Bristol claims three out of four top regional awards for innovative offices

May 1, 2014

Three Bristol offices have been recognised as the best workplaces in the South West in a prestigious property sector awards scheme.

Barclays, Imperial Tobacco and Motability Operations landed three out of the four awards in the regional leg of the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) respected annual awards programme.

The awards champion top-quality office design and functionality and set the standard for excellence in the regional office sector.

More than 200 of the country’s top designers, developers, architects and occupiers competed for a coveted BCO regional award and attended the awards dinner last night.

Barclays’ Bridgewater House project, pictured right, won the award for Best Project of up to 2,000 sq m, Motability Operations’ refurbished corporate campus triumphed in the Best Fit Out of a Workplace category and Imperial Tobacco’s new headquarters at Ashton Gate took the price for Best Corporate Workplace.

Barclays co-locate its wealth and corporate businesses into one new space in the centre of Bristol at Bridgewater House – part of the Finzels Reach development on the former Courage Brewery site.

The project included creating new client meeting facilities, branding opportunities and a new collaborative working environment to enhance staff retention and allow each business to meet their recruitment and revenue targets by attracting new clients and staff.

The judges were particularly impressed with how the new building is driving business and work practice changes within the organisation while also providing a high-quality working environment.

Motability Operations, which refurbished and fitted out four separate buildings to create a single corporate campus on Bristol Business Park, North Bristol, pictured above, was also judged to have provided an excellent working environment.  The judges were impressed with the successful creation of a vibrant and lively workplace that achieved all the objectives of the brief.

Imperial Tobacco’s new international headquarters, pictured below, was built on the site of its redundant cigar in Winterstoke Road. The design team set out to challenge and change the working methods, consolidating numerous cellular departments split across out-dated and dysfunctional accommodation and introduce a more open and transparent way of working. The judges praised the way in which the final completed project responds to its context and mirrors Imperial Tobacco’s environmental ethos. The sustainable, energy efficient and environmentally-friendly design was also commended as one of the best in the region.

The other South West winner was The Carriage Building in Gloucester, which won the Best Refurbished/Recycled Workplace category for its refurbishment of a historic former horse drawn carriage showcase building into an uplifting and creative working environment.

Winners from the regional awards will compete in their categories at a national level on October 7 and also bid to win the property sector’s respected BCO ‘Best of the Best’ award.

Chair of judges, Chris Kimber-Nickelson of MEPC, said:  “The winners of the South West Awards are all ambitious projects that have been selected from a selection of top quality entries. Entries were judged on a range of different factors including flexibility, sustainable construction, architectural flair and above all their effectiveness as a workplace. All winners should be proud to emerge as one of the best workspaces in the region.”

BCO chief executive Richard Kauntze added: “This year’s awards are testament to the quality and distinction of new office development in the South West. Bristol should be extremely proud that, with three winners, it is a city that is leading the way in innovation and design. We are very excited to see these pioneering organisations at the national awards in London.”

The BCO is the UK’s leading member organisation representing the interests of all those who occupy, design, build, own or manage offices in the UK.



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