Projects up to 2,000m²

 

National Winner / Joint Regional Winner London (inside M25)
The LTA's National Tennis Centre

8_7_lta1

Project Client:

The Lawn Tennis Association

Owner:

The Lawn Tennis Association

Project Manager:

Buro Four

Quantity Surveyor:

Gardiner & Theobald

Brief Consultant:

Aldington Craig & Collinge

Architect:

Hopkins Architects

Interior Designer:

Hopkins Architects
MoreySmith

M&E Engineer:

Arup

Structural Engineer:

Arup

Contractor:

ISG InteriorExterior


Combining work and play in a single building is fraught with danger. They make such different demands that both can be left struggling in a confusion of conflict and discomfort. But the Lawn Tennis Association's National Tennis Centre is an outstanding example of successful integration. The site chosen after a long search was very sensitive, where what looks like acres of empty space is very restricted. This meant producing a low building with relatively little impact. The open-plan, double-storey offices have benefited from the union, boasting a sense of space and light created by reflecting the form of the playing areas.

This is a hugely democratic building. The aim was to bring players, coaches and administrators together, working towards a common excellence. Child learners, senior executives, disabled players and Wimbledon champions use the same entrance and cafeteria tables. The LTA Board meets in the 'Centre Court' atrium also used by staff and players as a break-out space for relaxation.

The centre is elegant, efficient and sustainable - three factors which can also find it difficult sitting together. All the space is high quality, with nothing wasted through compromise. The roof profile over the tennis courts carried through over workspaces gives a wonderful sense of generosity and volume but also adds cohesion to what are normally seen as widely different activities. The height and volume creates a focus and centre of gravity that many other offices lack because of the need for regularity. And this was achieved without any apparent loss of flexibility.

Great use is made of the naturally contouring site sharing views out of the building as well as into its heart. The judges were pleased that fit-out integrated so well with the base build - often a weakness in otherwise excellent developments.

There is no BREEAM certificate and deep space demands displacement ventilation. Yet natural ventilation plays its part when conditions allow, along with roof overhangs for shading, louvres, sliding doors and treatment of rainwater runoff. These are not gimmicks but part of a sustainable, low cost whole. Use of durable materials also ensures low maintenance costs.

No building is without faults and the judges were disappointed with the location of the disabled lift, which entails a long travel distance between floors. This is a pity when so much is focussed on athletes with disabilities. Detailing could also have been better in a few areas.

However, these are minimal concerns for a well-made building. This was the clearest, simplest, most straightforward plan seen by the judges. The medium depth floor plate in a doughnut form was hard to fault. The glass to glass dimension did not seem unduly wide. The workspace on the lower floor was just as enjoyable as the upper floor, because of its exposed concrete soffits and connection to Centre Court.

"Although bespoke and unique, we could all imagine our offices in such a building. It would not only be comfortable to work in, it would also be a pleasure."


Joint Regional Winner Small Projects London (Inside M25)
Rio Tinto, Aldermanbury Square, London

8_7_riotinto1

Project Client:

Rio Tinto

Owner:

Scottish Widows

Project Manager:

Cushman and Wakefield

Quantity Surveyor:

Bingham Anderson Partnership

Interior Designer:

MoreySmith

M&E Engineer:

Meinhardt

Contractor:

ISG InteriorExterior


It might seem apt that the joint winner of this hotly contested award should go to a single floor in the building chosen as this year's best commercial project. But it would have caught the judges' eyes anyway because of the way an international giant has encapsulated a global workplace revolution within a relatively modest space.

Relocation of strategic and executive functions to the City was used to promote a crisp, modern image and greater working transparency consistent with the relocation of the main London office.

Architect MoreySmith received high praise from the regional judges for creating 'an ambience that allows one to feel that this is a corporate head office without an overpowering sense of corporate excess'. The national panel had mixed views, however, about the way traditional resistance to the move from enclosed to open working was tackled through a 'half way' solution, of part-height storage walls.

An impressive reception area combines excitement and the gravitas required by a global head office, showing the periodic table of elements which form the basis of the occupier's business. The powerful brand identity carries through into an 'earthy' office décor made up of large translucent images of mining landscapes and machines, which reinforces the impact.

Executives can work from lively team-working benches in the café, more exclusive executive lounges, or hot desks and "telebooths" in open areas - all within a single 1,500m2 floor. Sustainability was not high on Rio Tinto's agenda. However, FSC approved timber was specified.

This is an excellent finished product endorsed by all who work there and a worthy regional award winner.


Regional Winner Small Projects South of England (outside M25) and South Wales
Rolle Estate Office, Bicton Arena, Budleigh Salterton

8_7_rolle1

Project Client:

Clinton Devon Estates

Owner:

Clinton Devon Estates

Project Manager:

Norman Rourke Pryme

Quantity Surveyor:

Norman Rourke Pryme

Architect:

LHC Architects

Interior Designer:

iDEA

M&E Engineer:

Faber Maunsell

Structural Engineer:

Faber Maunsell

Contractor:

Dean and Dyball Construction


Vision and courage drove plans to develop an estate office within the Grade 1 listed landscape of Bicton Park to accommodate 70 staff as well as private and public meetings, conferences and hospitality. Success in setting a benchmark for design, flexibility and environmental efficiency can be measured by a Queen's Award for Enterprise (Sustainable Development).

The carbon footprint was reduced by 75% from the former estate office. A virtually self-sustaining environment is based upon a wood chip boiler system, passive cooling design, natural ventilation and solar control. Low embodied energy materials from renewable local sources were used in both base build construction and fit-out. The judges saw it as 'truly a building in harmony with the surrounding environment'.

