NHS Public Health Wales Swansea

Following the success of the international award-winning NHS Public Health Wales Cardiff office, Rype Office was retained to design and furnish the new 95-person Public Health Wales Swansea office.

Value for money and sustainability (social and environmental) were once again paramount for the fitout, with all parties looking to continue to innovate in these areas.


Design Process

Each team relocating to the new office was consulted for its needs, including number of permanent and hot desks, storage requirements, individuals’ ergonomic needs, confidentiality requirements and other requests. This was documented and signed off by the teams.

At the same time, an audit of existing furniture and nearby available used furniture was conducted.

PHW’s team requirements and the available furniture together formed the design brief.

Draft furniture layouts were reviewed by team representatives and division heads. This iteration firmed up staff numbers and allowed teams to place staff at desks, enabling integration of staff-specific ergonomic needs into the design.

The final agreed design and a number of alternative colour palettes were presented to team representatives for review. The colour scheme selected combined colours from two proposed alternatives.


Key Design Features

To help with orientation so staff would immediately feel comfortable (and be productive) when working in the Public Health Wales Swansea office, some design cues were replicated from the Cardiff office. For example, at both offices, walkways comprise three shades of blue and purple signifies meeting rooms.

For the office areas, a new colour palette was developed to suit the building and complement the lush surrounding vegetation.

Innovations in the design included:

  • Blue desktops for hotdesks, so that staff visiting Public Health Wales Swansea could immediately identify and feel comfortable using them, knowing that they are not intruding.
  • 1-person pods for quiet working, including phone calls. These were refurbished, with new upholstery to suit the colour scheme.
  • Curved bookshelves for the knowledge hub, used to create semi-private meeting spaces within an open space.
  • Kitchens were designed for wheelchair access and for use by the visually impaired by implementing the guidelines of the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
  • Working with the downstairs neighbour, Hewlett Packard, who was moving out, a significant proportion of their furniture was remanufactured (including resizing the desks) and repurposed to suit PHW needs. This avoided waste and disposal costs for Hewlett Packard while providing high quality furniture for PHW with no transport costs.
  • 95% of the furniture items were refurbished or remanufactured.
  • One third of the 5% new furniture came from social enterprises. For example, the booth sofas and collaborative hubs were constructed using frames made by the Merthyr Tydfil Institute for the Blind.
  • 82% of the flooring was reused or reclaimed.



Project Director Paula Walters was delighted with the Public Health Wales Swansea office:

Staff moved in yesterday and they love the way the office looks and feels and all the amenities they have to hand.  Hardly surprising as it looks fantastic.

PHW Project Manager Joan Wilding noted that:

It was good to continue the sustainable aims previously achieved at Capital Quarter 2 Cardiff.  By recycling furniture innovatively, we provided a fantastic work environment within budget and on time, proving again that the circular economy can provide an attractive, sustainable alternative to new furniture.

Head of Strategy for PHW, Sally Attwood, commented:

It was fantastic to see the building on Saturday and I knew that staff would love it.  It is so light and airy and everything seemed to fit perfectly.  It just felt like a joyous space!  Great ideas will be developed here I’m sure.



Public Health Wales’s vision is to achieve a healthier, happier and fairer Wales. To achieve this they are working to improve public health and wellbeing and reduce the gap in health in different communities in Wales, improve the quality, equity and effectiveness of all health care services, and protect the public from infectious diseases such as flu and environmental hazards. http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/home


Rype Office helps clients to create beautiful, productive offices at substantial cost savings through good design and by using remanufactured and sustainable office furniture.

Contact: Contact@RypeOffice.com or phone 033 3358 3330.