CORPORATE WORKPLACE

 

National/Regional Winner London (inside M25)
Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London

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Project Client:

Land Securities Properties

Owner:

IPC Media

Project Manager:

Land Securities Properties

Quantity Surveyor:

Davis Langdon

Architect:

Allies and Morrison

Interior Designer:

bennett interior design

M&E Engineer:

Foreman Roberts (Shell & Core) WSP Group (Fit-out)

Structural Engineer:

Ramboll Whitbybird

Contractor:

Bovis Lend Lease (Shell & Core) ISG InteriorExterior (Fit-out)

Investment/Property Company:

Land Securities Properties

Developer:

Land Securities Properties


Bad buildings weigh down occupiers: good ones raise the spirit. The sense of vibrancy before you even enter Blue Fin shows into which category it falls. The curious name was chosen by staff to reflect the appearance and what you see is what you get. 'We visit buildings with solar shading that is often so much flim-flam,' say the national judges. 'This one works.'

The Blue Fin Building works not just as a sustainable icon. It buzzes like a hive. IPC Media needed to accommodate a huge variety of moods from magazines covering anything from motorbikes to Mozart. Land Securities must be congratulated for a base build which could handle kitchens for testing recipes, quiet areas for classical music, a radio station and even low iron glazing so wine tasters can judge subtle colours.

This is a huge building but does not appear so because of good landscaping, ground floor retail and a high level step-back created by developer Land Securities. The moment you enter, you can see activity right across the atrium at all levels through a glazed internal wall. The floor plates lend themselves to open plan and break-out areas where magazines are put together.

A lot of thought went into the atrium, such as varying the shape of bridges and making them wide enough for staff unsure about heights. People were put at the top of the agenda, with a restaurant installed at the top of the atrium and a roof garden for relaxation. The fact that few structural changes were required again shows a robust base build arrangement.

The national judges had only minor criticisms. The fit-out, for instance, might have made better use of the atrium rather than offices and meeting rooms providing blank walls. They noticed some dark space outside at ground level and the service access crosses pedestrian zones. The judges also found it curious that an occupier which was bound to have so many female staff did not provide extra toilets for them at the outset. And for such a green building with a very good BREEAM score, it was a pity the fit-out was not also given a rating.

But this pales beside the fact that a tired and ugly building has been replaced by one that brings new life to this neglected area and has given IPC a new lease of life. Staff have better communications, integration and a desire to come to work in a vibrant atmosphere. The thrill of the new offices and effect on the business was obvious.


Regional Winner Corporate Workplace South of England (outside M25) and South Wales
St. James's Place Wealth Management, 1 Tetbury Road, Cirencester

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Project Client:

St. James's Place Wealth Management

Owner:

Citygrove

Project Manager:

CNP Esher

Architect:

Blair Associates Architecture (design & planning consent)
Stride Treglown

Interior Designer:

Stride Treglown

M&E Engineer:

Design Installation Services

Structural Engineer:

AKS Ward

Contractor:

Moss Construction

Developer:

Citygrove


This elegant and simple project next to the Cirencester conservation area was a close collaboration between developer, occupier and local council which refined an existing planning permission.

Technical standards reflect BCO specifications, in particular the optimum ceiling height. Full glazing delivers outstanding natural light and external views while timber brise soleil manage solar gain and glare.

Revisions to plans raised the net to gross ratio by 20% and also increased sustainability. A central stair introduced as the pivotal feature turned the glazed 'street' connecting two office wings into a circulation and social hub. It also takes air from the office floors and exhausts through grilles at the top of each lift shaft. This has reduced ductwork, depth of ceiling voids, overall height and cost.

Green issues were a driving force. The occupier relocated from several local buildings, which reduced energy consumption, set up a green travel plan and adopted recycling. Emphasis upon natural materials is evident throughout, including limestone, timber and granite.

The national judges liked the atrium and sustainable features but would have liked to see BREEAM certification. They also felt the building turned its back on the town, using a less than ideal access through the car park.

Overall, the scheme is making a positive contribution to the occupier's business, its people and the local environment. It has become a council benchmark for office development. Staff are thriving in well conceived space about which one said: 'Sometimes it doesn't feel like you're at work.'


Regional Winner Corporate Workplace North of England, North Wales and Northern Ireland
Innovate Green Office, Leeds

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Project Client:

Innovate Property

Project Manager:

Mirus Management Services

Quantity Surveyor:

Mirus Management Services

Architect:

Rio Architects

M&E Engineer:

King Shaw Associates

Structural Engineer:

Scott Wilson

Contractor:

GMI Construction Group

Developer:

Innovate Property


Leading edge techniques led to this scheme achieving the best ever BREEAM score for a UK office building at the time. However, that alone would not have merited an award. Innovate Green Office also stood out as an elegant and pleasing place to work, said the regional judges.

