The 2015 Awards ceremony took place this week, as the British Council of Offices announced the top winners from each of the nine categories, from commercial workplace to refurbished/recycled projects. Entries come from all over the UK, with various regions included in the nominations. Each winner is awarded on qualities that go beyond aesthetic appearance, setting a benchmark for office projects to come. Here are the National BCO award winners for 2015.
Corporate Workplace Award & Best of the Best: Keynsham Civic Centre & One Stop Shop, Keynsham
The new Civic Centre for Bath and North East Somerset Council combines multiple factors that combined create an excellent building that is environmentally sustainable and presents modern aesthetics within a low maintenance and flexible workplace. Integrating the streetscape, more than half of the development engages with the immediate public surroundings, adding retail value and a high street revival. It design is also sensitive in ensuring it accounts for both local community needs and the vital requirements of the council staff through the new a vibrant, bright, airy and attractive workplace. As much as the space is an elemental workplace for civil staff, the generous public streets have been created to provide a comfortable and inviting setting drawing in the public to enjoy the space as their own.
Commercial Workplace Award: One St Peter’s Square, Manchester
One St Peter’s Square is the newest landmark building in one of Manchester’s prime addresses, and aligns itself as a fair winner of the BCO Commercial workplace award. The prominent building has a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ grade offering the highest level of business accommodation and office space in the city. A key part of the City’s redevelopment within this neighbourhood, One St Peter’s Square offers great flexibility for future fit out potential, with a variety of servicing and division options available in a way that will suit any business.
Fit Out Workplace Award: PwC Edinburgh, Atria One, Edinburgh
Taking the award for Fit Out Workplace are the offices of PwC, based on the first floor of Atria One, known as Edinburgh’s greenest office developments. From their location in a smaller more cluttered space, Atria One opened up huge potential for the company to really work the workplace layout, allowing the spatial qualities to align with its own core values. A mainly open plan workspace layout means there are fewer private offices, and an increase in collaborative areas and breakout hubs. The local team was extensively involved in the design process, having an input on decision making. This collaborative process is reflected in the enhanced consideration of key spaces created for staff, making this project a benchmark for businesses who hope to achieve the same high level of staff contentment.
Projects up to 2000m2: The Albus, Glasgow
Based in the Commonwealth District in the East end of Glasgow, The Albus represents a project that has been developed by a client with a clear aim to create a workplace that was specifically for creative media and technology companies, therefore these goals allowed the remained of the project to fall into place with uncomplicated delivery. High quality materials have been used in their most modest form adding to the simple layout and set up of the workspaces. Electrical portals are in great supply and formed to support large volumes of use. Also benefitting from a BREAAM ‘Very Good’ rating, The Albus takes social and economic factors into consideration too, making it a viable and highly popular new office development looking ahead.
Refurbished/Recycled Workplace: 1 & 2 Stephen Street, London
Rejuvenated and re-branded, 1 & 2 Stephen Street present a distinct identity and character, and the refurbished floors set the template for the future transformation of the whole building. A project by Derwent London who acquired the 66,500 sq ft complex on Tottenham Court Road in 2010 turned this former recording studio, loading bay and basement car park into a Cat A office space. 1 & 2 Stephen Street has been awarded the Refurbished/Recycled workplace award as it sets an example as to what can be achieved with creative thought, vision and attention to detail. An ideal workspace has been created through the simplicity of the execution of the design that combines commercial, retail and leisure uses infusing the necessary improvements into the area.
Innovation: Living Planet Centre: WWF-UK Headquarters, Woking
With a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating, it is no wonder the WWF UK headquarters is the winner of the BCO Innovative Workplace award. With sustainability at its core, the new Headquarters in Woking feature underground heat pumps, mixed mode ventilation, ground source boreholes, earth ducts, night time purge cooling and solar panels on the roof. Architects for the project, Hopkins have clearly strived to create the greenest development possible. The Living Planet Centre archives harmony between the workplaces and the open door policy, allowing whom so every wants to visit, to do so further aides in the transparent approach adopted by the WWF.
Test of Time: The Angel Building, London
The 2015 ‘Test of Time’ award has been presented to The Angel Building, by Derwent London for taking on a project that at the time, seemed a high risk project to undertake. In 2011, the BCO chose The Angel Building for the Refurbishment project award based on the innovative redevelopment of a disused industrial structure converted into a modern and edgy office building. Derwent London took on this neglected and tired building and retained much of its original character through an efficient layout plan that kept budgets in tact but quality an uppermost priority. When the project was originally completed, five years ago, it received an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating and an EPC ‘B’ – both noteworthy achievements for the time. The Angel Building achieved these ratings with the help of a considered approach to environmental control and a lot of good quality exposed structure. Natural ventilation from the accessible windows help to provide plentiful daylight into the large building.