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7 Best Office Design & Build Companies In London

Updated: Mar 4

Best Office Fit Out Companies

Best Office Fit Out Companies

If you're looking for an office design and build company to help you with your office fit out or refurbishment in London, you'll know that there are hundreds of options, from small independent firms to international companies.

 

With a project as crucial (and expensive) as an office fit out or refurbishment, you need to feel confident that you're making the right choice. However, when there are so many companies all claiming they are the best, it can be difficult to know who to trust.

 

Truth be told, there is no one "best" office design & build company. They all have different strengths and weaknesses. Bearing this in mind, you should not look for the "best fit out company", but rather "the best fit out company for my company". Your company and your project are unique, and you should choose your design & build partner accordingly.

 

We've been designing & building workspaces in London since 2008, and we have a strong sense of our competition. While believe that we are one of the best design & build companies in London, we appreciate that we're not right for every company or project.

 

That's why this article will give you 7 of the best fit out companies in the capital. We'll also explain 6 key factors to bear in mind when you choose your fit out company. By the end of this article, you'll be able to start your contractor selection, knowing about the best fit out companies out there, and how to choose between them.

 

Best Design & Build Companies in London

Oktra

Founded: 1995

Head Office: London, EC1N

About: Oktra is a London-based design and build firm operating across the UK. They are one of the largest UK office fit out companies, with 190 staff across 4 offices.

 

Morgan Lovell

Founded: 1977

Head Office: London, W1F

About: Originally an office design company, Morgan Lovell has expanded its portfolio to include office fit-out and refurbishment. Part of the Morgan Sindall Group, Morgan Lovell also has offices in Berkshire.

 

Maris

Founded: 1997

Head Office: London SE1

About: Maris are one of the largest design & build companies in the UK. They’ve delivered over 10,000 office design, fit out, and refurbishment projects ranging in size from 1,500 to 120,000 sq ft.

 

Area

Founded: 2000

Head Office: London, SE1

About: With offices in London and Berkshire, Area has been providing office refurbishments across the UK and Europe for 20 years.

 

Peldon Rose

Founded: 1987

Head Office: London, EC1V

About: Peldon Rose has been delivering office fit out projects in London for over 30 years. with in-house specialists covering a wide range of disciplines, Peldon Rose also offers the full suite of design and build services.

 

Thirdway

Founded: 2009

Head Office: London, EC1V

About: Thirdway were originally an office interior designer, and have now expanded into workspace fit out and refurbishment. Thirdway interiors are part of Thirdway group, which also offers architecture, managed workspace, and furniture services.

 

AIS

Founded: 1979

Head Office: London, EC4M

About: Headquartered in London with offices in Amsterdam, AIS interiors have been delivering design and build projects for over 40 years. They also offer global delivery for multinational clients. 

 

How to Choose the Best Design & Build Company For You

The companies we’ve mentioned are some of the most well-known design & build companies operating in London. They all have their respective areas of expertise, service levels and price points.

 

When choosing your design and build company, you shouldn’t ask “Which is the best?”, but rather “Which is the best for me?”. Just because they have the most awards or the most impressive portfolio, they aren't necessarily the best for you. That will depend on your unique requirements.

 

To help you decide if they (or any other design & build company) can fulfil your needs, we’ve explained the 6 key areas to assess your design & build company.

 

Expertise

The expertise of your office design & build partner is crucial. Your project will have unique and/ or unusual aspects. Making sure they are capable of handling those is essential. They don't necessarily have to have an extensive track record, awards, and qualifications, but they should be able to prove that you are in safe hands.

 

Before you speak to any companies, you should also decide what decision criteria are most important, and focus on these. This will enable you to work with a company that is an expert in your most important requirements.

 

Portfolio

A design & build company's portfolio can be very helpful in assessing their suitability for your company. A reputable firm will have an extensive track record on its website. By looking at project sizes, locations, and design styles, you will get a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses.

