REFURBISHED / RECYCLED WORKPLACE

 

National Winner/Winner London Region - Sponsored by Keltbray
HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1

Project Sponsor/end user

HM Treasury

Project Sponsor's Representative

Gardiner & Theobald Management Services

Client Consortium

Exchequer Partnership (Stanhope Plc, Bovis Lend Lease Ltd, Chesterton International Plc)

Architect

Foster and Partners

Heritage/Conservation Architect

Feilden & Mawson

Space Planning

DEGW

Structural Engineer

Waterman Partnership

Services Engineer

Jaros Baum & Bolles

Cost Consultant

Faithful & Gould

Services Cost Consultant

Mott Green & Wall

Contractor

Bovis Lend Lease Ltd


From a risk management point of view, the only sensible advice to give anybody contemplating the undertaking that has resulted in the completely remodelled Treasury Building would probably be "don't do it". That, notwithstanding this, the end result looks straightforward, is testament to the calibre of a team that displays the practised skill of the concert pianist.

The starting point for this redevelopment was a building designed at the end of the last century, in the era of coal fires, and at a time when the possession of an office (and its size) was a mark of status and accomplishment. Although the coal fires were never necessary, the layout has been substantially unmodified for a century, and the Exchequer Partnership (the consortium appointed to redevelop the building and lease it back to the Treasury) had to deal with a building comprising hundreds of rooms linked by miles of corridor. Radical surgery followed, and the facts of the project record the demolition of some eight miles of brick partition, and the removal of stair cores and toilet stacks to free up the floorplate.

Unprepossessing lightwells, previously the preserve of pigeons (alive and dead) were roofed to create a new reception area and lift core, and to provide new shared facilities and reference points; but the central courtyard, rather than being glazed over, has been left open and landscaped as an oasis at the heart of the building.

This has created a new legibility, with generally open plan offices arranged around these lightwells and atria; and although there are still some cellular offices opening off retained corridors, these are now light and airy and enlightened by artwork.

The public sector has been fairly slow to abandon the tradition of private offices, but here the concept has been wholly embraced - and the Treasury's experience is that, having been offered the choice, a greater than expected number of departments have opted for open plan living. As the building is also naturally ventilated, it is irresistible to say that, both figuratively and literally, the new Treasury Building represents a breath of fresh air blowing through the corridors of power - a transformation from labyrinth to leitmotif for transparency.


Winner Midlands/East Anglia Region - Sponsored by Keltbray
The Mailbox, Wharfside Street, Birmingham

Client

Birmingham Mailbox Ltd

Project Manager, Quantity Surveyor, Planning Supervisor

Faithful & Gould

Architect (concept)

Associated Architects

Design and Build Contractor

Carillion

Architect (for D&B Contractor)

Weedon Partnership

Landscape Architect

Gillespies

Structural Engineer

Curtins

Services Engineer

Couch Perry Wilkes

Traffic and Fire Engineer

Arup

Security Consultant

Goodwill Associates

Lighting Designer

DPA

Public Art Consultant

Modus Operandi


It is something of a current fashion to describe developments as regeneration projects, simply because they are located in a place that needs help. The Mailbox, however, can legitimately claim the title. This major remodelling of a former Royal Mail Sorting Office is now said to be the largest mixed-use building in the UK, providing some 1.5 million square feet of floor space, aligned along a new street cut down the centre of the building. This creates a new stepped link between the city centre and the canal system.

The offices are approached from a landing located at the mid level. The 12 x 12m column grid, the 6.2m height (with room for tenants to add a mezzanine level) and high floor loadings provides flexible space which has clearly met a real need in the market for large space users. The space is arranged in a mixture of office and call centre use, and the predominantly open plan layouts maintain a high quality of natural light, with air quality served by displacement ventilation.

Beyond its own front door, the development genuinely meets the key conditions for regeneration. It brings back into use a redundant facility - not just by refurbishing the Post Office building itself, but also by re-excavating a backfilled canal basin and by laying out new public open space. In summary, it actually creates a new place, makes new connections in the city, and plays a part in addressing the problems caused, as in so many city centres, by the prior interventions of the traffic engineer. All of this creates opportunities for further development as the character of the area changes for the better.


