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. Our experience of designing all the constituent parts of modern offices, and considering the interactions between them, led to our 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 situated 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 development with high energy-efficiency. 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 layouts. 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 concrete structure, reducing the load on the chilled beam air-conditioning system. A family of materials, appropriate to Newbury, including gun-metal windows, cedar boarding, natural terracotta rain screen cladding and lead coloured roofing, balanced variety with opportunities for innovative procurement.