspace area and the creation of a teapoint for first floor staff. Adjacent to this, space previously used as a kitchen area, has been reconfigured to create an accessible toilet and shower room. Interior decoration throughout the building includes fresh paint to all walls with a palette of primary colours introduced to create ‘feature’ walls in the office spaces, meeting rooms and common areas. Wall graphics have been applied in the main meeting room to provide a point of interest. The use of primary colour and wall graphics extends to the reception and breakout area creating a welcoming and bright space as staff and visitors arrive in the building. Subtle and softer tones have been used in the consultation rooms to set the right tone for the client consultation rooms creating a peaceful and calm environment. Bespa were delighted to work with, and be involved in the creation of an inclusive and uplifting new home for Second Step, supporting the team in the invaluable work they do for the local community.

Project Process

Bespa will break down their process here.
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