The new headquarters for the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is a bespoke and inspiring three storey office building for one of the world’s leading geospatial information companies, designed to cultivate collaboration and prioritise connectivity. The highly durable and agile building supports a cultural shift towards a way of working that can meet the UKHO’s needs for decades to come.
The project brief was to encourage a ‘one team’ culture. Our design has accomplished this through the use of generous staircases, open balconies and wide bridges which create physical and visual connection between all parts of the building.
Arranged around a dramatic 800 m2 atrium, the building accommodates 700 desks across flexible floor plates which are broken down into 10 smaller neighbourhoods with a range of collaborative and agile workspaces.
The design concept took inspiration from the hydrographic office’s work, following the theme of ‘Seabed to Surface’ with images of strata, contours and water currents influencing the aesthetic design throughout.
The project is on course to achieve BREEAM Excellent and follows the Government’s Soft Landings process.
The new facilities include a gym, fitness studios, 25m eight lane swimming pool, 15 badminton courts, tennis courts, squash courts and all-weather pitches, as well as a café and soft play area.The new building makes the most of its parkland surroundings through highly glazed double height spaces. AHR put the importance of natural daylight as a key priority in creating healthy and appealing spaces. Several design options were analysed to break away from the conventional leisure centre.
CONWY COUNTY COUNCIL OFFICES
AHR was appointed by Muse Developments Ltd in 2014 to support them in a developer led competition to submit proposals for a new council office building for Conwy County Borough Council in Colwyn Bay.
Following an extensive competitive dialogue process Muse was selected as the preferred Developer in September 2015. AHR led the development of the design proposals through the competitive dialogue process to produce a scheme which will deliver a once in a generation opportunity to change the methods of working for the Council creating a lasting legacy for the town, contributing towards the regeneration of the town centre and offering new possibilities.
The building has been designed to sensitively sit within the context of the Victorian sea side town, yet be a contemporary intervention into this historic setting signalling the bright future for the town.
The building has been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent and an EPC rating of A.
The four storey building has been designed around a central atrium space which distributes natural daylight into all working areas of the building. To the rear of the building a decked car park solution provides the quantum of car parking required by the brief for the Council.
The design of the new £30m building sets the scene for spontaneous interactions, ideas and innovations within, sparking new ways of working that will push the boundaries of creativity and find collaborative solutions to complex challenges.
This ambitious new building’s rectilinear sculptural design aims to bridge millennia of creative practice. Much like the Bauhaus movement, staff, students and other creative practitioners and stakeholders will work under the same roof and be inspired by each other, combining traditional craft with visualisation, simulation and digital technologies to stimulate new thinking.
Designed as a flexible factory for design creativity, the canal side location is celebrated with an iconic cantilever structure, encouraging views out and along the canal which runs through the heart of the university’s campus.
The building’s range of flexible learning and activity spaces includes a multi-purpose hall, meeting and interview rooms, a training kitchen and café, IT resources, fitness and physiotherapy spaces, arts and craft studios and a music room, and on each level, there are landscaped gardens for various uses. A demonstration flat will showcase new technologies that can assist in independent living. A number of the spaces can also be hired for use by the wider community, allowing people who wouldn’t ordinarily use the centre to discover it, and consolidating its presence and identity within Camden.
Greenwood Centre brings under one roof a number of key services previously spread across several sites, providing support with mental ill-health and learning disabilities.
To develop the brief, Camden Council and our team partnered in an innovative consultation with care specialists and end-user groups to explore ways that the building could fully meet the diverse and specific needs of all the users involved.
We developed a variety of techniques to communicate their design concepts: using simultaneous speech-to-text interpretation, signing, use of tactile maps and models and the use of carefully designed ‘easy-read’ format presentations to facilitate the consultation with a remarkable degree of success.