Skip Navigation
We create spaces
that work for people

Q&A with our Project Manager, Mark Skilbeck

27.09.22

Project Manager Mark has been part of the Open team for more than eight years. During this time, he has worked on a wide range of office and industrial refurbishment projects. In more recent years Mark has delivered some of our large scale projects including The Bindery and prior to that, Panagram.

We thought it was time to catch up with Mark in a quick Q&A to find out more about the challenges the team faced and what he learnt while project managing the refurbishment of The Bindery.

Open's employee profile image portrait.

What was the most interesting or challenging aspect of this brief? 

For myself it was probably the forming of the roof terrace and the new front façade as it was all very structural. Because these hadn’t been stripped out initially there were a few surprises and curve balls thrown in through the process. These were very challenging but it was very satisfactory, and pleasing, when we overcame these, and to see the amazing, finished products of both. 

WhatsApp Image 2022 08 01 at 4.50.38 PM

Did any of these works present significant risk, and how did you manage these as a team?

Yes – where there are unknowns, there are always risks. How we overcame them was by using our trusted, knowledgeable and reliable sub-contractors that are always willing to help, react quickly and overcome any issues that arise. Also having the constant support of our Director Peter Smith and our whole team made decisions easier to take and to coordinate the project works.  

WhatsApp Image 2022 08 01 at 4.50.40 PM 1

Has any aspect of the project highlighted our values in the way it’s been delivered?

I think the whole project reflects our values. With the challenges we faced, we needed to be flexible, imaginative, driven and caring at all times.

How has the space we’ve created benefited the client? 

It has expanded their portfolio of amazing buildings to work in and created something quite unique in the area. All the gardens were designed by the landscape and garden designer Andy Sturgeon, an award winner at the Chelsea Flower Show, the reception was conceived as a public Art Gallery and the green house on the roof is being used for growing herbs for a local restaurant. All these, combined with some spa-like facilities, create space for mindfulness and help enhance the wellbeing of everyone working in the building. 

220524 PiercyCo Dorrington TheBindery 057

Was there anything of special interest in the building or surrounding area that was relevant to the project? 

During the build part of Hatton Garden was overtaken by a film crew filming the new Indiana Jones movie, which is yet to be released. It was very interesting seeing a quite up to date fashionable and glitzy area being turned temporarily into a 1950’s film set. The filming was done over the weekend so didn’t affect the build but was interesting to see none the less. 

WhatsApp Image 2022 09 14 at 12.29.41 PM 2

Were there any issues with our supply chain? If so, how did you resolve them? 

There were – mostly lead times and materials cost increases that would change weekly. But here at Open we have a trusted team of suppliers and subcontractors who bring their expertise and ideas to every project we take on, and The Bindery was no exception. Having good contractors that know their suppliers enables early ordering or offering similar products, which  minimalized any issues.

IMG 0486 scaled e1663154459746

What have you most enjoyed about working on this project?

Generally, time on these sorts of large scale projects goes so very quickly and is so fast paced it’s very hard to think of or single out any point, plus I think there where quite a few milestones that where quite enjoyable along the way!For me the most enjoyable part was probably at the end when I finally got the chance to slow down, appreciate what we’d achieved together and to enjoy the finished product. 

Mark e1663154850935

Whether it’s office or industrial, why not send us a brief for your next refurbishment and fit-out project.

Email us at hello@opencontracts.com
or call on +44 (0) 20 7240 7711