SNOWS Volvo Millbrook is one of two dealerships in Hampshire and one of 47 franchises in the family-owned SNOWS group; one of the biggest suppliers of new and secondhand Volvo vehicles in the south of England.
SNOWS engaged Axis House for a full fit-out of their newly expanded customer showroom in Millbrook, along with enhancements to the on-site workshop.
Working collaboratively with the project architect, and principal contractor, we specified a package that included furniture, fittings, and bespoke elements such as custom low-iron glass windows and a ceiling-hung fire safety curtain.
The fit-out was due to kick off prior to lockdown but delayed when the government enforced a nationwide construction shutdown. Once works could resume on-site we revisited our plans and projections, making cost adjustments where necessary, to ensure everything could be delivered to specification within budget and the newly agreed timeline.
Along with the fit-out of the customer-facing showroom, Axis House was also contracted to make improvements to the on-site workshop. This included specialist wall cladding for hanging equipment, which required cutouts within the metal cladding to accommodate all the electrical power sockets.
We also tiled different bays to create distinct zones, and built a trade counter with a fold-up worktop and checker plate cladding.
One early challenge encountered on the fit-out was working with green concrete, which is notoriously slow-drying. Wet weather also hampered progress, as we waited for the concrete to achieve the required moisture levels. Axis House recommended fitting of temporary hoarding to enclose the concreted area and prevent further moisture from penetrating the site. This modification, along with the addition of a dehumidifier, allowed the moisture levels to finally dry out enough to allow tiling to begin and keep the project on track.
An interesting aspect of the brief was the requirement for a custom glass panel between the SNOWS Volvo customer showroom and the workshop. We had this bespoke-made using an oak frame to clad the steelwork and curtain walling. The glass panel itself was formed of low-iron glass, at SNOWS’ request. This is specially manufactured with a lower iron oxide content, resulting in a super clear finish without the common tinted discolouration you get with standard glass.
Finally, SNOWS requested a fire curtain suspended from the ceiling that could drop down to seal off areas of the building in the event of a fire. This was another highly technical job, requiring additional steelworks and fixings, and close coordination with the project architect.
Axis House specified, designed, and oversaw the entire fit-out for the showroom, staff canteen, toilets, and workshop, including finishing all exposed steel beams to create a notable showroom design feature. We also carpeted the office area, constructed internal wall and glass partitioning and installed commercial-grade entrance matting in the lobby.
Periodic site inspections were carried out throughout the works by our Director for Health & Safety and external H&S consultants, to ensure all Health & Safety obligations were met.
“The fit out quality on this project with Axis House is streets ahead of quality we’ve had on others! We’re really pleased with the end result.”
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