PROJECTS UP TO 2,000SQM

This category is for projects up to 2,000m² and covers all award categories; corporate, commercial, fit-out and refurbished/recycled workplaces.

 

NATIONAL WINNER / REGIONAL WINNER (SCOTLAND)

SCOTSTOUN HOUSE, SOUTH QUEENSFERRY

Arup Scotland has put itself back on the map by taking the decision to stay in its traditional heartland and to refurbish/extend this 1960’s building, originally designed by the engineer’s eponymous founder. The result is a refreshing, reinvigorated head office which is completely contemporary, whilst living up to its rigorous heritage – which was so important as to be spot-listed by Historic Scotland. This building stands out amongst other smaller scale projects which did not match these achievements.

The original 1960‘s exposed concrete and timber masterpiece, set in the walled garden of a demolished country house, had inhibited efforts at transition to modern ways of working. As one of the few premises actually owned by the Arup Group and with its signature set in the original concrete, relocation was not seriously considered. The approach was to retain but update the concrete iconography of the original building.   

Arup deserves credit for leading from the front and the architect, haa design, has also done a great job in integrating the new extension with the old, continuing the theme of the courtyard garden. Haa design has clearly worked very closely with the client/owner/occupier – resulting in a design which is respectful to, but not cowed by, the original.

The setting of the building is very effective, providing peaceful and idyllic internal and external space. The building has undergone a very clever upgrading of the prevailing 50 year old technology to reach modern environmental standards; especially given the listed internal elements.

The workspace has been brought right up to date, providing significant new meeting spaces, filling in the internal lightwell to create more space and opportunities for staff to interact more effectively.

By working carefully with the existing building where possible, Scotstoun House has achieved excellent environmental credentials. Even though the building is located in the countryside outside Edinburgh, proper storage and changing facilities encourage a number of staff to cycle to work.

This comprehensive refurbishment and extension has resulted in a true gem in a parkland setting. Overall Arup Scotland has proved that provided the fundamentals of the design are correct in the first place, good office space can be brought back to life and re-engineered successfully.

 

REGIONAL WINNERS

SCOTLAND

ALBA BUSINESS PAVILLIONS, ALBA BUSINESS PARK, LIVINGSTON

Miller Alba undertook research and established a demand for well located, good quality business units between 150m² and 500m², which could be let or bought outright. The result of its intelligence is the Alba Business Pavilions; a series of well-crafted and high quality engineered buildings, sitting on the well established Alba Business Park, off the M8 at Livingston, in-between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Miller Alba forged ahead with the development just before the market crash; which means that take-up has not been as high as initially estimated.  Alba Business Pavilions comprises three separate office blocks, with maximum flexibility built in allowing occupiers to purchase or lease entire blocks or individual suites. Each two storey unit has an independent core to provide dedicated access as required.

The attention to detail and quality of finishes in cores and toilets, and energy efficient construction - all standard components have been used - gives the result of a quality, flexible platform of varying unit sizes.

The judges did feel that more thought to lifestyle solutions to public transport provision, on site amenity and car use reduction would give these units some additional market advantage but appreciates that this may require a small hike in what currently seems a very low service charge.

Fundamentally these are well conceived and constructed units, which provide the developer with a strong prototype, which can now be rolled out on bigger business parks as it intends to do.

 

THE MIDLANDS & EAST ANGLIA

THE BRITISH HORSE SOCIETY HEADQUARTERS, ABBEY PARK, STARETON, KENILWORTH

When Princess Anne opened the new state of the art, eco-friendly headquarters of The British Horse Society (BHS), at Abbey Park in Kenilworth, she was said to have admired the 500 year old chestnut tree at the building’s entrance. In fact this impressive tree and the 300 year old oak which stands resplendent in the centre of this new circular office building, were just two of the numerous constraints and challenges that the development team, led by GVA, with designers Archial Architects, had to overcome.

Overall these were surmounted, giving the BHS a high quality office complex and lecture theatre that achieves improved employee satisfaction, more flexible working styles and increased efficiency.

The new building is on the site of the BHS’s former dilapidated headquarters and has been designed to bring together the equine community in a flexible headquarters. The office is light and airy and has seen a huge change in the way its occupants and visitors view the organisation

The building has responded well to its unique setting, in a green belt surrounded by ancient oaks, and the design is creative and intimate. A number of innovative technologies were used to provide a comfortable and sustainable building.

