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ED&F Man

Working with Mansfield Monk on their vision for this iconic building by designing, delivering and installing glass partitions, doors and Tech Panels across two office floors in the prestigious Shard complex at The London Bridge Quarter.  This interior needed to be technically and aesthetically sophisticated.

3 London Bridge Street

Mansfield Monk


The Client: ED&F Man

In June 2015, ED&F Man chose to relocate part of their London operations to a new 45,000 sq ft office stretching over two floors of a modern development. Optima was selected to both provide and install all of the glazed partitions for this new office.

ED&F Man is a global leader in the merchant of agricultural commodities. The company was founded in 1783 by James Man who, within his first year of business, had secured exclusive contract rights to supply the ‘rum tot’ to the British Navy. This contract continued long after Man’s death until 1970, with ED&F Man holding the contract for the full 186 years.

Today ED&F Man are leaders in their field and have over 6,000 employees operating in 60 countries, where they continue to source, sell and ship agricultural commodities around the globe.

The Brief

The brief for this project was simple in theory: Optima, working with the architect, Mansfield Monk, was tasked to create a modern and contemporary office space.

However, in practice, it was a more complex feat: ED&F Man’s new acquisition of office space stretched over part of the fourth and the entire fifth floor.

Architecturally it had to inspire, whilst at the same time adhering to stringent building regulations. A high-quality office environment for clients and personnel alike had to be provided. The interior needed to be technically and aesthetically sophisticated.

The partitioning installation by Optima needed to look elegant, work with base build junctions and perform effectively. This inspiring project had to be delivered to pinpoint precision with the deadline a mere five months after the start date.

The Solution

In order to meet the client’s requirements and to fulfil the project brief, Optima supplied and installed three key products:

Firstly, the slim-line Revolution 54 system, designed to be both single and double glazed offers seamless drywall integration, stunning design and excellent sound performance.

Secondly, the Edge Symmetry doors in Microflush aluminium frames feature a 30mm standard width stile. The doors can be single or double glazed to suit the required acoustic criteria and can be designed to be either hinged or pivoting.

Finally, drywall crosswalls provide high acoustic separation between meeting rooms.

The Delivery

Being part of The Shard complex, this project was subject to rigorous Landlord approval processes.

The construction and detailing of all of the internal designs had to be sympathetic to the base build architecture and comply with pre-existing standards. Continuity needed to be strong over both floors to bring staff together and encourage interaction.

The base build floor plan was a challenge because the shape of the building was not uniform and included a series of structural elements such as inclined columns. Optima, therefore, had to work with Mansfield Monk to come up with innovative ways of utilising the space.

Optima installed all partitions, including office fronts and high-quality meeting rooms. Acoustic performance combined with stunning design worked synonymously with Mansfield Monk’s vision.

Working With Optima

This was a complex project, with stringent demands. The partitioning had to satisfy the performance criteria and work with the original building structure, yet offer an elegant and sophisticated solution.

The architect, Gaynor Taylor of Mansfield Monk, when reflecting on the project’s success, stated that “Optima were excellent at working with us to develop details, which met all of the necessary criteria.”

She went on to state how all of the build challenges were overcome and confirmed that the client is “exceptionally happy with the end result.”

Optima is proud to have been a part of such a prestigious installation and one that was a great success.



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