Graven feature in Urban Realm Spring edition 2021

Graven featured in Urban Realm’s Spring edition 2021 with a Q&A from Graven Director, Ross Hunter, as well as a piece about our work on Arm Holdings HQ in Glasgow.

Read our insights below and you can access the full issue here.

Space Race – Q&A with Ross Hunter of Graven

What is your proudest achievement of 2020?

Anyone who has survived 2020 has a right to be pleased. We had only just finished our workplace project for Arm Holdings and had started work on a nice little project in Seattle when the pandemic forced everyone to think again. Projects were being pulled left right and center, but our wonderful team just tucked their computers under their arms and plugged in again from their homes. We carried on and we survived. We stepped forward to help our country look beyond the abyss and brave new projects emerged which we hope will be great for all of us in the future.

Where is interior design headed in a post-pandemic world?

I think everybody now appreciates how Covid has acted as a kind of accelerant for change. We’ve been fast-forwarded by three or five years but the direction of travel is much as it was. I’m very optimistic that well-designed environments, especially working environments, are being understood as important strategic assets for all organisations. Good design creates competitive advantage (how long have we been saying it?), and I think that we should be enjoying the “race to the top”.

How would you describe your practice’s design approach?

Graven approaches the design of interiors like any other aspect of architecture. If the spatial sequence is wrong, or if important elements are mis-placed then it can be very difficult to succeed in making an excellent interior. We like to observe and listen and we like to collaborate with the whole team as early as possible to “get the architecture right”. After that we layer in detail until eventually we’re obsessing over finishes or colour or furniture. We are disdainful of Pinterest and the cut-and-paste world of decorating. We still believe that architecture is part of an organisation’s communication mix, and we believe that everyone should draw.

Interior Report – Arm Holdings, Glasgow

Arm Holdings is an international tech company that recently acquired a Glasgow based technology firm specialising in creating connected platforms and the Internet of Things.

With an aspiration to grow the business to around 250 people in Glasgow, Arm acquired a 27,000 sq. ft office at St Vincent Plaza over two floors and engaged Graven to create a workplace that would help to attract the best people to join them. Graven was responsible for the staff consultation, internal design, architecture, environmental graphics and signage with the key objective of creating an exceptional, agile environment to support ARM’s future growth and inspire and promote the wellbeing of their staff. We created an internal architecture that delivers a flexible and efficient workplace. There is a huge choice of places to work, to meet and to socialise.

Innovation and technology were central to the project.

The project adopted an agile approach to space planning to allow future staff numbers to increase, technology to allow staff to move and select from a range of relevant work setting for different tasks, and provision of a range of video conferencing allowing the teams to communicate effortlessly with the global team and limit travel between sites.

The project was completed pre-lockdown in February 2020.