Double win for Liverpool in ‘best office’ awards

Two office developments in Liverpool were among six winners in the British Council for Offices’ annual Regional Awards. Tony McDonough reports

Taylor Wessing
Taylor Wessing’s office at Edward Pavilion in the Royal Albert Dock

 

Two Liverpool office developments were among the six winners in the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) annual regional awards.

The London law firm’s refurbishment of its space in the Edward Pavilion at the Royal Albert Dock and the £35m The Spine development in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter were among the six winning workplaces in the north of England and Northern Ireland.

Taking place on Thursday evening, the awards returned in-person to the Kimpton Clocktower in Manchester, recognising the North’s highest quality developments and setting the standard for excellence in the office sector across the UK. The winning workplaces were:

  • Taylor Wessing, Edward Pavilion, Albert Dock, Liverpool (Projects up to 1,500 sq m).
  • The Spine, Paddington Village, Liverpool, (Innovation).
  • Bloc, 17 Marble Street Manchester (Refurbished/Recycled Workspace) .
  • Two New Bailey Square, 6 Stanley Street, Salford, (Commercial Workplace).
  • Sunderland City Hall, Plater Way, Sunderland, (Corporate Workplace) .
  • PwC Northern Ireland, Merchant Square, 20-22 Wellington Place, Belfast (Fit Out of Workplace).

Top international law firm Taylor Wessing relocated its Liverpool office to the Edward Pavilion at the Royal Albert Dock in 2020 after seeing a surge in staff numbers since its arrival in the city in 2018.

Working with contractor ADT Workplace and the project management team at Hollis and designer, kin, Taylor Wessing created a “high-class working environment”. The BCO North judging panel were impressed with the varying workspaces, including formal desks, meeting booths, casual meeting areas and spaces for quiet work.

The office provides a flexible and agile working environment for the Taylor Wessing team, who can choose for themselves the best way to work. The use of rich textures throughout, set against the backdrop of industrial brick and steel, creates an engaging and distinctive interior space.

Speaking at the time of the move, head of the firm’s Liverpool office, Saleem Fazal, said: “The stunning location of our new Liverpool home is the icing on the cake, and we are thrilled to be able to commit our future to this vibrant, enterprising city.”

The Spine
The Spine in Paddington Village, Liverpool
The Spine
Interior of The Spine in Paddington Village, Liverpool

 

Opened in May 2021 in Paddington Village, The Spine’s anchor tenant is the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) which is occupying 70,000 sq ft of the 200,000 total space. It is the first grade A office building opened in the city centre for more than a decade.

Rising to 14 storeys, The Spine has been designed according to the scientific and medical research principles established in the international WELL Standard to achieve WELL Platinum. It is claimed to be one of the healthiest workspaces for mental health and physical wellbeing in the UK.

The judging panel noted that The Spine is an “outstanding and innovative example of using workplace design to support cultural change”, while providing a highly sustainable built environment and protecting the wellbeing of those that interact with it.

Richard Kauntze, chief executive of the BCO, said: “Like Liverpool’s Spine and Edward Pavilion schemes, many of this year’s northern winners have been people-focused, putting human need at the centre of their designs.

“I look forward to seeing how these winning offices perform at the BCO National Awards in October and wish all entrants the best of luck.”

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