The modest size of 655m2, the unique character of Clinton Devon Estates and the commitment to sustainable design and quality has incurred the substantial cost of £2,947 per m2. This could have been done much more cheaply but the integrity of the scheme would have been compromised, standards undermined and important lessons less clearly illustrated.

The national judges had some reservations over an 'inelegant' roof light and felt the fit-out was uncomfortable with so many ideas crammed into a small building. But they too fell under its spell, appreciating the way a clear vision was impeccably achieved despite hefty difficulties.

It is imperative that projects such as this are encouraged and the best examples of design, construction and services applied more widely. Clinton Devon Estates should be applauded for its imagination and investment.


Regional Winner Small Projects North of England, North Wales and South Wales
Overbury Northern, The Zenith Building, Manchester

8_7_overbury1

Project Client:

Overbury Group

Owner:

Eltasco

Project Manager:

Overbury Group

Quantity Surveyor:

Overbury Group

Architect:

ID:SR

Interior Designer:

ID:SR

M&E Engineer:

DR Design

Contractor:

Overbury


As one of the leading fit-out companies in the UK, Overbury wanted its new Manchester office to showcase the kind of flexible space it offers clients. Overbury leads the industry in sustainable refurbishment, so the fit-out had to meet the highest standards of sustainability. It was one of the first in Manchester to measure and actively seek to cut carbon by monitoring finishes, materials and construction processes such as deliveries.

The design also had to match modern thinking on workspace. This was implemented with a central spine for the kitchen, meeting space and resource hub wrapped in full height glass, patterned to give varying degrees of opacity where privacy is required. Desks are arranged around the periphery to take advantage of daylight and views. Subtle cues divide space such as the carpet patterns, which alter to denote different purposes like meeting space, reception and open plan office. A 'wow' factor to give a strong identity in a multi-occupied building was crucial and this is evident from the powerful reception area through to the office space.

The regional judges felt a key factor was Sheppard Robson's exceptional attention to detail and intimate knowledge of Overbury's requirements - a partnership developed by previous experience working together. The national judges were concerned that powerful branding and techniques such as the 'pink ribbon' leading through the floor may have been excessive but were impressed by the overall scheme and the way close team working reflected in a remarkably fast programme of six weeks design and four weeks fit-out.


Regional Winner Small Projects Scotland
McInroy & Wood Headquarters Building, Haddington

8_7_mcinroywood1

Project Client:

McInroy & Wood

Owner:

McInroy & Wood

Project Manager:

Davis Langdon

Quantity Surveyor:

CBA Quantity Surveyors

Brief Consultant:

Michael Laird Architects

Architect:

Michael Laird Architects

Interior Designer:

Michael Laird Architects

M&E Engineer:

K J Tait

Structural Engineer:

SKM

Contractor:

Watson Construction Group


This small but successful firm of financial advisors could have easily chosen more basic accommodation but showed a level of commitment that has resulted in a beautiful modern office building complementing a historical and rural setting without reverting to pastiche or compromise. The risk in a relatively complex project for a novice should not be underestimated.

Despite being a bespoke building, the judges were impressed with its flexibility. Simple floor plates will allow use as meeting rooms, open plan or entertainment. Subtle design details such as individual glulam beams, office lighting and a bespoke reception desk add to the layers of quality and interest.

The distinctiveness of design has raised the bar for this area. Attention to detail has created a wonderful building, making the most of its site. It is distinctive yet flexible enough to allow for growth.

The judges felt that the scheme demonstrated good value for money, particularly in the prevailing market. Costs were well controlled under a traditional form of procurement. Choice of materials and the simplicity of the building mean that cost in use will be low. There is no BREEAM rating but the building is designed for relatively low energy use.

The national judges had some reservations, feeling the core location split the building, creating divisions in use which were not always successful. The car park was over prominent and the fit-out was not as convincing as the base build. But the overall quality of design, attention to detail, commitment and teamwork have created a building that lifts the spirits and clearly motivates its occupiers.


Regional Winner Small Projects Midlands and East Anglia
eOffice, Birmingham

8_7_eoffice1

Project Client:

eOffice

Project Manager:

Workspace

Quantity Surveyor:

GVA Grimley

Interior Designer:

Assemblyroom
Ashley Carter Consultants

Contractor:

Workspace


Technology has dramatically changed the way business is done in the 21st century and that drama is playing out in new office design. Serviced business centres are becoming a serious alternative to conventional space and eOffice has pushed the boundaries even further, adopting a concept more akin to hotels.

This approach scooped last year's BCO Innovation Award and a new Birmingham centre has now been judged the best small project in the Midlands. 'It is not entirely successful but deserves an award for the pure refusal to do the proper thing and its sheer spirit of achievement,' said the judges.

Interaction and networking are central to the ethos of open plan space, where a new breed of occupier may hot desk for an hour or spend a month working in a team. Brash colours reinforce a sense of excitement and interaction.

Lack of partitions mean desks can vary from single to multiple work stations and change each month. Leading edge IT ensures connections via internet or phone from any point. A central kitchen/coffee point and 'work wall' to store belongings and collect mail act as an informal area for further interaction. And the whole development is carbon neutral.

The fit out alone justifies the award through its unconventional fresh thinking for an industry that ordinarily defaults to a standardised approach, said the judges. 'To harness the quirkiness of some of the solutions - some of which work and some of which fall short - and demonstrate alternative working practices is enormously interesting.'