The Home of British Watchmaking

23-10-2017
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South Oxfordshire District Council has approved plans for Bremont’s state-of-the-art, 35,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Henley-on-Thames. The building has been designed for the luxury watch brand by Spratley Studios with external landscape design from leading British landscape gardener Andy Sturgeon. 

The flagship HQ will be situated on the Culden Faw Estate in Henley-on-Thames owned by Swiss financier Urs Schwarzenbach and will have views on to the Black Bears polo field. It will replace a set of disused piggery buildings.

Stephen Smith, Director, Spratley Studios: “Bremont came to us with a truly unique brief and some quite challenging requirements for the office and manufacturing elements of their HQ which made for a dream commission for us. We are thrilled to now be able to deliver this building in our home town for a brand with such design integrity.”

Giles English, Co-Founder of Bremont responded to a few questions on the project:

How important is your new headquarters building in Henley-on-Thames to your international business strategy?

It is critical to the growth of the business. We out-grew our current offices over 3 years ago and building a custom-made facility for watchmaking will improve our productivity considerably, but also future-proof us.

What are your aspirations for your HQ?

An environment that is both luxurious and functional in order to deliver the needs of the business. It will be the home of British watchmaking and will house everything from a bar of steel being machined to someone coming in to see the finished product. We also want to create an amazing work space for our staff.

How involved have you been in the design stage of the project?

We have been in on the project from the very beginning so very active but the building’s inspiration has come from Spratley Studios.

Which feature of the building are you most excited about?

We are over three sites at the moment so having most of us under the same roof will be fantastic but we are also going to have a museum of British Watchmaking there and a boutique display space. I love the idea that wherever in the world someone buys a Bremont watch that they can come to Henley and pick it up with an A1 service.

With work now started on-site, when are you planning on moving in?

We are aiming for 2019 so no pressure on all the team!

The design for the scheme was inspired by the Bremont principles of; British, Aviation, Engineering and Adventure. The unique manufacturing process for highly engineered chronometers requires specialist techniques and a specific dust free and acoustically controlled environment. To meet these requirements the building form has two separate, single span spaces to accommodate the manufacturing and office requirements with a link building nestling between. The low slung curved roof will have a highly insulated and ecological green roof. Landscaping will shield the development and help it settle in the countryside location.

 

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