Award-winning architectural firm CPMG Architects has moved into its stunning new headquarters in Nottingham city centre.
The company has overseen a substantial internal refit of the property, which started life in the 1870s as the headquarters of the British Waterways Company. It later became the Standard Chartered Bank before more recently being used by several bars before sitting vacant for nearly three years.
The team is now settling into the newly revamped space at the Grade II listed three-storey building in St. Peter’s Gate, which overlooks St. Peter’s Church, after choosing a fresh location during the pandemic.
Speaking about the relocation, managing director Richard Flisher said: “We are proud of our Nottingham heritage and have been based in the Lace Market for more than three decades. This move is a vote of confidence in our home city and in the future vitality of the city centre and brings a brilliant building back into full use.”
Completely replacing the building’s services has enabled us to switch away from using fossil fuels, we now source our energy from a renewable supplier.
The new space brings the team together in a single studio environment. A new mezzanine level has been created within the double height space and the former subterranean bank vaults are now home to meeting spaces, a break-out zone and welfare areas.
Revitalising a vacant building came with challenges when creating the new interior. Director Sara Harraway said: “There were a number of building fabric changes that needed to be made, such as the treatment of dry rot and replacement windows, which take careful management especially when working within a listed building.
“However, any challenges presented us with opportunities, such as trying to make the bank vaults in the basement work as an agile working environment; hey had been used as a beer cellar when the building was a restaurant. The loftiness of the building has also enabled us to create a mezzanine floor bringing the whole team together in one space so that we’re all connected, collaborating and learning from each other – which has been a goal for our team for many years. Together with great views, improved environmental conditions and connections with nature it supports our team’s motivation, productivity and so their wellbeing.”
CPMG has been working towards a more flexible and varied approach to working, which has been accelerated further due to the pandemic. Director Chris White said: “Dealing with the pandemic taught us how resilient we are as a business, both in terms of hybrid working and our ability to deliver projects even though people were working remotely.
As designers we adopt a flexible approach to the workplace and this move gives us the opportunity to instigate new ways of working for our colleagues, based on choice, and supported by flexible workstyles and cloud-based IT systems.”
The flourishing business continues to play a key role in major public and private sector design projects across the UK, with additional offices in London, Birmingham and China.
Proud of its Nottingham roots, CPMG is currently working on The Island Quarter, one of the largest regeneration projects of its kind in the UK, healthcare projects for the Queen’s Medical Centre and a major new student residential and co-living development on a main arterial route into the city.
Richard concluded: “We have some very exciting projects in a wide variety of sectors and this move has been the perfect opportunity to look afresh at the way we work. We remain committed to the future vitality of Nottingham city centre, and we are really happy with our new headquarters – it’s a great place to be and we love the location.”