Cadena House sees transformation of 90-year-old building into destination workplace.

After over a decade of operation, 299 Lighting decided it was time to invest in a new office space, keen to create a destination workplace for its team of lighting engineers.

Tasked with reimagining a 90-year-old building for this purpose were interior designers Fable and Form. A former industrial unit that was converted into a bakery in 1946, Cadena House got its name from the Cadena Cafes brand, and has been used for a variety of purposes over the years. 299 Lighting spotted the potential the old building had and purchased it in December 2020, with the view to renovate it completely, reimagining the space into a new team orientated office.

When it came to the flooring, the design team looked to Forbo Flooring Systems’ Allura Decibel and Furniture Linoleum ranges to reduce impact noise, as well as providing a warm and friendly finish throughout the office.

Sara Barnett, co-founder and director at Fable and Form, commented on the design brief she received, saying: “299 Lighting wanted to strip back the building to its shell, with the view to maximise the sustainable solutions that could be added to it. With this in mind, they asked for our help to uncover the full potential of the space, as they realised engaging in the design process early would mean their imaginations could be successfully realised.

“When looking at the aesthetic requirements of the design, we took inspiration from 299 Lighting’s branding; balancing the bold and fresh company brand, with the nurturing and supportive attributes of the co-founders. This helped to create an environment which is truly unique and innovative – just like them!”

The wellbeing of staff was also paramount to 299 Lighting. With this in mind, Fable and Form’s design team looked for materials that would fit the stripped back feel of the space, whilst also contributing to the biophilic design. Stevie Cleverly, co-founder and director at Fable and Form explained further: “With the aim to create a sustainable and healthy space for 299 Lighting’s employees, it was important that we carefully selected the materials we used in this project. It was for this reason that we specified Forbo’s Allura Decibel Luxury Vinyl Tiles.”

A unique proposition in the market, Forbo’s updated Allura Decibel collection meets the demand for stylish, luxury acoustic floor coverings no matter what the application area. Offering 19 dB impact sound reduction, the collection is available in 49 contemporary colourways, which are split between the following ranges: woods, and stones and materials.

Stevie continued: “We specified Allura Decibel in a contemporary concrete colourway across the entire first floor for continuity. This decor was in keeping with the building’s original materials and matched the concrete ceilings, which were shot blasted to its original look. Not only this, but with a 19 dB impact sound reduction, unnecessary noise could be reduced in the office, helping to create a better space to work in.

“In keeping with our sustainable design principles, we also included Forbo’s Furniture Linoleum into the meeting tables and breakout furniture, providing a warmer and more tactile finish to touch points.”

Forbo’s Furniture Linoleum is a natural surfacing material and has recently been confirmed to be climate positive (cradle to gate) without offsetting. In addition to this, it is antistatic – stopping the build-up of dust and fingerprints on surface tops.

Work on the building began in early 2021 and was finished in seven months, with 299 Lighting saying: “What we have achieved is even more than we envisaged would be possible.”