Vodafone is a world leader in telecommunications. The company grew in a short period to operate from over sixty offices around the town centre in Newbury. To unify all aspects of the business, Fletcher Priest were appointed following an extensive competitive process to design their new headquarters, on the old agricultural showground site on the edge of the town.
From strategic masterplanning through to detailed interior design, the new campus environment has a relaxed, efficient atmosphere. The seven buildings are each arranged as two blocks around an atrium with floors linked by bridges, wide enough to provide informal work areas and shared spaces. This spatial arrangement provides for a variety of working practices, and encourages interaction between different teams and departments. With a fully serviced building infrastructure, teams and individuals can be relocated or rearranged without disruption at short notice. The three storey buildings have much used open stairs within the atrium that link all floors, encourage communication and provide open views. Cafés, a lakeside restaurant and fitness centre adds to the quality of the working environment for the large community based here.
A multi-purpose tensioned fabric pavilion, reminiscent of the old showground, is extensively used for internal and public events, with mobile stages and digital projection screens. This space has an important role in the way the company presents itself, and has become an indispensible part of the campus.
“We would not have achieved our global success without the move to our new headquarters. It fosters communication, and recognises that some of the most effective work is done away from the desk. For instance, we have recently developed a new product in six months that previously would have taken us a year.”
Mike Newens, Global Property Director, Vodafone