British Council for Offices tour IQL
Recently our building at 12 Endeavour Square, now home to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), became a finalist at the regional BCO awards. It was nominated in the categories “Fit Out of Workplace” and “Commercial Workplace”. On 23rd May, BCO members, alongside the judging panel, had the opportunity to tour the building and learn about the type of workplace it has become.
As with all elements of International Quarter London (IQL), health and wellbeing are embedded into building and workplace design from early stages. As an anchor tenant, the FCA created a brief for architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, outlining what they need for a modern workplace. Surroundings were to be airy and light. It had to encourage employees to move and break down silo working. This would encourage collaboration and face to face contact as employees branch out to multi-use spaces for day-to-day tasks.
The design response
Ivan Harbour from Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners provided insight into the design response to the FCA’s brief.
On each floor, the team designed large, open and flexible floor plates to provide multiple options for adaptation at the fit-out stages. Open spaces mean that clear lines of sight are created across each space, bringing various teams closer together. The importance of visibility is also apparent in the design of the central atrium with the full height of the space and giving visibility into each floor.
The positioning of the staircases is a direct response to the FCA’s desire to encourage employees to move more. The staircases are in prominent locations and almost act as a design element within the atrium itself. This encourages employees to use them over the lifts.
Full height windows to all elevations were used to maximise natural light. Partnering with Hoare Lea and Trox, SKYBEAM was created - a bespoke heating & cooling system that facilitates the flow of 100% fresh air throughout the building. And the icing on the cake, a 750m2 roof terrace on level 15 giving views over London and more diverse spaces for employees.
Feedback from employees so far has been overwhelmingly positive – and the change is visible within the office.
Employees will also be encouraged to engage with the wider location. Throughout the year IQL will host seasonal events to pull people outside. Here they’ll find events like Summer Screens or Your Stratford Stage as well as a range of spaces to congregate, sit and eat lunch or have a coffee.
To view the list of winners from the British Council for Offices awards, visit their website.