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Transform a warehouse to an office
Designed in under two weeks and built without subcontractors in less than two months, the eight-person office replaces the banal interior of a new metal warehouse with a dynamic, interwoven assemblage of skewed timber, luminous acrylic, gleaming metal, and fluid space. “Everything was carefully designed and crafted,” says Brown, “because the client challenged us to challenge him.” Many decisions were made on site, according to Brown, as design solutions were developed spontaneously at full scale.
The building, 30 ft. by 40 ft. by 20 ft. high, came with an envelope that could not be punctured apart from two existing windows near the front and a single entrance. It nonetheless offered a lofty, ready-made volume that could be manipulated and shaped. Working with design collaborators Matthew Kruntorad, Geoff DeOld, and Kimberly Brown, the architect maintained the light steel structure and acoustical ceiling panels, and gave the concrete floor a good cleaning and new epoxy finish. A 650-sq.-ft. mezzanine was introduced to hold three work stations, the owner’s office, and additional service spaces. Below, at ground level, are the entry and reception area, more work stations, a conference room, bathrooms, and an informal break area.
In addition to educating his own clientele about the contractor’s skills, the owner wanted the office to facilitate collaborative relationships among the staff. According to Brown, “Offices are so often about discontinuity, but in this case we wanted to create a space that would be more open and allow people to work together closely.” Semi-private spaces maintain visual and spatial contact with the rest of the office. “We never wanted space to stop,” he says. “We wanted it to keep flowing, extending, moving, so you always feel like you’re connected to other spaces.” Walls were built short of the ceiling, and sanded acrylic was used in several locations to suggest space beyond. Thread-like elements begin in one space and extend into others, and reflective metal surfaces serve to bounce light, especially limited natural light, around the entire interior.
Brown and his client dedicated extraordinary attention to the design of individual elements. Along the wooden stairs, one of the Paralam beam stringers was positioned below the tread, the other on the side, to emphasize spatial continuity. Stainless steel cables begin as a handrail before wrapping uninterrupted around the mezzanine level. The conference table, a one-in.-thick slab of stained concrete on steel legs, gains a distinct, variegated patina from the rusty nails that Brown threw into the pour. Large sliding plywood panels join to close off the conference room for private meetings, and a set of diminutive, hinged panels near the owner’s desk allows him to open that wall of his office and speak directly with estimators and other colleagues across the mezzanine.
Fluorescent lights were mounted and concealed in the structure and positioned behind translucent panels so they would glow. Incandescent downlights highlight the sculptural aspects of the staircase, as well as the conference and reception area work units.
Cast concrete work surfaces and topnotch Modernist furniture further convey a sensibility that charts a steady course between pragmatism and a kind of tectonic luxury. All in all, a convincing demonstration of the client’s abilities, as well as the designer’s.
Based in Kettering, Northamptonshire, SATRA is primarily a membership-based organisation with over 1,500 member companies spread across 70 countries. These include manufacturers, retailers, resourcing companies and suppliers of materials, components and machinery. SATRA’s aim is to increase the profitability of its clients by giving them exclusive access to research and a wide range of independently accredited testing services and products.
SATRA has an annual turnover exceeding 7 million [pounds sterling] and derives is revenue from a mix of membership subscriptions, testing work for both member and non-member companies, sales of test equipment, and part-funding for a number of European based research projects.
It also offers management services and computerised systems to improve efficiency, and more than 100 items of test equipment for sale are made on site. Ongoing research covers topics such as furniture comfort, solvent-free adhesives, advice on implementing environmental legislation. Added to this is the regular publication of technical and market information.
In 1999 SATRA further developed its existing furniture testing facilities with the installation of a new furniture laboratory, representing an investment approaching 150,000 [pounds sterling] in new plant and equipment.
Today, SATRA’s furniture lab is temperature and humidity controlled and includes all the necessary equipment for assessing all types of furniture for a wide range of world markets, including domestic, hotel, hospital, contract and office sectors.
