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22 June 2017

HOK-Designed Youthscape Headquarters Honored for Social Responsibility in Commercial Interiors

Contract magazine has awarded an Inspiration Award to the Youthscape at Bute Mills, a charity headquarters and youth center in Luton, England.

The Inspirations Awards celebrate corporate social responsibility within the commercial interiors industry, recognizing projects that have had a positive impact on those in need.

Youthscape, a charitable organization that helps disadvantaged young people through counseling and training, had outgrown its previous office space. The charity enlisted HOK’s London office to refurbish a 100-year-old former steam mill into a relaxed and healthy environment for its clients, staff and volunteers.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with this award,” said Chris Curtis, CEO of Youthscape. “We already have more than 800 disadvantaged young people using the building every month. It’s clear that the quality and imagination of the space has a therapeutic impact. Bute Mills gives us a completely new context to make a difference where it counts.”

Youthscape at Bute Mills was completed as part of HOK’s community service initiative to commemorate the firm’s 60th anniversary in 2015. HOK leaders challenged each office to donate at least 60 hours of design services to a charitable initiative. The London office took that challenge further, donating 350 hours to Youthscape and then working another 650 hours on the project at a zero-profit rate.

Renovations to the charity’s building included updated heating and electrical systems, improved insulation, new windows, significant structural work and a redesigned interior layout. The center features vibrant interior finishes, inspiring environmental graphics and colorful furnishings that evoke a youthful vibe while maintaining the integrity of the historic brick structure.

The completed Bute Mills project enables Youthscape to offer new training programs and help more young people, with the potential for the development to become the first in a series of similar projects across the UK. The organization will receive a $2,000 grant from the flooring company Tarkett, which sponsored the awards.

“HOK’s design for the youth center provides a space that illustrates the value of community,” noted Contract.

Youthscape and HOK were honored at the Inspirations Awards reception on June 11 during NeoCon in Chicago.