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Competition: BCO NextGen Workplace

HGP Architects’ LandRover Bar HQ in Portsmouth
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The British Council for Offices (BCO) has launched an annual ideas contest inviting young talent to propose an office of the future

Open to emerging architects, designers and developers, the NextGen Workplace competition seeks proposals for a futuristic but achievable office environment suitable for the social, economic, cultural, and technological advances of the year 2035.

Proposals must consider the appearance and functionality of their proposed office space and also explore the vision, values and drivers of the occupier and the lifestyle of the end user. Schemes may occupy any site in the UK, with all buildings, spaces, infrastructure, technology, environmental issues and services clearly defined by the applicant.

In its brief, the BCO says it is looking for ‘multidisciplinary teams to provide considered, forward thinking, and innovative ideas that challenge the status quo of today’s workplaces; and that reflect on the future of our organisations, people, and physical environments to imagine the office of 2035.

‘The proposals should show evidence of innovative and lateral thinking, but must be deliverable by 2035 within the constraints of existing or emerging means – think driverless cars, not teleportation.’

The BCO was set up in 1990 to research, develop and communicate best practice in all aspects of the office sector. The annual NextGen Workplace Competition is the latest addition to the BCO’s extensive awards programme. Winners of last year’s BCO National awards included HGP Architects’ LandRover Bar HQ (pictured) in Portsmouth, which topped the innovation category.

TP Bennett director and BCO NextGen committee member Cristiano Testi called the new competition ‘a great way to showcase the future of the industry.’

He added: ‘We want to see some innovative and exciting concepts and ideas, but also provide an opportunity for the industry leaders of tomorrow to collaborate, interact, develop their network, and shine.’

Proposals must describe the vision, values, drivers, brand, and output of the intended occupied and the demographic of the typical ‘office worker’ in 2035. Schemes may occupy any building, public space, urban site, brownfield site, or greenfield site in the UK.

Entries drawn up by individuals or multidisciplinary teams of up to four members are encouraged. The judging panel will include a BCO board member, a representative from commercial property agent Cushman & Wakefield, an office occupier, and David Hamilton, director of projects at Malcolm Reading Consultants which advised on the contest.

The overall winner, set to be announced at the BCO Next Gen awards in November, will receive an invitation to attend the 2018 BCO Conference in Berlin with complimentary flights and hotel accommodation. A highly commended entry will also be invited to attend a dinner hosted by two key industry figures.

The deadline for applications is 6 October.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information



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