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AL_A, PLP and Hassell's Sky Central building named UK's best new office

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The centrepiece at Sky’s group headquarters in west London, designed by PLP Architecture, AL_A and Hassell, has been named the best workplace in the country by the British Council for Offices (BCO)

The Sky Central building at Osterley, which brought together 3,500 of the broadcaster’s workforce under one roof, picked up both the Best Corporate Workplace in the UK and the overall Best of the Best workplace at the BCO’s national awards last night (3 October).

The judges were particularly impressed by the 18 separate 200-person workspace neighbourhoods, built around six cores which they said ‘resurrected the Bürolandschaft-inspired planning rules’.

The jury also commended the array of services and amenities on offer within the building – which has also been nominated for a 2017 AJ Architecture Award – including six restaurants and cafés, a 200-seat cinema, 200-person event space and a technology ‘lounge’.

Six other category winners were also named yesterday

  • Best Commercial Workplace 8 Finsbury Circus, London by WilkinsonEyre
  • Best refurbished/recycled Workplace 20 Eastbourne Terrace by Fletcher Priest Architects, London
  • Innovation award Sea Containers, London by BDG Architecture
  • Best fit out of workplace The Estée Lauder Companies, London by MCM Architecture
  • Best office project up to 1,500m² Concordia Works, Leeds by Gpad
  • Test of Time award Birmingham City Council, Birmingham

Nigel Clark, chair of the BCO National judging panel, said: ‘This year’s winners are a study in how Britain has maintained its position at the forefront of the global office sector. Each building is both adaptable and robust, providing occupiers with the flexibility they need to ensure the wellbeing and productivity of their workforce.

‘Sky Central, the Best of the Best award winner, is a prime example. The building provides ample amenities to Sky’s large workforce, whilst ensuring a productive environment by breaking the larger space down into distinct workplace neighbourhoods.’

BCO chief executive Richard Kauntze added: ‘This year’s awards nominees have impressed across the board with their commitment to sustainable and innovative design. London has played host to a record number of award winners this year, affirming why businesses from across the world come to the capital. Congratulations to all nominees, our highly commended entrants and, of course, the award winners themselves.’

Entries for 2018’s BCO Regional and National Awards programme open today with the closing deadline on Friday 24 November 2017.

Winners with citations

‘Best of the Best’ and Best Corporate Workplace: Sky Central, Isleworth, Middlesex by PLP Architecture, AL_A and Hassell

‘Best of the Best’ & Corporate Workplace: Sky Central, Isleworth, Middlesex by PLP Architecture, AL_A and Hassell

‘Best of the Best’ & Corporate Workplace: Sky Central, Isleworth, Middlesex by PLP Architecture, AL_A and Hassell

Source: Hufton + Crow

Sky Central was praised by judges for bringing 3,500 of Sky’s workforce under one roof at their landscaped campus near Heathrow, West London. The judges were impressed by the building’s eighteen 200-person workspace neighbourhoods, arranged around six cores that resurrect ‘Büro Landschaft’ inspired planning rules. Judges also commended the vast array of services and amenities on offer, including six restaurants and cafes, a 200-seat state of the art cinema, 200-person event space and a technology ‘lounge’.

Best Commercial Workplace: 8 Finsbury Circus, London by WilkinsonEyre

Best Commercial Workplace: 8 Finsbury Circus, London by WilkinsonEyre

Best Commercial Workplace: 8 Finsbury Circus, London by WilkinsonEyre

Source: Dirk Linder

Best Commercial Workplace: 8 Finsbury Circus, London by WilkinsonEyre: the scheme impressed the judges with its two distinct frontages: one addressing Finsbury Circus with an elegant calm insertion into a curving elevation, whilst the other incorporates the original façade overlooking the busy route to Liverpool Street Station.

Best refurbished/recycled Workplace: 20 Eastbourne Terrace by Fletcher Priest Architects, London

Best refurbished/recycled Workplace: 20 Eastbourne Terrace by Fletcher Priest Architects, London

Best refurbished/recycled Workplace: 20 Eastbourne Terrace by Fletcher Priest Architects, London

20 Eastbourne Terrace in Paddington shone as judges highlighted that the project transformed a tired 1960s building into a modern and relaxing workplace that would compare to any new development. They praised the clever use of natural materials to create a calm environment for the occupants, with the business lounge, café and the roof terrace providing informal and tranquil environments to work, meet or relax.

 

Innovation award: Sea Containers, London by BDG Architecture

Innovation award: Sea Containers, London by BDG Architecture

Innovation award: Sea Containers, London by BDG Architecture

Transformation was key to the success of Sea Containers, which won the Innovation award and was hailed as a triumph by the BCO judging panel. Once a dilapidated and unloved building, the building now houses Ogilvy and Mather’s ten ‘semi-autonomous’ companies alongside the 350 bedroom Mondrian London hotel and a 150 Curzon seat cinema, with all occupants sharing a ground floor that is a hive of activity and already an established London ‘location’

Best fit out of workplace: The Estée Lauder Companies, London by MCM Architecture

Best fit out of workplace: The Estée Lauder Companies, London by MCM Architecture

Best fit out of workplace: The Estée Lauder Companies, London by MCM Architecture

The Estée Lauder Companies building impressed the judges by uniting over 25 beauty brands under one roof, in an open and flexible environment designed to attract and retain talent. Set over 10 floors, the judges praised the fit out for creating a transparent and adaptable workspace that brings the brands together whilst preserving their individual identities.

Best office project up to 1,500m²: Concordia Works, Leeds by Gpad

Best office project up to 1,500m²: Concordia Works, Leeds by Gpad

Best office project up to 1,500m²: Concordia Works, Leeds by Gpad

Concordia Works in Leeds was awarded for Projects under 1,500 sq.m, with judges praising the fusion of original features and modern design. The judges added that Boultbee Brooks’ £1.97 million investment had succeeded in creating a dynamic hi-spec loft-style workspace.


Test of Time award: Birmingham City Council, Birmingham

 

Test of Time award: Birmingham City Council, Birmingham

Test of Time award: Birmingham City Council, Birmingham

Birmingham City Council’s office scooped the Test of Time award. The judges highlighted that as a direct result of the depth of research and engagement into planning the design, there have been no design changes since occupation, which they noted as highly impressive given the large scale of the project.

 

 

 

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