The developers and design team have raised the bar with each scheme done together over several years but hard-nosed economics has played as much as part as any idealism. The design strategy adopted by this building will result in low energy bills that can be critical for small occupiers taking serviced office space. Savings of £1.30 a ft2 are significant when rents are £12-15 a ft2. And all this was achieved while showing that a green scheme could meet institutional standards.

The national judges were impressed by the flexible layout of services and techniques such as rainwater harvesting and vacuum drainage, which are expected to cut sewage by 75%. Other innovations include natural ventilation powered by a combined heat and power generator which blows air through hollow floors. But they were disappointed with the awkward way this connected with the slabs. They also felt the atrium, praised by the regional judges as a green element which doubled as a place to socialise, was served by 'ungreen' lifts rather than a staircase.

Yet the lasting impression from Innovate Green Office is a dedication to quality and sheer determination to maintain the highest ambitions through a difficult development. This is a special building which thoroughly deserved its award.


Regional Winner Corporate Workplace Midlands and East Anglia
NFU Headquarters, Agriculture House, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire

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Project Client:

National Farmers' Union

Owner:

National Farmers' Union

Project Manager:

HMC Chartered Surveyors

Quantity Surveyor:

HMC Chartered Surveyors

Architect:

SMC Corstorphine & Wright

Interior Designer:

Monteith Scott

M&E Engineer:

Hoare Lea & Partners

Structural Engineer:

BJB Consultancy

Contractor:

HBG Construction

Developer:

National Farmers' Union


The NFU's new corporate headquarters setting is exceptional: quiet, tranquil and evocative, without any sign of pressure on development density which often forces a more rigid approach.

The site, owned by The Royal Agricultural Society for England, was perfectly suited for the relocation from central London to be closer to members. It was already home to many farming organisations and is the first step towards an agricultural business park and centre for excellence. The judges felt that integration into the rural location and adjacent historic 12th Century Stoneleigh Abbey was a key factor in making this a success.

The building provides exceptional, generally open plan, space which enables the NFU to embrace latest technology such as wireless connectivity for flexible working. Sustainability is at the heart of the project, involving recycled components and high quality natural materials sourced as locally as possible. Displacement ventilation and chilled beams help cut energy consumption by approximately 50% against the industry norm. All landscaping uses indigenous plants and trees.

The workspace is light and airy with exceptional views. It provides the NFU with a bespoke solution but the regional judges felt that future flexibility was well catered for, as the building could be easily sub-divided or reconfigured. The national panel was not as convinced, suggesting the core layout might make division difficult, as would the configuration of lighting and ventilation

There was general agreement amongst the judges that this is a well rounded solution of which NFU should be proud, and a worthy winner of a hotly contested category.


Regional Winner Corporate Workplace Scotland
BBC Scotland Headquarters, Pacific Quay, Glasgow

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Project Client:

BBC Scotland

Owner:

BBC Workplace

Project Manager:

Mackenzie Partnership

Quantity Surveyor:

Gardiner & Theobald

Architect:

David Chipperfield Architects

Interior Designer:

Graven Images

M&E Engineer:

Arup Scotland

Structural Engineer:

Jane Wernick Associates and Faber Maunsell

Contractor:

Bovis Lend Lease Scotland

Developer:

Land Securities


This new headquarters involved relocation to meet the requirements of 21st century broadcasting by integrating TV studios and office space within a building which would also satisfy staff moved from a vibrant city centre location to a regeneration area on the Clyde.

The judges were disappointed on arrival as the approach to the building is unwelcoming, so it was all the more impressive that the building was so well regarded. The tranquil internal atrium is a tour de force and the office environment is vibrant, flexible and functional.

The regional judges were impressed at the way often contradictory objectives were achieved, combining technical space with office areas as well as providing a creative interactive environment.

Studios in the central atrium create a series of steps that form an internal street, achieving a perfect integration of what must have been an enormous obstacle in space planning. They also praised management and post-occupation analysis to achieve huge energy saving.

The national judges were not as enthusiastic, feeling the studios compromised core locations and office layouts and displaced staff amenities to a separate annex which seemed an afterthought. There was limited public access to the building, and none to observe programmes being made, which the judges felt was a missed opportunity. On the other hand the façade was 'fantastic', as was the grand staircase and landing breakout spaces.

Overall, the designers have used what appear to be simple solutions to overcome complex problems and the BBC has created a world class facility that is now used to benchmark other projects.