The British Council for Offices’ (BCO) has named Hugh James’ headquarters, Two Central Square, as the best corporate workplace in South England and South Wales.
The awards ceremony, which took place on Thursday 9 May, recognises top quality design and functionality for excellence in workplaces across the UK.
Two Central Square fought off stiff competition from a range of other major new corporate workplaces from across Wales and England including the new S4C headquarters in Carmarthen and the Elekta Cornerstone building in West Sussex.
Matthew Tossell, senior partner at Hugh James, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award as recognition of the three years of collaboration that our new office at Two Central Square represents.
“Thank you to Paul McCarthy and Rightacres Property for supporting us and for accommodating our changing requirements during the planning and build phases. Their expert advice coupled with the guidance of our exceptional professional team allowed the builders, ISG, to delivered an office which has more than matched the expectations of our design brief. The result of this close partnership approach speaks for itself.
“The building reflects our commitment to our amazing staff and the local business community and provides a flexible working environment that promotes health and wellbeing in the workspace, both now and in the future.”
The Foster + Partners-designed Two Central Square has been built in partnership with Rightacres Property, with the aim of creating one of the UK’s leading corporate workplaces.
The 100,000 sq ft offices were designed with sustainability and collaborative working in mind and have achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating.
Its central, internal staircase runs throughout the building and provides the quickest, greenest and healthiest method of travelling between floors and supports cross-team working. All floors are designed for open plan working and include designated quiet areas, space for confidential client calls and internal meeting areas.
The dedicated client floor comprises a large outside terrace area, and a hospitality lounge for visitors, 12 meeting rooms, plus a 120-capacity function room for Hugh James to host its own hospitality events and seminars. There is also a subsidised café which provides high quality food and drink throughout the day to staff and guests.
From inception to delivery, Hugh James and Rightacres worked hand-in-glove to create a completely bespoke office which allows staff to thrive in their day-to-day work and the business to achieve its ambitious growth plans.
Paul McCarthy, Chief Executive of Rightacres Property said: “We are absolutely delighted for Hugh James’ new HQ at Two Central Square to have been named best corporate workplace in the regional awards yesterday. The project is an excellent example of how, when teams collaborate, a truly great result is the outcome.”
The workplace that has been created has pushed the boundaries of professional offices outside London and provided market-leading headquarters for one of the UK’s largest, most successful regional law firms.
The internal spaces have been designed collaboratively by Hugh James, Rightacres Property and Harmsen Tilney Shane with the sole purpose of providing an exceptional environment for staff and visitors.
The awards submission and evaluation process was extremely thorough and involved a team of judges visiting the offices to see how the building operates and serves its purpose. The judges were also able to view a video which showed staff talking to camera about how they are enjoying their new working environment.
Andy Heath, Partner at Cushman & Wakefield and BCO South of England and South Wales Regional Committee Chair, said: “The key objectives for Hugh James was to create an incredible workplace which exceeds the expectations of the firm’s staff and clients. After extensive research, the resulting space is high quality and promotes staff wellbeing and collaboration.”
Two Central Square will now go up against the other regional winners at the national BCO award in London in October.