2009 saw the complete refurbishment of the Virgin First Class Lounge at Euston Station, London, which also included an increased floor space of 81%.
The project was undertaken by London based Architect practice, Studio Mad, who have worked extensively with Virgin for the past 10 years. Given the history of their relationship and their complete understanding of the Virgin brand, Studio Mad was asked to create the brief for the project themselves and to complete the refurbishment over a 3-month period.
The aim of the refurbishment was to refresh the existing facilities to reflect the high quality service and contemporary style which has become the ethos of the Virgin brand.
The introduction of the new VHF train service at the end of 2008 resulted in a 31% increase in services which in turn has led to a significant increase in customers. Passenger need has also evolved over time and the new look lounge was designed to cater for this change. First and foremost passengers require a faster service and seating areas that facilitate shorter stays. The look of the lounge and the station also needed to complement the new state-of-the-art trains which Virgin are now running.
The lounge was designed to create specific areas which would facilitate the needs of a wide variety of clientele. The atmosphere of the lounge now evokes a sense of a serene oasis of calm which offers an aspirational environment, whether travelling for business or pleasure. As its flagship first class lounge for Virgin, Euston station warranted a high standard of furniture and finish. Colours and materials were chosen to create a feeling of tranquillity and understated luxury.
The lounge was divided into designated areas which all had their own sense of space and style yet come together in harmony. This includes a reception area, quiet zone, touchdown space, bar and cafe area, lounge and work area.
A variety of Boss seating was specified by Studio Mad throughout the lounge. Ian Hunt, Senior Project Designer reflects on his decision to specify Boss products:
‘We were looking for a range of products which would offer variety throughout the lounge yet still feel as though they were part of the same family. Euston is seen as a flagship Virgin station and the lounge needs to reflect this. Therefore the fitout required a much higher standard and we were looking for seating which offered superb quality and longevity which is why we were drawn to Boss Design.’
The lounge area offers a total of 110 seats which vary depending on the location. Boss products were specified in every part of the lounge, beginning with the reception area where the ergonomically designed Sona task chair was installed to create a sophisticated first impression.
The Quiet Zone was completed with a number of Dick chairs, from the Tom, Dick and Harry range, designed by Mark Gabbertas. Upholstered in a warm brown fabric the high quality upholstery selection offers a spacious and comfortable seat, ideal for relaxation. Teamed with an acoustic felt wall, and the rustic tones of the carpet, the Quiet Zone evokes an inviting and relaxing ambience.
Upon entering the central lounge zone the Adda range of modular seating provides a perfect waiting area for those who only intend to use the lounge for a short stay before commencing their journey. The train of modular units provide a comfortable seat and offer flexibility to Virgin, should they wish to reconfigure the layout of the waiting area in the future.
Moving into the bar and cafe area the style becomes much fresher. The Kruze chair, designed by David Fox, is specified here with a walnut back and striking chocolate brown leather upholstery. Paired with Rota cafe tables, the contemporary Kruze chair perfectly complements the wooden wall panelling and sophisticated wooden floor.
Further into the bar/lounge area more Kruze chairs are specified amid a selection of other Boss products. Zoot sofa’s and Digit stools are teamed together to create a relaxing and informal TV lounge area. The Dick chair has been further introduced by the large window at the back of the lounge which overlooks the main concourse of the station.
For those who wish to work whilst they wait, a computer area has been created, utilising the luxurious Delphi swivel chair upholstered in an elegant black leather. The extremely comfortable Delphi chair is also specified in the meeting room which can be booked by customers for private meetings.
Mike Arthur, Director of Studio Mad comments on their relationship with Boss Design:
‘This was the first time that we have worked with Boss and we felt it ran very smoothly from start to finish. We found the Boss website extremely helpful for downloading all the product information that we needed, such as the product CAD blocks. Both ourselves and Virgin were very pleased with the finished result and felt that the quality of the products from Boss Design exceeded expectations.’