 

However, it’s important that you assess their portfolio’s relevance to your brief. A stunning design will be worthless if it doesn’t match the way your people work. If your fit out company has a good portfolio, they’ll be happy to take you around projects they’ve delivered that are similar to yours. References are also more useful than testimonials. They can give unvarnished feedback about what went well and what could have been better.

 

Design

A skilled workspace designer will be able to take your brief and craft a design that boosts wellbeing, embodies your culture, and drives long-term business performance. The wrong designer will create an ineffectual design that (while it may look good) will not improve your company's performance.

 

The look and feel of your space are important. However, how the space helps your company each day is far more important. Your design & build partner should be able to explain the concept and insight behind the design. They should also cover how it will help your people and company over the long term.

 

Delivery

While it is often overlooked, the ability to deliver a project is even more important than design expertise. To be a success, your project must be delivered on time, on scope, and on budget. All 3 are important. Failing to meet any one of them could derail your project. It is also essential that your project is delivered in a safe and compliant way, with minimum disruption to you and your people.

 

Your design & build company should be able to give you a detailed and realistic programme before the project starts. This will explain exactly when everything will happen. They should also be willing to be held accountable through regular meetings and progress updates.

 

Pricing

Pricing is an important aspect of choosing a design & build firm. If your design & build company is too expensive, you won’t see sufficient ROI. However, if they are priced low, they may be hiding costs or cutting corners. There is no one right price point – what matters is that it works for your company.

 

As well as up-front office fit out costs, you also need to consider the costs during the project. The construction industry is notorious for mid-project price rises. It's important that you make sure everything included in the design is also costed for.

 

Customer Care

Another factor to consider is your design & build company's customer service. Some firms will quickly lose interest and de-prioritise you once the contract is signed. With good customer care, communication will be honest and open. You will be working with people who care about your success as much as theirs.

 

You need to know how they will be accountable to you during the project. A pre-agreed communication framework is important to maintain accountability. Another key consideration is their post-project care. Do they provide any extended customer care or warranty programme?

 

Resource

Making sure your design & build partner has sufficient resources to handle your project is very important. This primarily includes finance, staff, and qualifications. Having sufficient resources to deal with unforeseen circumstances in each of these is crucial to reduce the risk of your project.

 

Another consideration is the size of their company in relation to your project - are they too big to really care or too small to really cope? To maximise commitment, you will want to find a company whose turnover is not more than 20 times your project value. If they are larger than this, they are unlikely to prioritise your project enough. However, if your project is more than 30% of their annual revenue, they may not have sufficient resource to handle your project.

 

Who is Zentura a Good Fit For?

At Zentura, we understand we’re not the best option for everyone. We create workspaces where people love to work. Our designs are bespoke to your needs and brand, focussed on solving your business challenges. We deliver those designs in the least disruptive and fastest way possible. As a result, you have complete peace of mind throughout the entire process.

 

Many of our clients are in the professional services sector. We love working with clients based in London and across the UK with offices between 5,000 and 30,000 sq/ft. We specialise in culture-based design and occupied/ fast-track relocations and refurbishments.

 

 If that sounds like something that’s useful to you, schedule a no-obligation call with one of our workspace experts. We’ll take the time to understand your unique needs and requirements. If we’re a good fit for you, we can get to work creating a package that is right for you and your company.

 

Getting Started

These are some of the most successful and awarded design & build firms in London. They're often regarded as alternatives to what we do at Zentura. There are hundreds of design & build companies in London, with a wide variety of costs, specialisms, and track records. It’s possible that none of these companies mentioned are right for you, and you need to keep looking.

 

 When choosing who to speak to or proceed with your project, it's crucial to remain focussed on what is right for your company's unique needs and situation. To do this, read How to Choose the Best Office Fit Out Company For Your Project. We’ll cover the 5 essential aspects you need to consider when choosing the best design & build company for you.

 

If you’d like to learn more about how Zentura can help you, schedule a no-obligation call with one of our workspace experts. Shortlisting contractors is just one part of preparing for your office design & build. You'll also need to create a project brief. Fit out costs is another key concern, and you can learn all about those by downloading our 2024 Office Fit Out Costs Guide.

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