TateHindle shows its office credentials at Green Park business park
Architectural practice TateHindle has completed the comprehensive refurbishment of several office and support buildings set in landscaped grounds at Green Park, south of Reading. The work adds to the firm??s impressive track record at the 195-acre business park, located next to the Madejski Stadium, home of Reading FC.
The original Foster + Partners masterplanned sustainable development has been owned and managed by Oxford Properties since November 2011. Oxford Properties has invested over £10m to date in asset management initiatives to improve the built environment at the park and reinvigorate the ??brand??.
Andrew Tate, Director of TateHindle, commented, ?Having been involved with Green Park from its outset, we are delighted to have been asked to refurbish two significant buildings, breathing new life into the park. Green Park is an exemplar business park, whose quality of architecture and landscaping sets a very high standard for office occupiers in the hi-tech surroundings of the Thames Valley.??
A total of six buildings were completed by TateHindle previously, including three office buildings with some 140,000 sq ft of net office space, as well as a leisure health & fitness building, a restaurant and a children??s day nursery.
The multi-tenanted building at 100 Longwater Avenue was one of the first buildings to be completed at Green Park, providing 60,000 sq ft of office space and shared conference and cafe facilities encouraging the surrounding businesses to meet and collaborate. As refurbishment architect, TateHindle??s design brought new emphasis onto the main entrance by extending it out in the form of a four-storey glazed atrium with enhanced hard landscaping. The ground floor has also been completely refurbished to offer new state-of-the-art facilities including a multi-purpose conference suite, marketing suite, executive lounge with meeting rooms and atrium restaurant.
250 Longwater Avenue has also been fully refurbished to provide 40,000 sq ft of category A office space. The new glazed three-storey high entrance screen with distinctive portico gives a clear entrance location and enlivens the main façade. The entire design focus has been on creating smart modern commercial office space with a sense of community being at the heart of The Green Park Conference Centre.
Since being originally built, the landscaping has matured and now provides a delightful park setting for the office buildings. The freshwater Longwater Lake delivers a central focus point for the park as well as flood water alleviation. The topography of natural contrasts encourages biodiversity with more than 50 bird species spotted and the lake is home to an abundance of fish and invertebrates. A 120 metre tall, 2.3mw wind turbine, generating sufficient to meet the annual energy needs of 1,200 homes, is an eye-catching sight from the nearby J11 of the M4 motorway.
Here, Andrew offers Architects?? Choice a little more detail into the project.
How and when did you first get involved with Green Park?
TateHindle were first involved with Green Park in the mid-1990s with the original site developers, M&G (formerly Prupim). We achieved planning and built out a community block to the south of the park incorporating a crèche, health and fitness centre, restaurant, and over 70,000 sq ft of offices around a landscaped square. We subsequently built two further buildings of 50,000 sq ft for M&G, also to the south of the site. Our existing knowledge and familiarity of the buildings was helpful to Oxford Properties who purchased the site from M&G last year. Oxford Properties asked us to look at refreshing and refurbishing the entrance and common areas of 100 Longwater Avenue and fully refurbish 250 Longwater Avenue to help breathe a new lease of life to the Park.
What did the refurbishment of the two buildings involve architecturally?
The refurbishment of 100 Longwater Avenue involved refreshing and rebranding the existing, somewhat tired office building, into a state of the art ??gateway?? visitor building for the park by enhancing the reception, providing modern conference facilities, new café in the atrium and a new ??working lounge?? where visitors can catch up on work at desk booths or hold impromptu meetings.
TateHindle extended the existing reception atrium out over all four storeys, whilst keeping within the spirit of the original Foster building, and enhanced the immediate surrounding public realm. Large, architectural sound baffles were introduced to the atrium area to reduce noise disturbance and add a splash of colour. The new conference facilities occupy an entire ground floor wing of the building. The result is a smart and sophisticated key building, which provides an enhanced visitor experience for the businesses of Green Park.
250 Longwater Aveune involved the CAT A refurbishment of a 48,000 sq ft NIA office building, formally occupied by Cisco.
You completed six buildings previously, did this all follow the same formula?
Oxford Properties purchased the Park with a vision to refresh and rebrand and create a strong letting strategy. With this vision, a new client from our first round of work and the fact we were breathing new life into existing buildings rather than designing new buildings, the brief was significantly different and all the more challenging and exciting.
Have you completed many office refurbishments before?
Yes, most definitely. Since TateHindle was established in 1992, the first ten years of the business were primarily refurbishing offices in the City and West End of London for large blue chip developers. Since then we have diversified into other sectors, including residential, retail and student accommodation and completed schemes further afield within the UK. A significant amount of our work still lies within the office refurbishment sector and we are currently undertaking schemes for, amongst others, The Crown Estate, British Land, UBS, Diageo and Scottish Widows.
In your experience, what has caused this significant shift in office design?
It??s not so much a deliberate shift in office design, more an evolution of the appropriateness to suit today??s market and business lifestyle. For example, 100 Longwater Avenue is an important building for Green Park, not only to provide state of the art facilities for the businesses and visitors of the Park, but also to promote the correct branding message for the client and stand tall as the ??face?? of the park. Both businesses and employees have expectations from their working environments, which now become embedded into the refurbishment brief and form an integral part of the design.
For further information please visit www.tatehindle.co.uk
Andrew Tate is Director at TateHindle. Andrew qualified as an architect in 1981 and began his career at Prudential Assurance working on a number of significant buildings within its pension fund portfolio. He set up TateHindle in 1991 with Jim Hindle concentrating, initially, on high-end commercial and residential schemes within central London.