Oscar Acoustics to develop 16,200 ft2 “state of the art” new headquarters in Kent

Today, Architectural acoustic experts, Oscar Acoustics, announces plans for the construction of a new £4 million headquarters in Rochester, Kent, having outgrown its current site in West Kingsdown, due to impressive business growth.

Planning permission has been granted on a new 16,200 ft2, structure on a former cement works site in Medway Valley, promising a new, useful lease of life to a redundant site.

Designed by RIBA Chartered Practice Urban & Rural, the site will include a duo of well-proportioned brick and timber-clad blocks, built using premium quality, high-performance materials to achieve a timeless style that sits harmoniously with the location’s surrounding Arts & Crafts housing.

Accommodating Rapid Growth

The two architecturally ambitious buildings at the centre of the project will form the new heart of Oscar’s national and international operations. The first has been designated as the main office building with an antique style brick façade that cloaks the main warehouse, ingeniously obscuring it from the road side. The office element features an open plan workspace, meeting rooms and an inspiring welcome lounge.  This will also serve as a showroom for potential customers to view the company’s class leading, environmentally friendly products in a finished environment.

The second comprises of six, two-story units, which will be occupied by the acoustic solution specialist’s innovation facility, international sales hub and further warehousing for its Britain-bound acoustic spray products.

Urban & Rural was also aware of Oscar Acoustic’s ongoing, rapid growth, so planned in flexibility for the site to expand with the business. Initial excess units will be offered to local businesses on yearly leases. This not only creates a useful asset for Oscar’s but also supports the local community with much needed commercial space in an area of high demand and low availability.

Lead architect, Richard Baron, from Kent-based architectural firm, Urban & Rural, said: “It’s great to be making the most of an existing space and collaborating alongside Oscar Acoustics to create a structure that’s not only sensitive to the local area but is still striking and modern in its approach.

“Whilst the final materials are yet to be finalised, they will be of the highest quality and built to last so that the site delivers in terms of function as well as form. Plus, as Oscar Acoustics are often linked with some of the biggest design projects in the UK, it was only right that we did the company justice – making sure it looks as good as it sounds.”

No Place Like Home

Commenting on the new HQ, Ben Hancock, managing director of Oscar Acoustics, says: “As a growing business we’ve been trying to find a new premises for over five years. Due to the scarcity of available commercial space we decided building our own HQ would offer the best solution. We were keen to stay within the Kent area, as it’s where our business was born and bred and we wanted to remain loyal to our highly skilled in-house teams who have been with us, in some cases, upwards of twenty years. We’re also committed to offer good quality jobs to local people without them needing a car to get to work and the location of this site, near good transport links, offers this.”

“Importantly, the new premises will allow us to expand, giving us the ability to hold larger amounts of stock, shorten the lead times for our customers and improve the efficiency at which we can work. It’s a real landmark moment for us, finally having a place that has been designed from the ground up to suit our unique needs. We can’t wait to move in!”

An Employee-Centric Approach

As a company that focuses on improving workspaces through innovative acoustic products and design, it was crucial that the new premises should be as comfortable for staff as possible and features the company’s signature acoustic spray range throughout to help control the level of noise that comes with a busy environment.

Ben added: “As the leading acoustics finishes firm in Great Britain, we knew that our new premises would need the same level of acoustic treatment that many of our clients enjoy. Not only is this safer for our staff, but it helps create a more harmonious workplace overall.

Behind the Scenes

The road to success was not always an easy one, particularly in sourcing an appropriate site, suited to Oscar Acoustics’ requirements and with the room for a fast-growing company to manoeuvre within.

Numerous barriers were faced before finding a suitable location for the business, and they relied on Locate in Kent, a local business consultancy, to help them find the perfect plot. Commenting on the challenge, and subsequent success, Gavin Cleary, Locate in Kent’s CEO, says: “Oscar Acoustics is a great example of Kent’s manufacturing tradition with a long established reputation for innovation, developed here in the county. We are delighted to have supported their search and identification of the right site in the right location. This planning application is a pivotal moment for the company in supporting future investment and their next phase of growth. Ultimately, this is great news for Kent with the opportunity for more jobs. It’s also a real vote of confidence in the county.”

Building on the site is expected to begin in August, with an estimated completion of mid-2023.

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