Brief

A temporary, and then permanent, First Class lounge for Virgin Trains at Liverpool Lime Street station.

Office Twelve was commissioned to design and fit out a new First Class lounge for Virgin Trains. This followed the success of Office Twelve’s provision of a temporary First Class lounge during the major renovations at Liverpool Lime Street station in 2016. The comfort and quality of both lounges had to be exceptional. The priority was to ensure the First Class experience extended beyond the train carriage, providing a consistent and very positive brand interaction between Virgin Trains and its First Class ticket holders.

But it wasn’t just Virgin Trains and its First Class passengers that needed satisfying,
Network Rail had its own requirements too. They provided Office Twelve with a comprehensive set of regulations and guidelines which had to be met, covering all aspects of staff working conditions and the parameters for a suitable working environment.

The lounge needed a minimum of twenty seats and a customer information point.

Approach

Quality, comfort and convenience in a stylishly designed and cleverly branded space.

A key concept was to localise the lounge. A feature wall displays images of Liverpool’s rich history and culture, including the Liver Building, the Beetles and Titanic memorabilia. All intertwined with illustration signage bespokely made by Office Twelve.

The style of the lounge is an eclectic mix of off-the-shelf and bespoke furniture, all beautifully designed and built to the highest standards of craftsmanship. Lively pops of colour, quirky details and feel-good flourishes retain Virgin Train’s brand hallmarks, while the customer information point uses cool, natural colours and bespoke lighting to create an oasis of calm.

Overall it is a stylish, relaxing space where First Class customers can enjoy the excellent Virgin service (and coffee), relax and work in comfort if they need to, with ultra-fast connectivity.

On this project Office Twelve had to work with Virgin Trains, the appointed architect and contractors, and Network Rail. A proactive approach to communications between all stakeholders was vital to success. They supplemented weekly status reports with quick text messages to ensure everyone had the right information at the right time. Always professional, their enthusiasm and can-do approach to problem solving kept the project on track to deliver a result that everyone involved is proud of.

Impact

The Virgin Trains brand has been elevated in the minds of its customers and its employees.

The Virgin Trains First Class customer experience is now more consistent across the estate. The new spaces at Liverpool Lime Street have seen an increase in customer satisfaction and a renewed staff engagement and pride in their working environment. This project is now being used as an example to dictate Virgin Trains’ strategy at other flagship First Class lounges across the UK.

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