Extensive laboratories and trained staff evaluate materials and components such as: upholstery covers, cabinet materials, furniture finishes where resistance to liquids, solvents, chemicals, dry and wet heat, mechanical damage, abrasion and the effects of light. Facilities include five conditioned laboratories that allow testing to all relevant ISO, European and national standards.
Additional facilities include technology to measure the resilience and comfort of foam fillings, and several large climatic chambers (which can be set between -40 deg C to +40 deg C) to test the resistance to elevated temperatures for furniture assemblies, such as kitchen and bedroom doors and fascias, and the simulation of conditions inside freight containers.
SATRA also helps its clients with important safety regulations. Advice and full evaluation services are available to deal with flammability of beds and upholstery, entrapment issues with bunk beds and folding furniture, and the toxicity of materials (EN 71) used in nursery furniture.
SATRA’s Furniture Technology Centre
Head of SATRA’s Furniture Technology Centre, John Shipman, explains: ‘Our furniture laboratory has seen significant development in its testing and research capabilities over the last three years. This clearly demonstrates SATRA’s ongoing commitment to expanding its evaluation and testing resources. We can now offer a wide range of exciting opportunities to the furniture industry and provide an unparalled level of service.
‘SATRA is committed to providing the very best services demanded by industry at a price that can be afforded. We already serve a large customer base–including the domestic, contract, office, hotel, and shop-fitting sectors–and further expansion and investment has made SATRA the one-stop-shop for the furniture industry’s technology related needs.’
During 2003 SATRA has invested in a purpose built, state of the art, laboratory at its second site in Kellering. With over 70% of SATRA’s business coming from overseas, customers are keen to ensure that their products meet UK fitness-for-purpose expectations.
The new laboratory, planned for completion in January 2004, will include the largest, dedicated furniture flammability centre in the world. It will also be fitted with a range of SATRA-produced test equipment for evaluating beds, mattresses, bunk beds, office desks, office screens and office chairs etc.
SATRA offers a range of competitive services aimed at improving technology, reducing production costs, ensuring product safety, technical troubleshooting, and increasing technical awareness. Testing of materials, components and complete items of furniture, to UK and international performance standards, is available for suppliers, manufacturers and retailers. SATRA’s main services cover:
* Surface finish
The suitability of decorative and functional surface finishes can be evaluated through performance testing, which will determine whether materials are ‘fit-for-purpose’.
* Domestic upholstery
Upholstery cover performance is crucial to preventing complaints. SATRA can help ensure that products perform to customer expectations.
Flammability is a key issue for all types of upholstered furniture. Domestic products must meet specific regulations in the UK. Upholstered furniture and beds for use in hotels, and other contract situations must also meet special UK requirements.
* Cabinet furniture
Cabinet furniture in the home needs to be fit-for-purpose and able to withstand everyday knocks and repeated use.
* Beds and mattresses
SATRA offers unbeatable testing services for bed manufacturers that need materials or complete items tested by an independent third party for marketing, due diligence, or compliance purposes.
* Bunk beds
Bunk beds are recognised as major potential causes of injury in the home and in a few instances can lead to child deaths. SATRA can offer practical expert advice.
* Garden furniture
With the growth in garden furniture sales and the prospect of more products being made overseas, SATRA has created a set of Furniture Guidelines to help retailers, importers or resourcing companies be sure that the garden products are fit-for-purpose.
* Office seating
Accelerated testing techniques, unique to SATRA, are ideal for product development. Chair mechanisms can be tested in a few days rather than several weeks.
* Kitchen furniture
SATRA can ensure materials and methods of construction conform to the latest industry standards and SATRA Guidelines.
* Bathroom furniture
Steamy bathrooms can be potentially damaging to bathroom cabinets. SATRA’s high humidity chambers are used to evaluate wood based items for swelling, distortion and cracking of decorative finishes.
