CORPORATE WORKPLACE

 

National Winner/Winner North of England, North Wales & Northern Ireland
InfoLab21, Lancaster

Info Labes 21

Client

Lancaster University

Tenant/Occupier

Lancaster University

Project Manager

Gardiner & Theobald

Quantity Surveyor

Stephen Davies Associates

Architect

FaulknerBrowns

Interior Designer

FaulknerBrowns

Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

Hoare Lea/Haden Young

Structural Engineer

SKM Anthony Hunt

Contractor

HBG Construction Ltd


This research centre makes a bold and unusual statement. But that was exactly the brief: a beacon to attract top class ICT firms to come and partner University staff in a showpiece for the region, as well as for the University campus; the University has shown considerable enterprise by commissioning a significant and high quality building which rises to the challenge of its innovative brief. The brief has been carefully analysed, with the solution showing a thorough analytical response. Opportunities presented by the spectacular site have been grasped in a positive and confident way, creating a landmark building for those travelling North on the M6 motorway.

The striking copper-clad exterior sits well in the landscape. This could have been done more cheaply but must be seen against the long-term value of such architectural presence. The building is successful by offering the end users a flexible and effective facility, that is built to last and economical to operate. The academic spaces are conventional in design approach, which is apt for the user, but overall the solution is full of freshness and clarity of thinking.

Internally, the layout is about integration, with cellular spaces for faculty, team spaces for research and break-out areas to encourage mixing between graduates, students and commercial tenants. The building rates highly, of course, for its use of ICT, including such esoteric elements as sensors and robotics embedded in walls, floors and ceilings. So the building itself acts as a laboratory by providing a variety of spaces that the occupiers are learning to use in new ways. It also has an excellent BREEAM score.

While success, like the costs, must be judged over a long period, the fact that all but one of the business units was taken within three months of opening must be testimony to the effort and successful delivery which went into such a colourful and fresh approach. The space and quality standards also now form the basis for Lancaster University estates procurement planning, and will set an example for other seats of learning and enterprise.


Winner London
BBC Media Village, White City

BBC Media Village

Client

BBC Property

Tenant/Occupier

BBC Broadcast/BBC Media Village

Project Manager

Gleeds Management Services

Quantity Surveyor

Gleeds

Architect

Allies and Morrison

Interior Designer

DEGW

Mechanical & Electrical Enginner

Buro Happold

Structural Engineer

Buro Happold

Contractor

Bovis Lend Lease

Investor/Property Company

Land Securities Group plc

Developer

Land Securities Development


White City Media Village posed a challenging brief: to create a modern, open, flexible and attractive centre for hundreds of staff previously housed in many old buildings. The new blocks had to match with an existing centre and to deal with the varying demands of multiple internal BBC clients. These are buildings where daylight is never far away, are packed with art and colour, and are used by a wide range of creative, production and professional staff working under intense pressure.

Atriums provide light and give a sense of connection. The campus, with a clear, well organised concept, is a strong positive feature. It creates, through landscaping and retail facilities, good staff and public amenity, integrating well with the locality.

There were some reservations. For instance, the BBC may contract in future and such interconnected space could be difficult to adapt to independent tenants. But for the present, staff are at last working in an exciting and homogeneous environment.

Keys to the success of this massive contract include the BBC staff contribution to the briefing process for the interior design, an excellent BREEAM rating and the partnership with Land Securities Trillium, Allies and Morrison and Bovis, which has ensured a cost-effective, professional, characterful and flexible solution that allows the BBC to develop its rich culture with plenty of support from the new Media Village.

This complex, challenging project is an uplifting example of how a grand vision from a large corporate, when in partnership with creative and responsive providers, can create a workplace that truly helps an organisation to aspire to a higher level.


Winner Midlands & East Anglia
South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne

South Cambridgeshire Hall

Client

South Cambridgeshire Hall

Tenant/Occupier

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Project Manager

Wrenbridge Land Ltd

Quantity Surveyor

AYH plc

Brief Consultant

Lambert Smith Hampton

Architect

Aukett Fitzroy Robinson

Interior Designer

Breathe

Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

FaberMaunsell

Structual Engineer

Whitybird & Partners

Contractor

Alfred McAlpine

Developer

Development Securities & Wrenbridge Land


Almost every one of the numerous local government shakeups in recent decades has led to a surge of 'palace building' as councils built grand new headquarters. South Cambridgeshire District Council had a real reason to decant from Cambridge, however. It justifiably wanted to be housed within the largely rural area it controlled.

Moving to Cambourne Business Park off the A428 through a JV with Development Securities also enabled the council to build in aspirations such as a comfortable, green working environment and a welcoming atmosphere for ratepayers. This building represents good value for money whilst achieving an elegance not always displayed by its more profligate brethren.

The new town hall manages to achieve an appropriate civic image without the acres of marble beloved of previous generations. Stone and glass give a modern feel, edged by high-quality landscaping that benefits both the building and the surrounding business park.

Colour and artwork featured and a good complement of staff facilities were provided. It is a shame the fit-out by an outside contractor does not match the standards set by the base design. The judges saw a lack of a coherent furniture strategy, although a better fit-out on one floor showed that they too are on a journey. The commitment to document scanning will contribute by reducing invasive storage.

Positively, an atrium 'street' opens up both views and interaction between departments. Green issues have been taken very seriously. Mixed mode ventilation, exposed concrete structure and a lightweight EFTE roof to the atrium providing good insulation. Other sustainable measures include solar shading, rainwater harvesting and solar heating for domestic hot water.