This new £12 million indoor Essex Sport Arena, part of the University of Essex, was opened in January 2018. This state of the art space has seating for 1655 spectators and offers world class sporting facilities, suitable for staging televised events. Hunters provided a loose furniture package for the three floors of the arena.
As an approved supplier for the University of Essex, we secured the project on the back of our proven track record in delivering projects for this client to the highest standard. The client initially canvassed design ideas from three companies and then asked us to create 3D renders of these specifications before deciding on which products they wanted. We offered advice throughout this process to help the client realize their aesthetic vision.
We were tasked with fitting out three floors: a ground floor reception and physiotherapy room, a bar area on the first floor, and an office style space on the second floor for postgraduate, researcher and administrative use. Pieces had to be chosen that supported this diverse range of uses whilst maintaining the cohesion of the overall look and feel.
Flexibility was key to success. We had to ally the mix of product with the provision of bespoke solutions to particular requirements. The client liked the goalpost style legs of the Senator Freeway desking used in the office area but also wanted a systems bench desking layout. We were able to combine a number of these single desks in a way that created the desking format they wanted. We also sourced an extended couch for the physio room to cater for the extra height of basketball players.
The weather was an additional challenge. The project took place during December and January and the immediate vicinity of the arena was a mudbath! We organized “clean” and “dirty” teams to coordinate the delivery and installation of furniture without sullying the products or the space.
Tables by Senator Sunda and Comac Myriad are combined with soft seating by Pledge in the reception area. The bar areas are fitted with individual breakout chairs and highback sofas from Pledge, alongside tables from Sixteen3. The lowback sofas, also from Pledge, incorporate a copper finish to resonate with the copper cladding of the arena’s exterior.
Red is used as the feature tone across the design scheme to complement the red trim of the sports hall interior. Orangebox chairs are used in the office space.
A happy client means a successful project and that’s what we had. The project was completed well in time for the arena’s official opening on 27 January 2018.