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A leading book publisher with 3,000 staff in seven countries, CPI Books is a vibrant and growing business with a strong sense of employee community. After outgrowing its office in Chippenham, one of 5 bases across the UK, the company decided to revamp an unused facility in Melksham so asked Interaction to provide employees with a fresh workspace to inspire a genuine “wow” factor. CPI Books had an office in Chippenham that was becoming increasingly cramped and tired. Strongly committed to staff wellbeing, they called on Interaction to refurbish a larger site in Melksham to create a quality workspace their staff deserved. CPI Books wanted this 7,000 sq ft space to bring its administrative departments together in a place that would enable staff to communicate and collaborate more effectively, and inspire a sense of belonging and “togetherness”.

Formerly an industrial unit, the site in Melksham was in a state of extreme dilapidation. One of Interaction’s first moves was to remove the unit’s suspended ceiling; this revealed a characterful roof with an array of industrial features and, importantly, skylights. Key to the fit out scheme was the creation of a cosy yet professional atmosphere that would feel welcoming to both staff and clients. This was achieved through the use of bright, warm colours in the decorative finishes, and the careful use of furniture and partitions to shape snug breakout spaces. More formal meeting rooms were also given a fun and colourful edge.

Despite difficult site conditions, including the discovery, and subsequent removal, of Chrysotile White Asbestos, Interaction completed the fit-out within a ten-week build programme. Interaction has transformed CPI Books derelict commercial unit into a bright and modern office that nurtures collaborative working, embracing staff and clients alike. The environment provides for the varying needs of people, whether carrying out individual tasks or team based work, encouraging everyone to fulfil their talent’s potential. Inspiring, buzzy and fun, CPI Books says its new workplace is ‘extraordinary’ “I returned to the office this morning to find, for the first time, our new work-space fully inhabited and buzzing with activity.

It was a rewarding moment and one which has only come about as the result of a great deal of work, both here at CPI and, of course, at Interaction. It seems a fitting juncture, therefore, at which to write and express my sincere thanks to you and your team. Your considerable efforts and expertise have culminated in the delivery of an impressive and inspirational space, and the finished result far exceeds my initial expectations when I first picked up the phone to you in 2014. Throughout our experience with Interaction, I have been thoroughly impressed by the attention paid to our goals. There was undoubtedly the practical and technical knowledge we required to inform our decision-making, and also the creativity and imagination necessary to elevate the design from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Crucially, there was always the desire to listen to and understand our point-of-view, and a determination to ensure that we were satisfied. I always felt properly and comprehensively advised, but never as though I was being pushed. I’ve never felt anything other than confident and certain of our direction. Despite some difficult site conditions and one or two challenges along the way, the build works were managed professionally and conscientiously. I am delighted with the completed scheme and am convinced that we’ll see the positive effects in the months and years ahead. I’ve enjoyed the experience enormously and I would certainly recommend Interaction in the future.

Design: Interaction
Photography: Rebecca Faith

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