Conwy Council Offices
Colwyn Bay, Wales
A landmark, sustainable office investing in the wider community
A statement of regeneration, the landmark office for Conwy County Borough Council, provides an exemplar highly energy efficient building and is a major step change in the quality of office spaces.
The offices are a key part of a wider programme in modernising the way the Council works and is an investment in its staff, services, the community and county as a whole.
Kick starting regeneration
The Council prepared a detailed brief to create a new landmark for the area, in the hope that the major investment would serve to regenerate the town centre kick starting further opportunities in the near future.
It was essential to provide the Council with a new town centre office building that is flexible, efficient and sustainable; embodying the forward-looking vision of the organisation and improve the services delivered to the community.
Previously housed in a disparate estate made up of old villas, individual houses, larger properties such as the listed civic centre and even a Second World War hospital in Rhos-on-Sea.
The new offices enable the Council to rationalise its portfolio across these areas reducing its ongoing liabilities, whilst also helping to regenerate Colwyn Bay through the introduction of over 750 high-quality jobs into the town centre. A significant enabler in the Council’s Modernisation Programme, the project has paved the way for improving service delivery and supporting sustainable services in the future.
A first class working environment to encourage collaboration
The design concept focused on creating a building that promotes openness and transparency to visitors, local people and staff. Whilst promoting collaboration across all Council functions and gives a sense of wellbeing.
The brief from the Council established the principle that the main entrance to the building should be the one-stop-shop, which serves as its public face. It is a warm, welcoming space with Council staff operating a meet and greet system to offer help for the community and create a connection back to the town centre. All the public functions within the building are located on the ground floor, such as meeting rooms, training suite, exhibition space and child contact suite.
A dramatic central atrium at the heart of the building, with floorplates wrapping around provides excellent levels of natural daylight, prompting less reliance on artificial lighting adding to a feeling of wellbeing for staff and visitors.
The highly-glazed facade maximises the views out, which on the lower levels connect with the Victorian properties that surround the site and provide an interesting back drop to the workplace. At the upper levels, the more distant views across the sea, to the Great Orme and to the hillside behind Colwyn Bay reveal themselves which lift the spirits and encourage connectivity with the outside environment aimed at supporting the health and wellbeing of staff.
DESIGN AND INNOVATION
Each floor required flexibility to meet the demands of each individual team's working requirements. This enabled the design to be developed to provide infrastructure on each floor, which could accommodate occupants with total flexibility. Every floor plate is split into three work zones, all of which have their own workstations, breakout space, a kitchenette, meeting rooms, print facilities and lockers providing total flexibility to the Council.
Largely column-free office floor plates encourage a more agile way of working and maximises future flexibility for the Council, whilst also allowing for future changes in the building use – so each floor can be sub-divided to allow for higher tenant occupancy.
The design has been carefully considered to integrate the building into the fabric of the town centre, taking visual cues from the character of buildings surrounding the site, which are predominantly from the Victorian era and are typified by steep roof lines, a strong vertical emphasis and gable ends employing a range of materials including brick, stone and slate roofs.
The office roofline is modulated with a series of pitched elements which face south and provide an ideal surface for photovoltaic panels, leaving the shorter north-facing pitch to contain north lights, bringing additional natural daylight to the top floor. The facades comprise of large areas of curtain walling framed by copper toned aluminium cladding, which creates large overhangs and wrapping forms. Externally the building provides an open, transparent appearance revealing the activity within it.
Colwyn Bay, LL29 8AZ
EPC A Rating
353 parking spaces
Occupational density one person per 6.5m² to office areas
Population of 750 colleagues – one workstation per 8m²
LABC Building Excellence Regional Awards 2019
Winner - North Wales Best Large Commercial Project
RICS Wales 2019
Winner - Regeneration Award
Insider Wales Property Awards 2019
Winner - Workplace Design of the Year
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