Square-Enix, Floors 4 & 5, 240 Blackfriars, SE1

Client

Square-Enix

Property

Floors 4 & 5, 240 Blackfriars, London

Role

Project Management, Contract Administration and Cost Management

Contract Value

Undisclosed

Time Scale

10 weeks

Square-Enix is a world-famous games design company with hit titles such as Tomb Raider, Marvels Avengers and Final Fantasy in its portfolio. The company’s UK headquarters is based at 240 Blackfriars in London, taking up two floors of this modern, 15-storey, central-London office block.

The Brief
In 2014, PBC had managed the fit-out of floors 12 and 13 for Square-Enix but as the tenancy was coming to an end, the company decided to relocate and design the new space to suit its growing workforce. As 24,000 sq.ft. of office space was available on floors 4 and 5 within the same building, the company took an assignment of the previous tenant’s leases, and PBC was appointed to provide Project Management, Contract Administration and Cost Management services.

The Challenges
Throughout the project, PBC worked closely with the landlord and the building’s management team to ensure each phase of the process and fit-out works were carefully managed, and the necessary approvals were obtained. This included regular on-site meetings as well as the provision of a comprehensive information pack for licences for alterations to be granted, certification and records provided at completion.

As Square-Enix is a computer gaming company, the company’s IT requirements were particularly high. Internet and communication installations had to be carefully managed, and Wayleave agreements for fibre installations had to include options to proceed on the required dates.  A significant amount of supplemental cooling also had to be installed as part of the fit-out, to accommodate the client’s 24/7 working practices in some parts of the floors where each workstation would accommodate four PCs and screens.

To ensure the company could start to install its IT equipment from the beginning of March 2020, to allow for final completion four weeks later, the communications, games testing and patch rooms had to be completed and handed-over early.  In addition, as the start of the Covid-19 restrictions coincided with the delivery of not only the final fit-out, but also the delivery of office furniture from Europe, PBC had to work closely with the Design & Build contractor Oktra to devise and manage an accelerated programme to ensure everything was in place whilst the site complied with Covid-19 restrictions.

Throughout the lockdown period, PBC carried out essential site visits, in line with the Government’s Covid-19 safety guidelines and working practices, to manage the de-snagging, completion and hand-over process. The Cost Consultancy team also ensured the client’s financial interests were protected throughout by carefully managing any variations to the works, so tight cost control and cost management was maintained.

Commenting at the hand-over of the project, Square-Enix Executive Office Manager Tracey-Leigh Gleig said:  “Despite the issues that Covid-19, and a very tight schedule, threw at us the project was completed on programme and within budget.  I would therefore like to thank the PBC team, and everyone else involved, for their hard work and professionalism under such challenging circumstances.  The Square-Enix team is delighted with the new office space, and we – as well as our famous characters – look forward to taking up residence as soon as restrictions are eased!”