Winner North of England/North Wales/Northern Ireland Region - Sponsored by Keltbray
Picture House, Queens Park, Team Valley, Tyne & Wear

Client and end user

UK Land Estates

Architect, Structural Engineer

RyderHKS

Services Engineer

Operon

Main Contractor

Stephen Easten Ltd


This is a little gem. Arriving towards the end of a very long day, just as it began to rain, the judges were nonetheless uplifted to visit this neat but clever and colourful conversion of a prewar building on the Team Valley estate. Originally built as a cinema for those working on the estate (and hence the name), the building had the benefit of a stout concrete structure - but nonetheless the "obvious" thing to do would have been to demolish it to make way for a new building. Instead, UK Land Estates opted to give it a new lease of life, and their team have produced a fresh and refreshing response to the brief.

Working wholly within the envelope of the existing building, but with the addition of a well-detailed mezzanine gallery, the building now serves as UK Land Estates' own headquarters offices, and as an exemplar for the future development of the estate. Internal walls have been demolished to create flexible, open space, maximising light and views. The office is generally double height open plan, naturally ventilated, with ample light through a fully glazed tree-shaded west fa├žade and clerestory glazing wrapping around the building at high level.

Achieved in just 10 months from appointment of design team to occupation, and at a cost of just £65 per sq ft, this 10,000 sq ft building is a reminder that it is not only big companies that need offices - and that small can still be beautiful.


Winner Scotland Region - Sponsored by Keltbray
Silvan House, 231 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh

Client

St Martins Property Corporation Ltd

Tenant

Forestry Commission

Architect

Hugh Martin Partnership Ltd

Interiors

TPS Consultants

Structural Engineer

WA Fairhurst and Partners

Services Engineer

Ken Tait

Quantity Surveyor

Gardiner & Theobald

Main Contractor

Ballast Construction Scotland


The refurbishment section of the BCO Awards is an annual refresher course of the number of ways in which existing office stock can begin a new lease of life through imaginative treatment. This includes offices built in the generally undistinguished vintage of the 1960's and 1970's. Silvan House dates from then, and was showing signs of its age - and of that age.

Nonetheless, it had a good floor plate, and its general layout and location suited its existing tenant, the Forestry Commission, who opted to stay in the building both during and after its refurbishment by their Landlord, St Martins Property Corporation Ltd.

Through that refurbishment, most aspects of the building have been brought up to current BCO standards; the insulation quality has been significantly improved; more efficient, zoned environmental control has been installed; and the external impact the building has been transformed by the addition of aluminium spandrel panels which lighten the appearance and give a more natural horizontal emphasis. The opportunity was also taken to extend the floor plate by 500mm.

By this, the use of an open plan layout with staff grouped in teams, and some hot desking, space utilisation has become more efficient, and 20% of the floor space has been released for expansion or subletting.

The result may not aspire to be a great piece of architecture, but it provides a light, open and entirely functional working environment and extends the life of the building for the term of a new occupational and beyond - a sustainable idea in itself.


Commended The Collection, Fashion Street, London E1

Client

Meritcape Ltd (Mahboubian Family Trust)

Occupier

Workshare, Marangoni Fashion School

Architect (base building)

DLG Architects

Designer (fit-out)

Tyger Design

Structural Engineer

Packman Lucas

Services Engineer (design and execution)

City Building Services

Lighting (design and Execution)

SLDL

Quantity Surveyor

PWJ Consultants

Contractor

Meritcape Ltd

Letting Agents

Chapman Swabey, Tarn and Tarn


Commended Generator Studios, Trafalgar Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Client and end user

Spellcast Ltd

Architect

Ryder

Landscape Architect

Colour

Structural Engineer

Ryder

Services Engineer

Cundall Johnston & Partners

Quantity Surveyor

Ward Robinson

Main Contractor

Mansell