Best workplaces in UK honoured at BCO Awards

best workplaces in uk BCO AwardsLondon’s 2 Television Centre was celebrated as ‘Best of the Best’ at the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) National Awards in the capital last night, also taking home the ‘Commercial Workplace’ award. The office was joined by six other award winners recognised as leading examples of excellence in office space.

The BCO’s National Awards programme sets out to recognise top quality office design and functionality and sets the standard for excellence across the office sector in the UK. The dinner attracted over 1,200 key players from the office industry sector to celebrate the best-in-class talent as the winners from the 2019 Regional Awards programme attended Grosvenor House, hoping to take home the National Award for their category.

The full list of winners is:

• ‘Best of the Best’ and ‘Commercial Workplace’: 2 Television Centre, London
• ‘Corporate Workplace’: Janet Nash House, Durham
• ‘Refurbished/ Recycled Workplace’: Hanover, Manchester
• ‘Innovation’: Ingenuity House, Interserve UK Hub, Birmingham
• ‘Fit Out of Workplace’: Deloitte HQ, 1 New Street Square, London
• ‘Projects up to 1,500’: Live Works, Newcastle
• ‘Test of Time’: PwC, 1 Embankment Place, London

Located at the heart of a multi-purpose redevelopment project in the centre of London, 2 Television City is an inspired example of the modern workplace. It delivers innovative amenities including a top-level swimming pool, a variety of workspaces and an impressive exterior that fits seamlessly with its surrounding site. The resulting office is one that is as innovative as it is respectful of its history – an accomplishment the judges agreed is no mean feat.


Winning projects and judges’ comments

Janet Nash House is the new European HQ for City Electrical Factors and the materials used throughout are a celebration of its occupier’s trade, mirroring the electrical cable. The office has been built to combine a variety of work stations that has allowed the occupier to bring together all of its departments into one central location – two distinctive blocks accommodate different working needs while a central atrium creates a sense of community and connectiveness between the two.

Hanover in Manchester is a brave reworking of a Grade II Listed building at the heart of the city. The BCO judges were impressed with the care and passion evident in every aspect of the refurbishment. The site’s careful restoration, that seamlessly hides the hardship endured by the build, has successfully blended the heritage of the site with a stunning contemporary design that now homes modern tech giant, Amazon.

Ingenuity House won the Innovation Award for undoubtedly transforming the occupier’s way of working. The office focuses on health and wellbeing to create a community from what was previously a disparate network of regional offices. The judges agreed the greatest innovation is the provision of an intelligent occupier analysis system that allows the occupier Interserve to adjust core FM settings to maximise the use of space and minimise energy consumption.

Deloitte HQ is an astounding fit out that consistently goes the extra mile to put occupier experience at the heart of its design. Additional staircases, improved facilities and smart technology are set within a rich variety of flexible workspaces that allow employees to feel more connected to each other and clients.

Live Works is part of Newcastle’s ever-evolving cultural quarter. The project has delivered a vibrant hub of activity in what was previously a remarkable void in the Quayside. Tasked with delivering a commercial building in a challenging cultural context, the project is an example of how a single build can bring together disparate elements of its surrounding environment – and in doing so create a space for community.

PwC’s Embankment office has truly stood the test of time. The project has genuinely led a transformation of working culture through a considered programme that increases the diversity of work stations, breaks down hierarchies and genuinely changes the way people work. The result is an office that has become a ‘destination’ and community for its people, far outgrowing its status as a workplace.

Tony Hordon, Chair of the National Judging Committee, commented: “Every year, the nominees for the BCO’s National Awards reach impeccable standards and this year has proven itself to be no different. Our entrants are among the most high-profile, challenging and innovative projects in our sector and it has been an honour to spend my first year as Chair of the National Judging Committee evaluating such exceptional work. My congratulations to the teams involved, you should all be very proud.”

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, added: “The standard of nominees at our National Awards astounds me each year. This year has been no exception – I have been struck by the inventiveness of this year’s projects, all of whom challenged themselves to push the boundaries of what best practise looks like. Even during uncertainty, our industry continues to grow and produce exceptional work. Congratulations to all nominees, our highly commended entrants and, of course, the award winners themselves”.