CORPORATE WORKPLACE

 

National Winner/Winner London Region - Sponsored by Johnson Controls
Pentland International Headquarters, Lakeside, Squires Lane, London N3

Client

Pentland Group PLC

Project Manager, Contract Administrator, Planning Supervisor

J Shreeves & Partners

Architect

GHM Rock Townsend Ltd

Interior Architect

>>id

Structural Engineer

Whitby Bird

Services Engineer

Fulcrum Consulting

Main Contractor

Mowlem Building


Here is something different. In addressing the future expansion of their business, Pentland (owners of a number of worldwide sports clothing brands, including Speedo, Ellesse, Lacoste and many others) purchased a site that was already under development for housing, adjacent to their existing headquarters - a fairly undistinguished tower block. On the extended site they have erected a fairly calm five-storey office building of double-banked space arranged along a central street, and a more exuberant reception and restaurant building which looks out onto a lake between the new and existing buildings. With a high quality of landscaping, and an imaginative link to the refurbished tower, Pentland now have a corporate campus that has both character and cohesion.

The character is also unique. Although architecturally restrained, the new building has design touches which are far removed from the safe corporate palate of rigorously (but often blandly) tasteful design that is becoming characteristic of so much corporate architecture. These touches include meeting rooms themed for creative thought (a tropical beach, a skateboard park); crystal chandeliers salvaged from second-hand shops; a brightly coloured gallery wall, upon which is hung a pictorial record of the company's origins and history, framed in ornate gilt; artwork resulting from a student design awards scheme run by Pentland themselves; a "swimming pool" of recycled glass, and plenty more. The choice of finishes eschews the standard palate as well, including lino to main circulation areas, and a resin-bonded pebble floor to the office street.

The building is also bristling with communications media: from plasma and projection screens in the reception area and elsewhere, to a range of internet terminals, extensive audio-visual and video-conferencing facilities, and a "testimonial wall" running the full length of the atrium - a light box displaying words in eight languages intended to capture Pentland's brand values. It is a building that talks back.

You won't find this stuff in any design guide, but it works, and is relevant to the character and culture of Pentland and to its business. Ideas that are individually idiosyncratic, even eccentric, work together to signal a company that wants to stand out from the crowd, and is restless in its search for new ideas.

Pentland's decision to base itself in London, but away from the traditional centre, is also noteworthy. Mixing homes and jobs is at the core of creating sustainable communities, and the needs of environmental sustainability will also be well served by a trend towards bringing jobs to the people (but still in an area well served by public transport) rather than transporting people to the jobs.

A necessary part of this idea is to provide a high level of staff amenity, and here too Pentland score well, with staff offered the lakeside restaurant, an internet café, a shop, a club (or "meltdown") area, a health and fitness studio with gym and steam rooms, tennis courts and a nursery.

The result is an environment designed to attract staff who might otherwise have looked to central London for their career - and to take advantage of its setting to provide something that could not be achieved in the city centre.


Winner South of England / South Wales Region - Sponsored by Johnson Controls
Osborne Clarke Headquarters, Temple Quay, Bristol

Client

Osborne Clarke

Project Manager

Chesterton

Architect, Interior Designer (detail)

Atkins Walters Webster

Interior Designer (concept)

DEGW

Space Planning

Harmsen Group

Structural Engineer

Buro Happold

Services Engineer

Hoare Lea

Landscape Architect

Cooper Partnership

Catering Consultant

Peter Burholt Partnership

Cost Consultant

Gardiner & Theobald

Planning Supervisor

W A Fairhurst & Partners

Main Contractor

Mowlem Building


It is a fact almost universally acknowledged that lawyers need individual offices, so if you want to be like other lawyers, then your office fit-out would be based around the principle of a cellular layout. Osborne Clark's building might therefore be said to be the result of not wanting to be like other lawyers - and, to the interested outsider, it is a revelation. The BCO judges have seen experiments with partial open plan for lawyers' offices before. Here, however, the principle is carried right through, and everyone works in shared space.

The offices are arranged around a central atrium which has generally been left unenclosed, so that the space is open plan both horizontally and vertically, and the atrium also plays an important role in the vertical circulation of the building, with access bridges served by a full-height open stair, providing opportunities for encounter as people move about the building. These opportunities, which are a critical element of the creation of community that is implicit in the use of open plan space, are supported by a generous allocation of breakout spaces, including café bars on every level of the building, a casual seating area in the atrium base, and a stylish restaurant.

Whilst there are aspects of the Temple Quay masterplan that fail to lift the spirits in terms of urban design, this area of Bristol is home to an increasing number of companies that have created purpose- made space that is moving their own business and culture forward, and Osborne Clarke's building is a welcome and refreshing addition to the neighbourhood.


Winner Midlands/East Anglia Region - Sponsored by Johnson Controls
IFDS House, Basildon

Client

Barclays Group Property Services

Purchaser/occupier

International Financial Data Services (UK) Ltd

Project Manager

PDCM Ltd

Architect (Base Building)

Fitzroy Robinson

Architect (Fit-out)

RTKL

Structural Engineer

WSP Consulting Engineers

Services Engineer

Troup Bywaters and Anders

Landscape Architect

Whitelaw Turkington

Quantity Surveyor

RLF

Main Contractor

Interserve Project Services Ltd


IFDS House has a simple (and now widely adopted) plan, comprising two bands of three-storey offices arranged either side of a central mall which steps down to follow the slope of the site. At ground level the spaces have been closed off with glazed screens, and above that they are open - providing legibility and openness both horizontally and vertically. Support services (meeting rooms, shop, restaurant etc) open off this street - and its ends run out into the landscape, with one end providing a decked area for alfresco meeting and eating, overlooking a new lake.

