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Former Renzo Piano architect wins approval for £75m Santander call centre

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Former Renzo Piano architect Jack Carter’s three-year-old practice has been granted planning permission for a £75 million call centre in Bootle, Merseyside

Jack Carter Architects’ (JCA) scheme for banking group Santander will house 2,500 staff and replace the firm’s existing 1960s office complex with a more environmentally friendly building in a new public park.

The project reunites Carter with Shard developer Flan McNamara, who is a director of Osborne + Co, the developer on the Bootle campus. The two worked together on the News Building at London Bridge when Carter was lead architect at Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW).

Carter worked for 17 years at RPBW in Paris and his practice continues to collaborate with Piano’s in the UK with the redevelopment of the London Bridge Quarter. 

‘Being reunited with Flan McNamara has been great for the project,’ Carter told the AJ. ‘While working at London Bridge, we developed a mutual understanding of our strengths and weaknesses which allows design to develop quickly and efficiently. We still disagree about lots of decisions but a healthy debate always helps the project!’

Carter described the project as ‘an amazing opportunity’ to create a new base for the workforce, which has been on the same site for 50 years.

‘Despite most of the staff living locally, the site has historically not been publicly accessible,’ he said. ‘Creating a new public park with retail pavilions and a bank branch will transform it.’

The new building will be constructed from a composite of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and a steel frame and feature passive radiant ceiling panels. The campus will provide workspaces over four floors along, staff facilities such as a ground-floor gym and restaurant, and a community bank branch. It will be located in a new 2.5ha public park containing retail pavilions and sports facilities.

‘Designing for an end user also brings huge benefits in terms of sustainability as we are constantly looking at the long-term cycle to ensure the project can adapt and evolve,’ Carter said. ‘Embodied carbon is further minimised with the use of a CLT structure with minimal use of concrete.’

The design team also includes landscape architects Planit IE, sustainability by Max Fordham and structural/civil/façade engineer Thornton Tomasetti.

Construction is set to start in March 2020.

Ew section sketch

Ew section sketch

Project data

Location Bootle, Sefton
Local authority Sefton
Type of project Workplace, with open-plan offices, public park, retail pavilions, sports with gym and games areas and car parking
Client Santander
Developer Osborne+Co
Architect Jack Carter Architects with Adamson Associates
Landscape architect Planit IE
Planning consultant Savills
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti
M&E consultant Max Fordham
Quantity surveyor Turner & Townsend
CDM adviser Adamson Associates
Lighting consultant Max Fordham
Main contractor To be confirmed
Funding Not disclosed
Tender date Not disclosed
Start on site date 2020
Completion date 2021
Gross internal floor area 20,700m²
Total cost £75 million

Facade pixel diagram typical

Facade pixel diagram typical

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