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BDP's Powergen HQ annexe goes live

bdp has completed the second phase of Powergen's headquarters at Westwood Business Park, Coventry, after Bennetts Associates' award-winning original.

The annexe is designed as overspill accommodation for 330 staff, but is flexible enough to be partially or completely sublet in the future. The client wanted the building to retain the character and quality of the original, so bdp 'reinterpreted the architectural vocabulary' to create a compatible but distinct building integrating with the wetlands landscaped setting.

The office accommodation is arranged in two three-storey wings linked by a communal foyer, which acts as the social hub of the building. This hub contains a ground-level cafe, informal meeting spaces, open staircase and glazed lifts, and opens on to a stepped formal courtyard. A single- storey glazed link connects the reception area of the existing hq to the annexe foyer. Although the main building's natural ventilation system was considered impossible to replicate in the annexe because of the discrete office suites, the building's energy consumption is reduced by £500,000- worth of well-insulated velfac glazing, custom-made to incorporate external sunshades, and via the thermal mass of the floor slabs.

The planning, lighting and climate-control of the office spaces should allow it the freedom to subdivide without diminishing the internal qualities.

Photographs by Timothy Soar

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