Site Visit: Formal House, Cheltenham

20th March 2019

Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire hosted our latest site visit at Formal House, Cheltenham. After securing an exclusive opportunity for a behind the scenes tour and a chance to hear from guest speakers including the client, Nick King, and the Architect, Joe Roberts about the challenges and awards of this fantastic transformation.

The Civic Award-winning unique warehouse style working environment in the heart of Cheltenham allowed for the perfect networking event to be held, causing the event to sell out.

Nick King of Formal Investments kick-started the formal talk by giving an insight into his vision and the development stages of the project. The continuous tweaking of the brief generated issues for the team, but this is what brought into existence this unique work environment -“it is amazing when you come through these things as a team.”



Joe Roberts followed with a presentation on the transformation, and execution of the “great workspace.” Joe Provided information on how the design and the different building materials that helped with the transformation. The project’s lead architect recalled the early client brief as “Shoreditch boutique hotel meets Cheltenham”.

“It was great to get the opportunity to speak to Constructing Excellence members about an exciting project that we are very proud of. It was challenging but certainly a result of a team effort. Working closely with Formal Investments, Barnwood Construction and Yiangou.” – Joe Roberts


Guy Cook of Barnwood Construction described the 4-story steel frame building as a “builder’s dream” but also gave an insight into the nightmarish challenges of the groundworks section of the works. He talked about how the “non-habitable” construction site was transformed into a “habitable area” and how his construction team worked alongside the street traffic and occupying tenants to transform Formal House into the “fantastic and superb building” that it is today.



Lastly, Paul Ainsworth of Yiangou Architects, the Interior Designer on the project, gave an insight into his vision on the potential he saw in the building. Joining the project late, Paul deemed the project exciting as it had a “nice feel in terms of creative people.” His aim was to keep the industrial aesthetic of the building by designing a perfect user journey of the building, extending the heritage, creating a unique and memorable experience for users and building a space that is practical and fit for purpose.

“It was great to introduce people to this hidden gem of a space in the heart of Cheltenham, to tell the story from inception to completion and to acknowledge all the hard work and effort of the team! Well done all!”– Paul Ainsworth


The guided tour around the building provided the perfect end to the event and CEG members and guests agreed that this fantastic space certainly met the client brief. We even overheard one attendee booking out one of the meeting rooms before he left!