AWW recently submitted designs for the refurbishment of Unum House located in the pivotal regeneration area of Temple Gate.
The goal of the design is to substantially upgrade the building; improving the internal spaces to meet current standards and utilising contemporary materials externally to give the building a new appearance. These substantial improvement works are proposed to attract a variety of tenants in to the building and retain business operations at this key city-centre site.
The design team focused on four main principles to achieve the design:
Principle 1 – Increasing the building’s internal floor area
This will have two major benefits; firstly it will create additional floor space so that the building can offer more employment space, secondly it will allow the building to return more in rental values. The second benefit is significant and has a direct impact on the financially viability of the scheme. Increasing the rental values will ensure that the building returns more in value and as such will offset the substantial costs of refurbishing the building so comprehensively.
Principle 2 – Creating a safer and more attractive access in to the site
The current street edge and site access is of poor quality, this creates an unsafe and unattractive environment that is not appropriate for the building’s urban setting. Therefore through the use of a new design and new materials we seek to create a better space outside the front of the building. This will also incorporate clear definitions between vehicular and pedestrian routes.
Principle 3 – Utilising contemporary materials
Utilising contemporary materials will give the building a fresh appearance that seeks to create a new “face” for the building. Embodying a clean and modern aesthetic was an important consideration when determining a proposed material palette. Although we were also keen to ensure that the tones and colours used would relate to the built context. From review of the contextual material palette a variety of earthy, warm tones are present amongst more neutral greys.
Principle 4 – Providing building users with better facilities
A key part of any refurbishment is providing better internal spaces and facilities. Through the refurbishment of Techno House we seek to create better welfare provisions for office tenants to use, whilst also ensuring the building’s green credentials are improved through a BREEAM assessment. Key changes are to the toilet facilities on each upper floor, shower/changing facilities at ground level and improved cycle storage provisions. The secure cycle storage will remain external although have the capacity to contain more bicycles than the current limited provision.