Construction has completed on One Friargate – the inaugural building of Coventry’s £700 million new Friargate business district. Work on the 13-storey office building has taken 100 weeks, with around 4,000 workers inducted onto site during the period.
Contractor Bowmer & Kirkland has handed over the building to Stephen Reynolds, of developer Friargate Coventry LLP.
Designed by internationally renowned architects Allies and Morrison, One Friargate is a low energy, premium office building with an open plan layout enjoying city views and overlooking Station Square, the bustling, tree lined boulevard at the heart of Friargate. From October the building will be occupied by 1,350 Coventry City Council workers, while two floors will be taken by up to 300 staff from the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The ground floor reception area boasts a showpiece staircase made from 35 tonnes of white concrete and a coffee shop that will be open to the public. The building’s 150 cycle racks, location close to Coventry Station and convenient bus stops, means that workers will be able to make best use of public transport.
Construction of One Friargate involved the use of two enormous tower cranes that were among the tallest structures in Coventry and materials including 1,000 tonnes of steel framing and 300 pre-cast eight tonne concrete cladding panels. Bowmer & Kirkland’s excellent approach on site won them a bronze award in the Considerate Constructors Scheme 2017.
Friargate is the largest development in the West Midlands Combined Authority and has generated significant growth for the city. Seven Coventry firms and more than 320 local people – including 28 apprentices – were employed on the site. The scheme has facilitated several initiatives to help put Coventry on the map – including sponsorship of the Coventry 2021 bid, Coventry Paralympic athlete Kare Adenegan and Coventry Sphinx Football Club.
Stephen Reynolds said: “Friargate is an extremely important scheme for Coventry and the region and I am proud to see the completion of One Friargate. It is an outstanding new building that offers tenants a new way of working and has helped drive growth, employment and inward investment for the city.
“One Friargate sets the standard for the rest of the 37 acre Friargate scheme – which will include 13 more office buildings, alongside two hotels, homes and shops, transforming the area around the station and providing a world class welcome for those arriving by train.”
Bowmer & Kirkland Project Manager, Paul Kelly, said: “We are proud to have been involved in the initial phase of this significant development for the city of Coventry. The project has been an excellent team effort by all concerned and provides a visually stunning link to the city.”
The next construction milestone at Friargate will be the demolition of the site office on Manor Road in early October, which will clear the site for construction of the next office building – Two Friargate. The building will offer 136,000 sq ft of Grade A space over 14 storeys, a glazed pavilion at top level offering stunning city views and a double height ground floor with restaurant/café. Work is planned to start next year.