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Mill Road, Cambridge
Taank is an award- winning optometrists located in the heart of Cambridge, on the popular Mill Road, and has been trading since 2003. Following a devastating fire at a neighbouring unit in 2019, the property was reduced to just a shell as a result of extensive water damage, so needed full renovation.
Layrd Design were approached at the end of 2019 to completely redesign and project manage the three-floor site, comprising of both retail and residential areas. We were tasked with radically modernising the previous retail space - that once occupied only one floor – whilst remaining welcoming to its valued clients.
Focus was placed on exquisite detailing and adding elements of theatre and drama.
Taank offer a first-class service and their new interior had to match this. We wanted the scheme to suggest a feeling of luxury whilst remaining approachable and inviting.
Textures and materials served as the starting point for us in developing the interior scheme, with a clear use of oak and marble, coupled with small touches of brass detailing, and of course drops of “Taank navy”.
We made a conscious decision to celebrate and embrace original period features such as the three remaining fireplaces and Victorian staircase. Alongside existing features, we reinstated traditional elements like the plaster cornicing, picture rails and wall panelling detail, in a bid to restore the properties charming character essence.
INTERIOR DESIGN & PROJECT MANAGEMENT
RETAIL DISPLAY DESIGN
From the beginning we knew that many elements of this scheme had to be bespoke to achieve a slick mix of stylish design with all important functionality. We designed and commissioned two beautiful bespoke oak display cabinets to house Taank’s hand selected frames, custom built their reception-turned-coffee bar and designed custom wall-mounted display units.
One of our favourite features is the frame repair ‘workshop’ hidden in a chimney recess behind mirrored doors, which light upon opening, to reveal a drop-down brass ‘worktop’ with frame adjustment tools inside. Other winning moments are the private ‘snug’ consultation area, and LED-lit oak staircase on the shop floor. Along with lighting, we added a fine brass tread to each step, giving a subtle nod to brass elements incorporated throughout the scheme.
“Layrd are highly collaborative in their 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.”
Anjana Taank, Owner
Adapting the existing Victorian building to incorporate a contemporary design scheme proved to be one of the more challenging aspects to this project. There were a few surprises thrown our way as layers of the original property were stripped back, but the resulting combination of period architecture and modern design is perfectly balanced.
Layrd provided full project management for the entire works, which included tendering for contractors, specifying materials, managing on-site teams, offering site support and installing the finishing interior design elements.
Another unforeseen difficulty has, of course, been the Coronavirus pandemic. For a short while this did delay construction work, but thankfully we were able to begin on-site in August 2020, resulting in our project completion at the end of January 2021.
We have been mindful to make environmentally responsible choices throughout, using natural and sustainable materials wherever possible, including Tala lighting and recyclable Tarkett flooring. Additional insulation has also been added to the existing structure increase energy efficiency.
As both interior designers and project managers of this scheme, we worked closely alongside the Principle Contractor, Building Surveyors, Architects, Structural Engineers, Acoustic Consultants, Building Control Inspectors and various sub-contracted trades to ensure this project ran smoothly and the planned scheme was accomplished. Regent Construction were the chosen Principle Contractors and worked tirelessly to meet a tight deadline, whilst being proactive with onsite challenges.
We must give thanks to the hard work of all tradesmen involved in this complex project, it should be a proud achievement for all.
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