British Sugar HQ named best corporate office in England’s central region

British SugarCPMG Architects is celebrating success after its designs for the British Sugar head office scooped the title of Corporate Office of the Year at the British Council for Offices (BCO) Midlands and Central England Awards last week.

The building, which was completed in 2018, is home to British Sugar and its associated group businesses and provides space for some 350 people. The judging panel for the awards highlighted the development’s impressive variety of facilities – including the excellent on-site café – that allow for the movement and interaction of employees within a building that “delights and surprises at every corner.”

Richard Flisher, managing director at CPMG Architects, said: “There were a large number of fantastic projects entered in this year’s category, so we are delighted to see our British Sugar headquarters scoop the prize.

“It was really important for us to keep the employees, who would use the building every day, at the heart of everything we did design-wise. We worked closely with the team at British Sugar to implement a workplace strategy assessment, and working with associate interior designers Morey Smith, we were able to translate the business aspirations, work culture and dynamics to inform the overall design.”

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“The ethos behind our new office was flexibility, collaboration and innovation.”[/perfectpullquote]

The internal environment provides a mixture of formal desking areas, meeting rooms, telephone booths and a large amount of flexible space designed to encourage people to circulate within the building. The ground floor is shared, containing a restaurant, a separate coffee bar and meeting rooms. The building has large opening windows on the upper floors providing a fantastic connection to nature with glare and solar gain controlled by solar tracking external glass fins. On the ground floor there are huge sliding doors to further increase the connection to the outside and enable working outside as well as inside.

An open staircase forms the unifying feature of the design, enabling the entirety of the building to be perceived from a single location and encouraging staff interaction on all levels at every opportunity.

Catharine Uglow, director of organisational effectiveness at British Sugar, said: “The ethos behind our new office was flexibility, collaboration and innovation, allowing new and agile ways of working for our teams. Working together with our architects and other partners, we believe we have achieved this, and it’s great to be recognised by the British Council for Offices for doing so.”

Richard continued: “It’s thanks to a brilliant client that was prepared to think differently and invest in design concepts, that has ultimately created a building that promotes the wellbeing of those both visiting and working in it. We’re very proud to have played a significant part in the delivery of this facility along with main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland and the rest of the delivery team – and look forward to the national BCO awards in early 2021.”