The 14,777m² scheme, developed through the English Cities Fund - a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal and General Property and the Homes and Communities Agency - houses a museum, café, library, the district council’s One-Stop-Shop and offices.
Dubbed Wakefield One, the sits within the city’s Merchant Gate masterplan which covers the once-vacant land between the railway station and the city centre.
The architect’s view
The design can be clearly read as a forward-looking, contemporary building, rather than as an imitation of the historical fabric around it, but it also takes note of context and scale, with its fenestration and materials contributing to making it a ‘good neighbour’ to the adjacent Grade I-listed County Hall.
The design approach uses high quality materials that weather and age well, that can be maintained easily and that assist the building’s performance. The proportions of the windows respond to the office’s neighbours and the extent of glazing and solid is adjusted to maximise natural light within the building whilst avoiding excessive solar gain. The generous two storey openings mark the main entrances and are treated as large wayfinders.
Colour plays an important part internally and externally. The deep reveals to the windows are clad in richly coloured glazed terracotta tiles, which complement the warm, natural colours of the main elevations. These colours were inspired by those used in the stained glass windows at County Hall, providing a subtle reference to the historic neighbour.
Client: Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
Developer: English Cities Fund, a partnership between English Partnerships, Muse Developments and Legal & General
Contractor: Morgan Sindall
Structural, Services, Civil & Fire Engineer: Buro Happold
Quantity Surveyor, BREEAM Assessment: Gleeds
Landscape Architects: Estell Warren
Acoustic Engineers: AEC
Project Management: Ward Robinson
Type of project: New build
Contract duration: Approx 18 months
Gross internal floor area: 159,000 ft2
Form of contract/ procurement: Design & build, novated to contractor
Total cost incl CAT B: £19 million
Total cost incl CAT A: £15,240,989
Cost per sq ft incl CAT A £95.85