Grafton House

New build headquarters to accommodate over 600 staff from Ipswich Borough Council, within a new ‘Civic Quarter’ in the city centre.

This winner of the best regional corporate office at the BCO Awards was applauded for its efficiency and economy. The national judging panel commented: ‘This is a great example of local authorities working together to regenerate a declining area. The design for BREEAM Very Good rating and the rental of £13 per sqft with a build cost of just £100 per sqft would ordinarily thwart any commercial project’.

The key design drivers were to achieve the best standards in office design and maximise adaptability and flexibility. Breaking the long monolithic form into three articulated blocks along the street front, all vertical circulation was pushed outwards at the rear of the block. This enabled a structural plan with only three internal columns, each centred on the 18 x 18m block, creating large clear spans and flexible open spaces.

The architectural philosophy was one of subtlety, restraint and composure aligned with sustainability, flexibility and efficiency.

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