Thu 28 May 2015
Collingwood the obvious choice for estate agency’s grand, iconic new offices
When Sowerbys opened its grandest and most impressive office to date, the company had a vision of creating something unique and special that was far from your average estate agents – and tastefully lighting the centuries-old building in the heart of Norwich city centre was a key part of that process.
As the former workspace of Norwich’s most famous architect, Edward Boardman, the building was bound to be beautiful. In keeping with its reputation for quality, Sowerbys always looks for unique, character buildings when opening a new branch, but the Old Bank of England Court is about as good as it gets.
When CEO Max Sowerby secured the building, it was a dream come true. Since then it has been lovingly returned to its former glory. And after spending several months painstakingly restoring every detail, there was no way he was going to scrimp on the final, and most important finishing touch.
So determined to do the building justice and to show it off in the best possible light, Max turned to Collingwood Lighting to illuminate both the interior and exterior of the iconic property.
“My vision was to bring the country agency to the city and to convert this near derelict three-storey building into not just an office, but an exclusive ladies and gentleman’s club where our clients can come and sit in beautiful surroundings,” Max said.
“It wasn’t until I started talking to the electricians that I really learned about how lighting can actually create such an atmosphere. The electrician advised me to go with Collingwood because it works really well and you basically get what you pay for. He said I’d get the lighting I want and in the nicest possible way wouldn’t be seeing him again because the products will carry on working.”
Collingwood Lighting expert Gemma Wilshire worked with the contractor to select the mix of Collingwood products that would best achieve Max’s aims for different parts of the building.
Gemma explained: “We chose the WLO75s for some of the exterior lighting. This gives a really nice beam angle up the side of the wall so it lets people see how tall the building is and of an evening really makes the building stand out, which is what we wanted to achieve there.”
“The main down lighters we’ve used are the H2Pro and the H4FF, both of which are IP65 and fully fire rated. We found the H2Pro with a 60 degree angle was perfect for office spaces.”
Some areas, including the beautiful architectural features, needed only a delicate wash of lighting.
"I can't thank you all enough for the excellent way everyone at Sowerbys handled my sale. From the initial meeting with Max, the superb brochure with his pictures, to my contact with all in the office, Joanna, Toby and Flora, it was always a pleasure to see and talk to them. A special thanks for Joanna who was regularly in contact with me, updating me on feedback and booking viewers. It says much for the firm that viewers arrived on time and were genuinely interested in the property. I will certainly be recommending them to friends and returning the next time I move home. With grateful thanks Sonia Lindqvist "