Office designer Space Solutions merges with architect

Workplace design specialist Space Solutions is expanding across the Central Belt in a tie-up with architectural and interiors consultancy haa design.

Space Solutions managing director Steve Judge, left, with haa design founder Hugh Anderson. Picture: Stewart Attwood

The merger will see the ten-strong team from Glasgow-based haa, which counts technology giant Cisco and the Scottish Government among its clients, relocate to Space Solutions’ office in the city before the end of next month.

Hugh Anderson, managing director of haa, which he founded in 1994, said: “We describe ourselves as ‘commercial architects’ in the sense that we understand business, taking a research-driven approach to how buildings and people combine to the greatest effect.

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“We realised we were very much on the same page as Space Solutions when we were approached and started talking about how we could join forces to deliver an even better service to customers.”

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Space Solutions, which also has offices in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Livingston, employs about 230 and will be retaining the haa brand as a separate identity.

Managing Steve Judge said: “We believe the quality of the team and the experience haa brings to Space Solutions will be quite transformative in terms of the proposition we are able to offer clients and the merger is consistent with our strategy to add strength to our service and product lines across the group.”

The deal comes after the group reported revenues of £36 million for the year to the end of June 2016 and said it was closing in on potential acquisitions to drive growth amid a decline in income from the North-east, where it was established in 1997. Revenues in the Central Belt have doubled over the past two years as a lack of fresh commercial property construction has persuaded owners and occupiers to refurbish their existing premises.

The firm’s expansion is being overseen by Derek Binnie, who was previously director for the Central Belt, having played a key role in its 2007 management buyout, and has now taken up responsibility for its strategic growth.

“Hugh Anderson and haa design have been at the forefront of the UK office design industry for over 20 years,” said Binnie, who joined the group’s board in 2005.

He added: “We have both come through challenging recessionary times by offering high-value support to clients and through working in a collaborative way with the rest of the property industry with a view to achieving the best possible outcomes for our customers – something that will remain a mainstay following the merger.”

The haa team has completed more than 400 projects over the past two decades, including a major revamp of JP Morgan’s offices in Glasgow, the relocation of the National Trust for Scotland’s base in Edinburgh and the rebranding of a Barrhead Travel branch in Newcastle. The firm has also worked with public sector bodies including Audit Scotland and the NHS.