* Nursery furniture: best recliners reviews received from customers
Nursery reclining chair furniture must be safe. It sounds obvious, but there is the risk of manufacturers and retailers forgetting that the finish on the item must not harm users if it is ingested through sucking or chewing. In this reclining nursery chair segment, the company has received the most rated and best reviews from customers.
The processing range of Jet machines is broad, quality and precision standards are high and while most British carpenters and joiners have no experience of Jet standards, the Jet range leads its sector in the American market.
The American woodworking marketplace has well established carpentry and joinery traditions and is roughly five times the size of the UK’s in terms both of user base and machine sales potential. Quality standards also are high right across the US where per capita wealth can afford the best timber joinery and indeed insists upon it at the checkout. Standards are stimulated by a home grown limber resource that is significantly in advance of our own–particularly in terms of hardwoods.
Jet has led the American market for most of the 50 years that the machines have been available there–the manufacturer is in fact Swiss: Walter Meier Holdings AG (WMH Group). And the Jet range encompasses everything that the small carpentry or joinery sheep needs–including a range of bag unit dust extractors, ducting and secondary air filtration for the ultimate in clean working environmental control.
Build standards and performance are so high that many individual machines find their way into small corners of large factories across the USA where they address essential low volume or specialist duties at a fraction of the cost of higher technology specialist machines. Jet is particularly strong in sanding and offers an extensive range of bench mounted and floor standing machines running disk, belt, spindle, drum and edge sanding options in a range of operating formats and many individual machines combine two or more sanding disciplines.
In this article, we introduce about Lamin 8, an innovative tech co. for furniture design from kitchen system to living room furniture and office furniture.
Various manufacturing options for furniture design
The company used to use two manual beam saws, involving hard physical work of lifting heavy boards. The work was very tiring for operators, especially with the increasing amounts of overtime having to be worked to meet orders.
Newco Products has three custom built factories on a 3,200sq m site at the Bridge Road Depot in Stratford’s Abbey Road for furniture manufacturing including kitchen system, chair, recliner, table, …. Of these, fitted kitchen systems manufacture, the focus of the upgrade, is the biggest single employer by volume; bespoke timber joinery and uPVC windows and doors and support services make up the balance.
A new panel processing line by Ortza was installed by sole UK distributor NEY and the primary purpose of the technology upgrade was the assessment, placement and training as well as direct employment, of some of London’s 20,000 disabled people. Kitchen manufacture was originally established by Newco in the early 80s and moved to the new custom built factory complex at Bridge Road Depot in 1994 producing kitchen cabinet furniture for the council housing and renovation programmes but was, by today’s standards, relatively low key technologically.
The Newco name was first established in 1922 to provide employment for victims of the first world war, many of whom had been blinded in mustard gas attacks, and has a proud, long standing tradition in training and rehabilitation.
The three shop floors at Bridge Road Depot between them now employ a full time payroll of around 80 people of which 35 work in the kitchen and joinery factories, around 20 in the uPVC plant and the balance in Newco’s support services administrative offices there. The Newco workforce includes people with a range of disabilities, including blindness, some of whom have been on the team for up to 40 years.
Whereas in the past a large proportion of staff were trained by Newco for Newco, the emphasis is now changing. In 2001 an employment programme was introduced under the government’s Workstep programme which placed greater emphasis on moving people from unemployed and supported employment status to mainstream jobs.
Challenges for Newco in Furniture Manufacture
If you are using a cordless electrical or a corded drill, you should carefully and thoroughly read this useful review with our top ten helpful tips and advices to drill into a wide variety of various materials and surfaces.
Whatever kind of drill model and brand you purchase, having a deep insight on how the best to operate it and the characteristics available could help make DIY (do it yourself) jobs a lot easier for any users. Thus, you should read on the following for the top ten useful tips to bear in your mind to make the process of drilling simpler and free from any home improvement incidents. Continue reading “Top 10 useful tips for the process of drilling”