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Facilities Management Journal March 2017

FMJ.CO.UK DEVONSHIRE SQUARE CASE STUDY MARCH 2017 23 events throughout the year, including London Fashion Week events. Following the success of shows in 2015 and 2016, Devonshire Square partnered with Oxford Fashion Studio for a third time in February to stage two runway shows in the Western Courtyard. Other events include a monthly international street food market and regular cultural and artistic events. In December, for example, an ‘Art for Love’ Christmas Fair, a four-week programme of artistic events, was conceived and organised by the Devonshire Square events team to highlight social causes, using the power of the arts to support The Connection – the busiest homeless charity in London. Ashley Thorburn is general manager at Devonshire Square Management, the specialist team of property management professionals that manages the estate. He explains: “The cultural ethos is a very important part of the environment of Devonshire Square, to encourage and maintain an environment that is unique to this area.” This, he says, was the reason for the construction of the roof and the provision of a range of retail sites to bring more people into the square. “We do all this because our reasoning is to create a vibrant environment, which attracts both commercial property tenants and customers to the retailers.” Unusually for an off ice estate, one of the buildings has recently been taken over by the Devonshire Club, a private members club, which has invited tenants to join at a special rate – giving them the opportunity to hire meeting rooms for events. Also due for completion and delivery later this year are refurbishments of two of the off ice buildings on the estate. Building 11 is intended to off er approximately 2,700 m2 of off ice space across six floors, and Building 8 will off er around 12,000 m2 of off ice space across 10 floors. Managing such a diverse and busy campus in the heart of an international city requires real dedication from the FM team to ensure that essential services such as housekeeping, maintenance, security and safety are maintained to the highest levels for occupants, visitors, and those just passing through the campus. Explains Thorburn: “All of our main hard and soft FM services are contracted out, but this doesn’t mean we lose sight of the cultural aspects of the place and what is called “our DNA” to provide real service, real people, awareness, quality, community and eff ectiveness. All of these elements combined apply to everything we do, and it’s why we were one of the first to adopt a one-team approach with, for instance, our security and reception teams working in close partnership, rather than as separate disciplines.” MANAGING EXPECTATIONS Lexington Reception Services came on board in May 2016 to manage all of Devonshire Square’s reception services with the aim of “providing the same five-star customer experience that guests receive in many top hotels”, according to Jane Streat, head of client services at Lexington. “While our main responsibility is the three commercial buildings that we look aft er, and managing the expectations of tenants within those buildings, the team also manage the events held here as well. That is an area which we have to manage carefully, as there must always be a buy-in from all of the tenants to see the advantage of driving people to the area.” The events team is managed by Patrizia Sechi, Lexington’s customer experience and events manager for Devonshire Square. She explains that she has access to the necessary resources to increase levels of staff ing when required for large-scale events via Lexington’s support team. Reflecting the one-team approach, and to ensure continuity of service, all of the support team go through a Devonshire Square training programme before they go on site to ensure accommodation from the first floor up. The renovation work took care to preserve as many of the original features as possible, including beautiful stone stairs, while iron and wood columns have been restored to highlight their period beauty. The redevelopment also included the careful remodelling of each of the commercial off ice building reception areas, complete with artwork that reflects the buildings’ original contents. Diff erent blocks have diff erent themes; for example, block six is silk, block seven is rose tea, block nine is spices and block 10 a tea plantation. CULTURAL HUB The estate is distinguished from the surrounding area not just in terms of its attractive traditional architecture combined with access to coff ee shops, restaurants and retail outlets, but in its overriding concept of bringing art to the financial district to create a cultural hub in the heart of the City. To this end the square organises a range of cultural All of our main hard and soft FM services are contracted out, but this doesn’t mean we lose sight of the cultural aspects of the place and what is called ‘our DNA’.”


Facilities Management Journal March 2017
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