In bringing 3,000 people together in one location from over sixty buildings in Newbury, Vodafone wanted to capitalise on everything that a contemporary workplace could offer. Fletcher Priest’s experience of designing all the constituent parts of modern offices, and considering the interactions between them, led to their involvement in every stage of this seven building project - from strategic masterplanning, building design and site supervision to space planning, product design and the specification of furniture.
A comprehensive masterplan was key to obtaining public and planning support for developing the old agricultural showground on the edge of the town. The plan incorporated a detailed transport strategy as well as ecological considerations, important contributors to the goal of making a sustainable highly efficient development.
The seven individually resilient buildings are set into the landscape and grouped around a small lake. Tents and bridges provide covered links between them and allow rectilinear plans to follow flowing contour generated alignment. Each derives its character from its position in the landscape. The siting of the buildings was informed by the analysis of prevailing winds to allow natural ventilation and night-time purging to exploit the thermal mass of the exposed concrete structure, reducing the load on the chilled beam mixed-mode cooling strategy.
A family of materials, appropriate to Newbury, including gunmetal windows, cedar boarding, natural terracotta cladding and lead coloured roofing, balanced variety with opportunities for innovative procurement.
Extremely energy-efficient, cost effective and with all resources necessary for interactive and intensive work, Vodafone’s headquarters has transformed the way the company operates.