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Construction begins at Taank Optometrists

Updated: Nov 13

This month, We take a closer look at the current interior design and construction project at Taank Optometrists on Mill Road, Cambridge.


Construction work is now underway at Taank Optometrists on Mill Road in Cambridge as part of an ambitious redevelopment project, which is due to complete in January 2021.


Layrd Design is managing the entire process, from creating the initial brief to designing new spaces, tendering for contractors, specifying materials, managing on-site teams and installing interior design elements.


The site incorporates retail, residential and office spaces housed over three floors, harnessing Layrd Design’s wide range of expertise to create an attractive, cohesive living and working space for the award-winning business.

The project began in November 2019, following a devastating fire, which began at a neighbouring unit in July 2019. The entire property suffered extensive water damage, leaving just the shell of the property intact.

“Anjana Taank is a forward-thinking entrepreneur and hasn’t let this event hold her business back,” comments Layrd Design Director William Mayes. “Taank continues to provide eye exams and dispensing services from a temporary pop-up unit at at the rear of the property, maintaining the high standards that her business is renowned for. If anything, Anjana has used this as an opportunity to rethink the space and enhance Taank’s client offering.


“Layrd Design is looking at both the big picture and the granular details on this project,” he continues. “Everything has been considered from the flow of the spaces down to the colour of the skirting boards. We’ve even designed a custom-built reception desk and display cases for the front-of-house retail space, which feature bespoke joinery.”


Enhancing the Retail Experience


The initial brief delivered by Anjana Taank included an enlarged open-plan retail space on the ground floor, allowing the business to increase its capacity, while incorporating a contemporary one-bedroom apartment on the first floor. The second floor features a staff area and meeting rooms, all designed to promote employee wellbeing and comfort.


Key to the brief was the incorporation of surprise and delight throughout the commercial space, in order to enhance the in-store experience.


“While I don’t want to give away all of our secrets, there will be some hidden gems throughout 92a Mill Road,” William explains. “One of my favourites is the hidden snug area on the ground floor. It features low lighting, oak bookcases and soft furnishings, where the team can have private conversations with clients.

“There’s also a contemporary bar, serving hot and cold drinks, along with an exclusive dispensing area on the first floor. Clients will receive and try on their new glasses while enjoying a glass of bubbly to celebrate the occasion. We want to create memorable experiences for Taank’s clients every time they visit.”



The decorative theme throughout will reflect the quality of the Taank brand, from the colour choices through to the textures and materials used. Featuring a muted palette and high-quality finishes, it gives an air of understated elegance and exclusivity.


Responsible Design


As with Layrd Design, Taank Optometrists is committed to making sustainable choices. Working together, Layrd Design was able to incorporate sustainable materials throughout, most notably Tarkett flooring. Made from recycled materials, it can be removed and replaced by Tarkett and recycled again to minimise its impact on the environment.


“Thankfully the project hasn’t been too badly affected by this year’s pandemic,” explains William. “The design phase was nearing completion when the UK went into the first lockdown, so my weekly client meetings simply moved over to Zoom.


“The on-site work was held up by around six weeks but, now we’re on-site, things are going according to plan. We’re working with Regent Construction for the building work and they’ve been proactive in sourcing materials in advance, so we haven’t experienced any supply chain issues.”


With work continuing at a pace, the project is due to complete in January 2021 and, providing it’s safe to do so, the new Taank Optometrists will reopen with a celebration, where clients and members of the local community can explore the new store.


Comments Anjana Taank: “Layrd Design was recommended by a mutual connection and I’m delighted with the service.


“William is highly collaborative in his approach, regularly communicating ideas and plans while incorporating my visions into the project.


“Although I have had input along the way, there’s nothing quite like stepping into store once it’s complete. I can’t wait to see it.”


Adds William: “One of my favourite parts of the job is seeing client reactions to the finished product. I’m looking forward to seeing Anjana and her team’s faces when they walk through the door for the first time.”

Want to stay up to date with the latest developments at Mill Road?


Follow us on Instagram, where you’ll be able to see behind-the-scenes images and footage from the project as they happen.


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