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28 PROJECT REPORT: COMMERCIAL & WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENTS


© Kier Construction


The carefully selected materials reduce the building’s embodied carbon but also improve internal air quality


with wide walkways and a single staircase, the architects aimed to increase the proba- bility of serendipitous, productive interaction between users. In addition, both the interior and exterior balconies get bigger with every floor upwards, providing further breakout spaces with far-reaching views over Bicester and the surrounding Oxfordshire countryside. Conscious efforts were made by the design team to create an uplifting environment to inspire the business centre’s users. For example, looking up inside the central atrium space, the architects have specified a plywood waffle ceiling: “What this means is that on a really bright day you can see really strong lines and shadows cast onto it. It’s a really animated place.” Vision panels on the partitions and doors separat- ing different spaces aim to evoke an even more spacious feeling in the scheme’s users: “You can see from inside to outside and into all the offices,” remarks Hayes. “Two things we aimed at were; to get as much natural light as possible, and to maximise internal air quality”, says Hayes. Architype’s environmental strategy aims to


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support a healthy working environment, helping to increase workforce wellness and productivity through clean, optimised air supply and eliminating excessive use of artificial heat and light.


The extensive use of glazing on the building envelope partnered with the central rooflight illuminate the interior spaces to provide a naturally bright working environment. Issues related to glare in the upper levels are remedied by outer envelope’s larch fins, in addition to internal blinds. The distance they’re set off from the building varies to provide the right balance and prevent overheating – given the ribbon window of fixed glazing wrapping around the building’s body behind the shading system. “It was an iterative process with the engineers,” says the architect. In order to meet air quality standards specified in the brief, a mixed mode system gives users control over their immediate environments.


Passive in nature


While Passivhaus Plus was not targeted in the original client brief – zero-carbon in use being the initial sustainability goal – the


ADF MAY 2019


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