From a sustainability point of view it is an excellent example of a mixed mode system, and has earned an "Excellent" BREEAM rating. For most of the year, and in spite of being densely occupied, ventilation is provided by natural means through opening windows, utilising the stack effect of the atrium and the thermal mass of the exposed concrete soffits. When necessary, though, fresh air can be boosted through displacement ventilation, and cooling can be provided by natural exchange with the chilled slabs, cooled by lake water running through pipes cast into the concrete. Insulation values are high, and the amount of glazing on façades exposed to the sun is controlled and shaded - but the quality of light is nonetheless excellent.

Whilst simple in form and detailing, the building has a strength of composition, and sits comfortably in a well-landscaped setting which has also been well conceived, with the grounds looking as much a product of nature as of artifice.


Winner North of England / North Wales/Northern Ireland Region - Sponsored by Johnson Controls
Parklands, Alderley Park, Macclesfield

Client

AstraZeneca

Project Manager, Construction Manager, Quantity Surveyor, Planning Supervisor

AstraZeneca Engineering

Architect

Lovelock Mitchell and Partners

Interior Designer

Claremont Business Environments

Structural & Civil Engineer

Wilde and Partners

Structural steelwork design and execution

Harry Peers Steelwork Ltd

Mechanical services design and execution

Thermal Transfer Ltd

Electrical services design and execution

Cross Services


Alderley Park has long been the main UK research and development of AstraZeneca and its antecedents, having previously been a country house estate. Development of the site over the years has clearly been piecemeal, in response to business need, and to the disinterested observer architectural quality does not always appear to have been a guiding aspiration. The Parklands building, however, looks to be the result of seeking quality in every department. The plan once again follows the pattern of two banks of offices, aligned along a central atrium or street. The design takes advantage of the quality of light that this plan form allows, adopting 18m deep plates on both sides of the street. The street also houses a café bar and casual breakout area in the base, and the primary means of circulation - glass lifts, open stairs and access bridges.

AstraZeneca have used the new building to move forward their delivery processes for projects, providing project, cost and construction management services through their own in-house engineering team, and making extensive use of partnering arrangements for the trade work.

Finally, and as for so many corporate occupiers, the new building has also been taken as an opportunity to effect a change in working practices, moving away from a tradition of cellular offices to a more flexible open plan arrangement, supported with areas for meetings and quiet work, and with people organised in project teams. The project has therefore benefited from rethinking practice from the drawing board to occupation and use: a case of getting the chemistry right?


Winner Scotland Region - Sponsored by Johnson Controls
Dundas House, 20 Brandon Street, Edinburgh

Client

Standard Life Assurance Company

Project Manager, Quantity Surveyor

Thomas & Adamson

Architect

BDG McColl Scotland

Structural Engineer

Woolgar Hunter

Services Engineer

KJ Tait

Landscape Architect

Derek Carter Associates

Planning Supervisor

Reiach and Hall Consultants

Construction Manager

Sir Robert McAlpine


Through careful restoration of a listed building, judicious retention and adaptation of a 1970's "doughnut" block, and the creation of new spaces that tie the whole development together, Standard Life have created lively new offices for their sales and marketing department that could not have been achieved by refurbishment or new build alone. The finished product is like a small village, with a variety of spaces and styles, and a similar variety of work settings.

Once again there is a central atrium, but this is no street. Instead there is a space the size of a basketball court, which serves as a restaurant, a shop, a casual breakout space, and a major presentation space. In addition, it is a major circulation space, both horizontally and vertically. Unusually, instead of the obvious glass roof (which, for much of a northern winter, would be a black void) the atrium has a raised solid roof with clerestory glazing only. With the addition of well-designed artificial lighting, the quality of light still produces an excellent outlook for those offices that face inwards.

The problems set by adapting an inflexible 1970's structure for contemporary use have also been well handled. An integrated chilled beam and lighting boom has been designed to overcome the restraint of a 3m floor-to-floor height, and cores have been relocated to produce the clear floor plates required for modern working practices. These arrangements, and the reorganisation of the space in the refurbishment, have increased the capacity of the building by 38%.


Commended Royal Pavilion, Aldershot

Client

Computer Sciences Corporation

Architect

RTKL - UK Ltd

Space Planning, Fit-out

Facility Interiors

Structural Engineer

Arup

Services Engineer

Flack + Kurtz

Landscape Architect

RPS Group plc

Cost Consultant

Davis Langdon & Everest

Main Contractor

Mowlem Building


Commended Capital One UK Headquarters, Nottingham

Client

Capital One

Architect

ORMS Architects

Structural Engineer

Price and Myers

Services Engineer

Cundall Johnston & Partners

Quantity Surveyor

Davis Langdon & Everest

Construction Manager

Woolf Ltd


Commended BT National Telecommunications Network Management Centre, Oswestry

Client

BT Network and Systems

Project Manager

EC Harris

Architect, Structural Engineer, Landscape Architect

Building Design Partnership Ltd

Services Engineer

Capita Property Services

Quantity Surveyor, Planning Supervisor

Currie & Brown

Main Contractor

Amec

Facilities Manager

Monteray

Furniture Specialist

Samas City Space

Art Consultant

Art Contact


Commended Scottish Public Pensions Agency, Tweedside Park, Galashiels

Project Sponsor/end user

Scottish Public Pensions Agency

Project Sponsor's Representative

CB Hillier Parker

Developer

Tweedside Image Ltd

Architect, Landscape Architect, Structural and Services Engineer, Planning Supervisor

RMJM

Cost Consultant

CBA Quantity Surveyors

Main Contractor

Hart Buildings (Edinburgh) Ltd