FIT-OUT OF WORKPLACE

 

National Winner/Winner London (within M25) Region
Bloomberg European Headquarters, Finsbury Square, London EC2

Client

Bloomberg

Architecture & Design (Fit-out)

Powell-Tuck Associates

Base Building Architect

Foster and Partners

Project Co-ordinator

Ashford Property Services

Structural Engineer

Whitby Bird & Partners

Services Engineer

The Engineering Practice

Lighting Design

DPA Lighting Consultants

Art Consultant

Scarlet Projects

Construction Manager

Ibex Interiors

Furniture Supply

SCP Contracts; Dovetail Contract Furniture


Bloomberg is essentially a broadcaster using television and information technology to provide news, data analysis for those involved in the international financial markets. Its business is therefore about communications, movement and light - and it is difficult to imagine a design approach that would be more fit for purpose than the one delivered by Powell-Tuck Associates and the rest of Bloomberg's team in Finsbury Square.

The commission called for the re-fit of Bloomberg's existing premises at City Gate House, fitting out an adjoining building newly developed by Standard Life to a design by Foster & Partners, and connecting the two as the home of an integrated business. The result is bursting with energy and well-handled colour, bringing new life to City Gate House and positively enhancing the new building.

Stepping in off the street is to step straight into drama. From the small entrance lobby, enlivened on one side by glass-fronted television studios, access to the building is via a pair of escalators rising through a double-height entrance area. The section is at the top of these escalators, and immediately off those is the "pantry" - the only place in the building where staff can get refreshments, bright, bursting with energy and sound.

Away from this arrival area, and particularly in the new building, the office areas are much calmer. The movement of people is still treated as an opportunity for encounter, communication and the exchange of ideas, however, with areas designated on each floor for the display of art, to compliment Bloomberg's culture and stimulate creativity.

Movement between floors has also been encouraged by sacrificing area to the creation of an open accommodation stare that runs through the centre of the office floors.

It is Bloomberg's desire that their workspace should be "a constant evolving creation, rather than a static affair".


Winner London (within M25) Region - small projects
"Moving On" Project, Clarendon Road, Watford

Client

Cadbury Schweppes European Beverages

Design & Construction

Intelligent Space Ltd


If a company's offices should be a part of their brand (and they should) then it is irresistible to say that Cadbury Schweppes European Beverages' offices at Watford positively fizz with energy and ideas.

As a stimulus to new thinking, many aspects of the brief were negative: there should be no preconceived standard solutions, no grid-like layout of work stations or other regimentation, no L-shaped desks, and no predictability. Instead, the driving ideas were creativity and originality, the avoidance of reflecting any rigid sense of hierarchy in the design and quality of the space - and the potential for surprise.

The response to this is effectively a single volume, from reception to support spaces. The heart of the scheme is a circular boardroom, placed between reception and the main office area, but enclosed only by sliding screens which roll back to open the view from front to back of the building whenever the boardroom is not in use. As a middle road between totally open plan space and the obvious hierarchy of enclosed offices, the directors then sit down the centre of the office space in open plan, but with their work stations semi-enclosed by shoulder-height, curved, coloured glass fibre screens.

The surprises are here as well: the "zebra" carpet and black and white seating in the boardroom; a wall-mounted panel of white resin hands used for product display: and the bright, sometimes startling use of colour (orange, lime green - it's those fizzy drinks again). All of this creates an organic feel to the space.

The opportunities and challenges of working on smaller projects (the Cadbury Schweppes offices are about 10,000 square feet) and those who for major companies are very different; and, in view of the number of entries in this category this year, the BCO have decided to give a separate award for a small project. That award goes to Cadbury Schweppes for the thoughtful way they set about briefing for the project (including researching architectural magazines and developing a montage of ideas that appealed and those that didn't), for the lively (but appropriate) quality of the design, and for the efficiency of execution.


Winner Midlands / East Anglia Region
KPMG - Altius House, Milton Keynes

Client

KPMG

Project Manager

KPMG Facilities Projects

Interior Designer

GMW Partnership

Building Services Engineer

CJ Design Partnership

Quantity Surveyor

Hanscomb

Main Contractor

Cathedral Contracts


One of the gratifying aspects of judging the BCO Awards scheme is to see ideas roll forward and develop from year to year; and the award for KPMG's offices represents "three in a row" for GMW - with awards for BAT in 2000 and Imagine and Evolution in 2001. There are echoes of both schemes in the fit-out of Altius House, but developed to suit the requirements of a different user.

This is primarily an audit business, and the space therefore has to act as a home for people who spend quite a lot of their working life in client's premises. The particular pressures that this creates are served in a number of ways. Firstly, for those who have to drop in briefly for routine tasks, there are touch down facilities. For those who are spending longer in the office, there are open plan offices with unassigned desks (for everybody, up to and including the Senior Partner) at trading desks or "work benches", generally arranged in chevron . These have only low screens between them, so that face to face contact is possible. There is then a range of settings for meetings, training, refreshment and casual break out.

There are then two "soft" ideas that serve as a reminder that, for all their force for good in shaping an environment suited to business success, bricks and mortar cannot do it all. Firstly, KPMG have a reciprocal arrangement with Virgin, who are in an adjoining building, to use their gym; with Virgin's staff then able to use KPMG's café . Secondly, by arrangement with a local charity, KPMG provide free bikes to their staff, to cycle at lunchtime or to and from work.


Commended Kimberley-Clark Shared Service Centre, Brighton

Client

Kimberly-Clark

Project Designer

BDG McColl


Commended Goldman Sachs, River Court, 133 Fleet Street, London EC4

Client

Goldman Sachs International

Project Manager

Capital Project Consultancy

Architect

Bennett Interior Design

Services Engineer

Tilney Simmons

Cost Consultant

Bernard Williams Associates

Management Contractor

Interior Tolent JV


Commended J Sainsbury, 33 Holborn, London EC4

Client

J Sainsbury

Project Manager

GTMS

Interior Architect

MCM Architecture

Structural Engineer

Jolles Partnership

Services Engineer

Troup Bywaters & Anders

IT Consultant

Accenture

Acoustic Consultant

Sandy Brown Associates

Cost Consultant

Gardiner & Theobald

Fit-out Contractor

Bovis Lend Lease Interiors