United House, Notting Hill: the latest offering from The Office Group
TOG’s Head of Design Nasim Köerting tells Mix about the 40th space from the flexible workspace providers.
Name of Government Department: Government Property Agency. | Completion Date: July 2018 | Location: London
What part did you play in delivering the scheme?
AECOM provided Workplace Strategy, Interior Design, MEPH and Cost Management services for all RIBA Stages, this also included full-time site presence during the construction phase.
Who was the key person/people from your organisation?
Terry Gunnery, Mike Kinney, Paul Latham, Ron Patel, Martin Kellett, Laura Usher, Mariko Raouf, Atepheh Amid, Rory Haughian, Rob Baker, Illan Santos, Sam Wrangles.
What were the key objectives set by the client?
This project realises the key objective of the Government’s new estates transformation programme, which is the delivery of agile working multi-department ‘Hubs’, and is an exemplar of the modernisation of the civil service and the successful upcycling of an existing building. It is a very big idea indeed – a national ‘smarter working’ revolution, and a transformation of how and where civil servants work.
A key objective and challenge is doing more with less – a shift from a complex and expensive estate to a shared and flexible model. Moving from Westminster to Canary Wharf has realised enormous savings.
When choosing a location for the first Government Hub it was very important for staff to be able to have good access to public transport. Canary Wharf was the perfectly connected space, and GPA further supported staff by enhancing cyclist facilities and initiatives, to encourage low carbon transport options. This also represents a major contributor to wider Government objectives, such as localism, sustainability and reducing pressure on the transport system.
Another key objective was to support Government HR attraction and retention strategies; employee wellbeing is central to the GPA vision – people’s experience of work was central to the process and to the solution.
Best-in-class working environment has increased staff morale, retention and is attracting new employees through its flexible and stimulating workscape, including the array of amenity spaces GPA and the eight Government Departments have embraced smart working – the floor layouts provide multiple spaces to work depending upon the task, giving staff greater choice over how and where they work.
What was the biggest design/cultural challenge?
The biggest cultural challenge was bringing eight different Government departments together and providing individual departmental design/brand expression, whilst maintaining a set of design standards and overall consistency.
The biggest design challenge was producing a cohesive interior architecture for the whole building, and making use of the very large, very deep windowless spaces on the former banking dealer floors, from their previous use on levels 1 and 2. These spaces are now very well used as a conference suite on level 1 and restaurant café/club lounge on level 2.
‘It’s great to see public and private sector staff rubbing shoulders here in Canary Wharf. This hub is one of 14 across the country already announced, which will use cutting-edge design and innovative technology to deliver smarter public services that reduce vacant space across the Government Estate.’ – Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation
‘More than 2,000 of our London-based people are already benefiting from the facilities the Hub has to offer, including modern, flexible workspaces with great IT and excellent transport links. Bringing our teams from across London together in Canary Wharf is already showing the benefits of collaboration and modern ways of working.’ – Steven Boyd, HMRC’s Estates Director
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