Cellular Operations

Richard Hywel Evans, Swindon, 1999

 

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John N Maclean     Download Original

  •     
  • The glass wraps around to form a nose which functions as the main entrance     
  • The curvilinear glass south elevation snakes along the waterfront    
  • External view of the back of the building    
  • An entertaining environment for the young workforce to enjoy    
  • The cast concrete stair has the quality of a prehistoric skeleton    
  • The blue mosaic-clad WC’s are referred to as the ‘swimming pool’    
  • Each of the wc blocks is detailed differently,  to encourage staff to use different parts of the building. One block is entirely detailed in timber    
  • One WC block is entirely stainless steel    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Section A-A    
  • Section through three-storey office area    
  • Staircase detail    
  • Staircase detail    

An experimental design of curved glazing and playfully complex interior structures for a Swindon call centre

The building is conceived of as an extrusion of two elements. There is a linear horizontal block, which is clad in black insulating sheet material holding huge sheets of solar-shading capillary glass. These are punctuated with a series of horizontal and vertical windows-within-windows that allow the users a glimpse out.

By contrast the south elevation is a complex curvilinear glass armature which snakes along the waterfront elevation, wrapping around to form a nose which functions as the main entrance.

Once inside, the nose is constructed from a complex series of structural tubes that take planar glazing fixings. The language of the curve is carried through to the reception desk that is a collage of stainless steel ‘scales’. On turning the corner the desk becomes a coffee bar with a neon sign above.

Within the body of the space the regular layout of work stations sits perpendicular to the black-box facade, while the clear-glazed enclosure creates a meandering break-out zone.

The second floor of the building steps back along the south elevation in section revealing a double-curved concrete soffit which has a clear-glazed handrail embedded into the nib.

Data

  • Begun: Dec 1998
  • Completed: Dec 1999
  • Floor area: 4,313m2
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £6.1M
  • Tender date: Jun 1998
  • Procurement: Design and Build
  • Address: Century Road, Swindon, SN5 5DR , United Kingdom

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