The inaugural Bruntwood feature garden of the property company’s headline sponsorship of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Flower Show Tatton Park offers visitors something they may have never seen before – an office in a field.
The 150sq m (10m x 15m) The Bruntwood Field Office is a garden of diverse spaces that explores a greener, more tranquil way of working at the 2016 Show, at Knutsford, Cheshire, 20 – 24 July.
Designed by Landscape Architects Planit-IE, it is inspired by Bruntwood’s flexible and creative approach to the working environment and shows its commitment to a greener future. Visitors to the show will be encouraged to explore and make use of The Bruntwood Field Office; it will be fully accessible and ready for anyone who wants to discover a different way of working, come rain or shine!
The Bruntwood Field Office is divided by traditional native hedgerows and trees to create a series of rooms, including a boardroom with an 8ft table hewn from a local oak tree, a kitchen with feeding stations growing fruit and vegetables, and a country-style ‘kissing gate’ at reception.
The Bruntwood Field Office features locally sourced environmentally friendly materials, native trees and hedgerow species, and as much as possible in it will be re-used across other Bruntwood projects in the region.
Bruntwood Chief Executive Chris Oglesby says: “The Bruntwood Field Office invites you to come in and explore our playful interpretation of how you might make an office in a field. The challenge was to do something different, by exploring ways in which business and culture can stimulate activity and create opportunity for a better working environment.
The Bruntwood Field Office embodies our approach to creating thinking and also demonstrates our commitment to putting sustainability at the heart of everything we do.
The Bruntwood Field Office offers spaces to think, to collaborate and to create, and its cultural ambience celebrates Bruntwood’s support of the arts in the company’s 40th anniversary year.
Ed Lister, Managing Partner of landscape architecture and urban design studio Planit-IE says: “Bruntwood share our values to put people and place first and when Chris asked us to create a show garden at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, we both agreed that it should be more than just a traditional show garden, but rather an inclusive and playful experience, yet modest and sustainable in its making. The Bruntwood Field Office has come together through a close collaborative effort by client, design team, local craftsman, suppliers and contractors, and each element has been allocated to a new permanent home after the show.
We are working with Bruntwood on a number of projects across the northwest, all of which have place making and high-quality landscape at the forefront of their vision. Workspaces with access to natural green space can have a significant positive effect, with more productive employees and greater job satisfaction, that helps to relieve stress and supports improved mental health and wellbeing.”
Bruntwood is no stranger to creating attractive work environments in outdoor settings, having owned the 220 acre Booths Park in Knutsford since 2004. It is now a thriving business community of start-ups, growing businesses, and established brands with plans for the expansion of the office space and aspirations for new homes. Nearby, the company is also investing in Alderley Park. The park has the potential to secure as many as 7,000 jobs through the development of 38,000sq m of new space for life sciences enhancing the 100,000sq m already in place. In addition to this, up to 275 new homes will be developed to capture the heritage of the former country estate and parkland setting. Once a closed site, these plans will make the park accessible for local residents to experience and enjoy the footpaths, woodland and heritage parkland for the first time.
As a family-owned and run property company, Bruntwood has a history of forging deep links with the communities in which it operates, putting down roots that create places for businesses and people to flourish. In excess of 10% of Bruntwood’s profits going towards supporting the arts, charitable, civic and environmental causes, the support of RHS Flower Show Tatton Park is the latest in the company’s portfolio of cultural and community sponsorships.
Chris Oglebsy adds: “At Bruntwood, we believe in the importance of a good work/life balance and we are showcasing our support for a selection of our cultural partners and friends with a short programme of events. We’d like people to join us for our celebration of Bruntwood’s cultural partnerships.”
RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, which enters its eighteenth year in 2016, is a key event in the North’s cultural calendar bringing communities together to highlight and celebrate the best in local horticultural talent. Visit the RHS website for more information and show tickets.
From Wednesday 20th a series of cultural events will be held at the Field Office and in the separate Bruntwood Space showcasing the company’s support for the arts and creative scene. The events range from music and song performance to readings and tree-based learning activities. All events are FREE and everyone’s welcome.
The Royal Exchange Theatre presents Come Closer, three short yet intriguing monologues expressing the importance of the natural world, written by previous winners of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting – Katherine Soper (2015), Andrew Sherdian (2008) and Phil Porter (2005).
Fabulous urban sketcher, Simone Ridyard, architect and Senior Lecturer in Interior Design at the Manchester School of Art, will be sketching in The Bruntwood Field Office, so everyone - regardless of ability - is free to join Simone and pick up some invaluable sketching tips! We’ll also be running a competition for the best sketch.
Esteemed chef Mary-Ellen McTague’s, The Real Junk Food Project intercepts food that would otherwise go to waste and turns it into healthy, nutritious meals. Products prepared by Mary-Ellen will be on offer for sale on a pay-as-you-feel basis Wednesday-Friday.
Local festival, Knutsford Promenades, supported by Bruntwood, present members of the Brook Street Chapel performing extracts from Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels Wives and Daughters, World War I historian and author Tony Davies reading letters from the Front and Geoff Holman recounting the story of Knutsford-born Trumpet Major Smith, who sounded the bugle at the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Musically, The Bruntwood Field Office hosts a range of inspirational performances, from amazing award-winning percussionist Delia Stevens making fabulous sounds out of everyday office equipment in Office Percussion; the Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir, who will perform a selection of their work; and members of the Hallé Youth Orchestra performing summer music.
The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park will also showcase City of Trees, an exciting movement initiated by the Oglesby Charitable Trust (Bruntwood’s sister charity) and the Community Forest Trust. It aims to reinvigorate Greater Manchester by restoring underused, unloved woodland and planting a tree for every man, woman and child in the city region. Activities and talks will take place within The Bruntwood Field Office and at the City of Trees installation.