Capita’s architecture firm ESA has recently completed two new office buildings within the well established Farnborough Business Park adjacent to Farnborough airport. The project received planning consent in the summer of 2013. Itwent on to be shortlisted for the OAS Awards: Best Development Outside Central London and is the Southwest regional winner of the British council for Offices, Commercial Workplace Award 2016.
The brief was to deliver two high quality Grade A buildings with flexible floorplates providing potential lettings from half a floor to both buildings combined with a link for a single occupant. The architect worked closely with ‘Planit’ landscape consultants to prepare a strident design that worked with the building concept in terms of its plan layout and external design. The strong vertical elements on the elevations relate well with the impressive superstructure linking the two buildings but also the contemporary landscape with its geometric linear patterns. The superstructure itself forms an informal relationship to the historic listed air hangar structure that sits opposite the new buildings. The palette of clear glazed bricks and iridescent metal elements combined with the deep frames result in a visually striking facade where light and shadows are constantly changing the appearance of the buildings.
The site was located adjacent to the historic listed MOD buildings associated with the airfield and wind tunnels. From the outset of the project the team liaised with the local council, developer client and landscape designers to deliver a building that would be sensitive to its surroundings and historic context but would also embody the bold and visionary spirit of the business park in a dynamic design, echoing the energy and history of aviation.
Separating the form of the building into two visually connected offices has transformed the developer’s letting opportunities, providing options for multiple or single occupiers. From an architectural perspective the layered configuration of the curtain walling system has been achieved at no additional cost over a conventional cladding system. Standard components make up the cladding assembly, yet the visual result is refined and provides the client with a ‘speculative’ product of real character at no added cost.
The quality of the project stems from the creative consideration of the emerging design through to the planning and the detailed design drawings prepared by the team and made by the contractors. The scheme has delivered an excellent product for an extremely competitive price. The new HQ offices were designed and completed achieving a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating and an EPC rating B. Building A, totals 49,000 square feet and building B, totals 60,000 square feet.
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