"It has been encouraging, as always, to see the ambition of projects across the north."
Phil Doyle, BCO Northern Committee Chair
Janet Nash House, Durham and Live Works, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the North East have been recognised as some of the best workplaces in the North, at the annual British Council for Offices’ (BCO) regional awards – held yesterday at The Principal Hotel, Manchester. The prestigious BCO Awards programme recognises the highest quality developments in the UK and sets the standard for excellence in the regional and national office sector.
In addition, the following workplaces won awards across the North:
· Hanover, Manchester, Best Refurbished/ Recycled Workplace
· No. 1 Spinningfields, Manchester, Best Commercial Workplace
· PwC Manchester, Best Fit-out of a Workplace
Durham’s Janet Nash House took home two awards last night, winning both Best Corporate Workplace and the Innovation Award. The judges were impressed by the range and contrast of spaces, specifically designed to suit the needs of each employee. The BCO panel agreed wellbeing had been firmly planted at the root of the design, with enhanced amenities including a café and gymnasium available to all employees. The judges agreed the emphasis on bringing the outside world in had a dramatic effect on the space, with sheltered outdoor seating areas and a carefully curated planting strategy.
Live Works, pictured, was awarded Best Project up to 1,500m2. The judges were impressed with the project’s transformation of a century old gap in the Quayside into a lively hub for the community. They also noted the economic legacy the development has already left in the area, helping to attract fast-growing SMEs from the digital industry. The BCO panel was also struck by the project’s commitment to its community – it has transformed a listed Almshouse into the ‘Live Tales’, delivered a new public ‘pocket park’ and pledged to use rental income from the new office space to fund at least one play and one education project every year.
Phil Doyle, Director at 5 Plus Architects and BCO Northern Committee Chair said: “The standard continues to increase year-on-year, it is a privilege to see such exciting great commercial work being celebrated in our city. As the needs of the modern workforce continue to evolve, it’s great to see that developers and fit-out companies are listening and understanding that and creating environments accordingly. It has also been encouraging, as always, to see the ambition of projects across the north.”
Ian Aldous, Director at Arcadis and Chair of BCO Northern Judging Panel, said: “Across the board, entrants demonstrated a forward-thinking approach to office design that has placed occupier benefit at the heart of the process. These projects have delivered multifunctional spaces to ensure occupiers can evolve and they grow. The judging panel was pleased to see a continued emphasis on wellbeing, present across all the projects we saw this year – from living walls to cycle storage and many things in between.”
This is the 16th year that the Regional Awards have been presented locally in the North of England, celebrating excellence in office space regionally, before all winners go on to compete at a national level at the National Awards in October.
For more information on the awards visit the BCO website (www.bco.org.uk).