SETTING NEW STANDARDS
Portview is an industry-leading company that delivers exquisite interior fit-out projects for the world’s top brands, combining chic style and stunning substance. In this interview RLI sits down with Managing Director Simon Campbell to discuss how the company has fared in these unprecedented times and what the future holds.
Created in Belfast in 1975, Portview is an interior fit-out contractor that specialises in transforming complex, creative concepts into world-class interiors for brands such as Tiffany & Co., Samsung, Rosewood Hotels and Arsenal F.C.
Over the past 46 years, they have evolved their portfolio beyond high-end retail and hospitality, adding multiple prestigious projects in the commercial, health sciences, residential and stadia sectors across the UK and Ireland.
“Despite the myriad of challenges the industry has faced in the last twelve months, we have remained in a strong cash-flow position and have adapted to the changing circumstances with relative ease,” explains Simon Campbell, Managing Director of Portview. “It is not enough just to ‘fit-out for purpose’, we fit-out ‘with’ purpose to make a real, meaningful difference to clients, the community and employees – and this is what makes us unique.”
With the onset of this global pandemic, the business has been very careful to implement a number of safeguards to ensure they could continue to fulfil their contracts no matter what the industry, and indeed coronavirus, threw their way.
When the first lockdown was announced back in March last year, the company made an unprecedented decision, for the first time in its 45-year history they chose to close all of their sites, and whilst Campbell explains it was the most difficult decision they have ever had to make, it was completely the correct one to make.
“The welfare of our team, clients and community will always be of utmost importance to us and we knew we had a responsibility to ensure their safety by taking positive action and give ourselves time to ensure all the right measures were in place to pick up where we left off when we returned on 27 April,” he explains.
The office-based team continue to work from home, but the contracts team have remained on site since April and have continued to make progress ever since with the adoption of new, robust Covid-19 health and safety measures – which include daily temperature checks and health questionnaires, physical distancing and traffic marshals, mandatory two metre distancing, face masks and hand washing.
Despite the lockdowns, Portview still had a productive year with the handover of major projects such as Tiffany & Co.’s, first ‘Blue Box Café in Harrods, the new Terrace Restaurant in Wimbledon and Watches of Switzerland’s new flagship store in Broadgate, East London.
“In addition, we have extended our presence in the health sciences sector with the completion of two ambitious pathology projects for Health Services Laboratories (HSL), in the Halo Building (part of Medcity) in King’s Cross, London. Crucially, this included the transformation of a former office space into a state-of-the-art Covid-19 Surge Capacity Laboratory, which has gone on to process 10,000 tests a day,” says Campbell.
The specialists are currently working on two major commercial projects in London, including UK headquarters for arguably the world’s most iconic designer fashion brand. They are also just a few weeks away from completing a six-storey office fit-out in the Wood Green area of North London. At 40,000sq ft the concept is a stylish, industrial design with metallic finishes, polished flooring and a double height atrium.
Next month Portview are due to begin the interior fit-out of the University of the Arts London’s (UAL) new London College of Fashion (LCF) campus in Stratford. This is their largest project win to date and will involve uniting all of LCF’s sites for the first time in its 120-year history, creating an extraordinary new campus for over 6,500 students and staff, with state-of-the-art facilities including public open spaces, galleries, a library and archives.
“This is a hugely exciting project for us and we’re delighted to have been entrusted by the London Legacy team to deliver their vision of a world-class learning facility that will go onto nurture the very best talent in arts and culture,” Campbell comments.
The last 12 months have presented the opportunity for the company to take stock of work priorities and adopt a more holistic approach to workspace culture and design. They have invested heavily in the training and upskilling of their employees, in addition to introducing new BIM technology, to ensure everyone can seamlessly carry out their work to the highest possible standard.
A true milestone though is their decision to invest £2.5M into its new headquarters, which will be designed, built and fit-out by their own team. This not only signifies a new dawn for the business, but it will empower employees to collaborate and come up with innovative ideas that will help shape and build the next iteration of Portview.
They pride themselves on setting new standards in fit-out excellence by championing innovation, creativity and quality to deliver their promise of “getting things right, first time, everytime” for clients, people and projects. The team is driven by its patented strategic framework ‘ProZero™’, which encompasses five core values – people, planet, process, prosperity and partnership.
“We believe that ProZero™ delivers a high level of sophistication, value and collaboration to projects that’s unrivalled by anyone else in the industry and is absolutely pivotal to our success,” Campbell concludes.