The regional Judges felt the new HQ sat exceptionally well in its environment and the use of timber and stone provided a rural theme in a contemporary way. This is a prime example what can be achieved when a client has the courage and determination to produce a building that truly promotes its commitment to sustainability.

 

NORTH OF ENGLAND, NORTH WALES & NORTHERN IRELAND

NAVIGATION WAREHOUSE, BRIDGE STREET, WAKEFIELD

The Navigation Warehouse represents a fine example of adapted reuse of historic buildings for office use, marrying the heritage protection and commerce; the historic character adds value to the commercial development, and vice versa.

Navigation House is Grade II listed, lying within the Wakefield waterfront conservation area and is viewed as the jewel in the crown of the waterfront redevelopment site. After having had an operational life of some 150 years, by 2004, the vacant grain warehouse had become structurally unsound and its condition was rapidly worsening:  These factors presented major challenges to the development team. 

The new building engages with the visitor immediately, with its sandstone walls and Palladian features enticing them inside. The central atrium is both stunning and inviting and the visitor immediately appreciates they have arrived somewhere special.

The insertion of a sensitive contemporary intervention into the centre of the building plan has been essential in facilitating the ventilation and circulation through the building. The selection of good quality natural materials for the new intervention, akin to those already present in the historic building, unifies new and old; whereas the decision to make all the contemporary detail smooth and flat offers an attractive foil to the more rugged finishes of the existing building.

Above all, it is the quality of the development from the concept to the execution on site which sets the building apart. Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage wrote a letter of thanks in which he said: “the quality of the office conversion is exemplary”.

 

LONDON & THE SOUTH EAST

NORTH HOUSE, 27 GREAT PETER STREET, LONDON

North House, Westminster, has undergone a large scale refurbishment that has made this historic building fit for purpose for the 21st Century, whilst celebrating, rather than ignoring, the age and style of the building.

The Oliver Hill designed building, completed in 1931, is two interlocking Grade II listed buildings that sit within the Westminster Conservation Area in the centre of London. The artistic hub houses the administrative and office functions for a European professional orchestra. Ian Ritchie Architects was commissioned to redefine the idea of the modern office and implement the ideas for the two adjacent buildings. 

This project has seamlessly linked an existing building into this high quality refurbishment, subtly marrying the various elements and quality of construction into a calm, integrated and collegiate office environment, through a single approach to servicing, circulation and amenity space. The building’s sustainability has been improved through various methods including a deep bore hole being drilled to provide a dedicated water supply.

The occupier’s strong conviction that it will be in the building for another half a century or even more has allowed an approach to the design of the mechanical and electrical systems in particular that will both serve the needs of the user but continue to celebrate, rather than ignore the age and style of the building. King Shaw Associates, the mechanical and electrical engineer on the North Street development and WSP the structural engineer, both deserve credit for their successful efforts in this particular aspect of the project.

 

SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND, THAMES VALLEY & SOUTH WALES

TREGLOWN COURT, DOWLAIS ROAD, CARDIFF

“For a sustainable world, we see it as our responsibility to design comfortable, practical and inspiring buildings and spaces that make a positive contribution to the environment and to the quality of all our lives? Stride Treglown Sustainability Policy 2009

With a mission statement such as this, architecture practice Stride Treglown was determined that its new Cardiff office would provide a prime example of its ability to deliver eco and user friendly buildings. 

Working with Rowan Properties Partnership, Stride Treglown has created Treglown Court, a 500m² open plan office building accommodating 50 staff on two floors in a studio arrangement linked by an open tread staircase.  The building also breathes new life into the surrounding former industrial development, which is being redeveloped into offices; the adjoining NSPCC offices were also designed by Stride Treglown.

The wedge shaped building has achieved a Grade A Energy Performance Certificate rating of 22 and its predicted emissions are just 14.2kg CO2/m2 per annum - a reduction of 55% of the target emissions allowed for under the Building Regulations.  This was achieved using a wood pellet biomass boiler for space and water heating and a small array of roof mounted photovoltaics and a natural ventilation strategy using bms actuated windows in the walls and roof, providing fresh air during the day and cooling at night.

The building design displays attention to detail throughout, and there is much evidence of lateral thinking to solve problems as they arose - such as the flexible glass wall solution for the ground floor meeting spaces.