MS Amlin’s new office was a challenge well met for L&S Design.
When Amlin and MS Frontier (Bermuda) Limited merged in mid-2016, they brought on L&S Design Limited to redesign their existing offices to relocate the staff into one reconfigured space over one and a half floors in Seon Place. Challenged to create a work floor on the fifth floor and a client-facing space, meeting area and staff café on the sixth floor without any interruption to ongoing business, the team at L&S Design began space planning in September 2016 and completed the 18,000-square-foot project in April 2017.
“MS Amlin wanted to provide their team with a modern, spacious office for doing business on the island in keeping with their global corporate image,” said lead interior designer Dawn Dunstan. “MS Amlin is a global company providing insurance in property and casualty, marine and aviation, and reinsurance for other insurers with 26 locations worldwide. We worked closely with MS Amlin’s facility’s team to ensure that their global branding and image was adhered to but that the Bermuda office remained sensitive to local culture, staff and client requirements.”
The branding for the new company led many of the design decisions throughout the project. Their logo—featuring a continuous wave pattern—was used as a pattern for the frosted vinyl privacy panels on glass offices and meeting rooms, and a large partition featuring the company logo offers privacy for workers in stations next to the elevator. Their corporate colours of bright red and navy were also used throughout as accent colours in the upholstery fabrics, at workstations, on accent walls and in the staff café.
In the reception area, Dunstan incorporated a custom-designed reception desk and a very special accent wall created by Woolfworks. “The lobby includes a floor-to-ceiling wall that was faux painted to mimic the rusty hull of a ship,” explained Dunstan. “Woolfworks created the effect using a special paint with actual rust in the paint, and therefore the living finish ensured each panel was completely unique. It is very dramatic and unusual.”
Inside the client meeting area is a large, open, collaborative lounge that can be used for social and client functions as well as an alternative meeting space with an audio/visual wall, drop-down projector screen and cameras able to facilitate their global town hall meeting with all their local staff present. Semi-frosted glass-walled meeting rooms on the southern side allow the transfer of natural light into the space but still offer privacy when needed. A moveable felt wall can also be slid across to form a temporary divide which aids in providing some privacy and cutting down noise.
“The panels are light in colour and have a fun polka-dot pattern in them that still allows light through into the collaborative space even when they are pulled across so that the space never feels too dark or isolated,” said Dunstan. “When the panels are not required, they can be slid back on a ceiling-mounted track into a wall pocket to be hidden discreetly away.”
A large staff café is located on the northern side of the sixth floor. The bright and welcoming space can seat up to 38 people and is broken up into booth, table and counter/bar seating areas. “A focal point in the café is the large mural wall featuring a photo by Gavin Howarth of the view of Front Street lined with tall ships taken from the harbourside,” added Dunstan.
On the working fifth floor, access to light for all employees was a key part of the open plan design. “We were very conscious in the layout to ensure that all workspaces have access to natural light,” said the interior designer. “New offices were added with full-height glass walls to allow light to pass through into the internal spaces. Keeping in line with the company’s open-plan image, the workstations have low panels that manage technology and provide boundaries between workers, but still allow open communication between staff. Sound masking was located around the space to help decrease noise transmission, a common issue with an open-plan layout and glass office partitions.”
Overall, the judges were impressed by the extensive detailing throughout the project—especially the innovative felt wall. “There was a lot of design thought put into this space,” stated one of the judges. Others noted “the space flowed well” and that the “subtle colour details really worked.”
Dunstan is pleased with the outcome and says the client’s feedback has been very positive on the completion of the project so far. “It successfully reflects MS Amlin’s commitment to providing their team with a modern, spacious office for doing business on the island but is in keeping with their global corporate image,” she concluded.
Contractors & Suppliers
General Contractor: Bermuda Interiors Ltd.
Mechanical/HVAC & Plumbing Contractor: BAC
Electrical/Lighting Contractor: BUE
Flooring – Carpet: Windward Supplies (Supply & Install)
Flooring – Vinyl: Furniture Flair (Supply & Install)
Glass: Bermuda Interiors Ltd.
Paint Supplier: Pembroke Paint
Painter/Wallcovering: Abbott Decorating
Faux Painter: Woolfworks
Appliances: Joshua Bate Trading Bermuda Ltd., Butterfield & Vallis
Security Systems: Bermuda Security Group
Interior Design: L&S Design Ltd.
Drywall Installer: Omega
Furnishings: Windward Supplies, COE, Diversified Services, AF Smith
Area Rug, Filzfelt Accoustic Privacy Panels & Window Blinds: Furniture Flair/COE
Tile Supplier: Pembroke Tile & Stone
Tile Installer/Stone: Eminence
Millwork/Kitchen: Convoy Custom
Artwork: Picturesque, Gavin Howarth & Antoine Hunt