News > The workplace visionary

20 July 2016
 

'Disruptive behaviour: the alternative alternatives to keep an eye on'

Article by Amber Rolt, Emily Wright and Karl Tomusk in Estates Gazette


What happens when alternative assets and disruptors collide? Estates Gazette have gathered three visionaries to illustrate the possibilities, Urban Farm, Citizen M and Aukett Swanke.

The architectural practice behind the Google offices in Istanbul and Prague has come up with an innovative concept design for a future London workspace. The R+D design proposals by Tom Alexander and his colleagues comprises two adjoining towers – each with a variety of spaces and purposes – and works off a volumetric leasing model rather than a cost based on floorspace.

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Expert endorsements

  

 “For decades, the idea of ‘flexible office space’ has been put forward. There are cases where this has been realised but generally, office-design is pretty much the same in central London. Redefining just what ‘space’ is has led to a rather beautiful paradigm which is utterly flexible. You want an office, you got it; you want a classroom; you got it. In fact, the current proposal from Tom Alexander and his colleagues is truly innovative. Spaces can be rented and defined by the needs of the occupier in a nurturing development. Public-accessible spaces sit in harmony within a development which has a quirky side expressing fun to the locale, while a more conventional aspect meets the requirements of more clients who want to express themselves less overtly. The very nature of development is to meet the needs of the local community; such an innovative yet simplistic proposal is gratefully received in the current dearth of flexible buildings."

Dr Rick Wheal, Director and Environmental Expert at Arups
 

"Aukett Swanke's proposals deliver a composition of key working settings that have real traction and an obvious market / demand. The current model and process around building segregated and inflexible spaces is unsustainable. Our clients, predominantly occupiers within the creative industries, crave spaces that are an uplifting and rewarding experience. Spaces that are light, bright and have volume. Spaces that have character, not necessarily historical but through a curated selection of materials and aesthetics, fundamentally underpinned by cost effectiveness and flexibility to expand and contract as necessary. The ideas assembled in this proposal address and deliver on these requirements."

Luke Appleby, Founder Kontor London

 

 

   
 

“From a design perspective this concept is bang on what we are looking at “  

Property Week

Harry Badham, Head of Local Development at AXA IM Real Assets

 

   

“This approach provides a new model to achieve long term resilience through three areas : The permeability and blurring of activities - work, live and play, the re-configurability of space and the flexibility of leasing."

Despina Katsikakis, Former Chairwoman of DEGW, Independent adviser to corporate occupiers, real estate developers and investment funds

 

 

   

"Tom Alexander talks workspaces of the future. The starting point for his ideas? The nursery. Great vision and I'm intrigued by volumetric pricing".


Sarah Wood 
LinkedIn Influencer, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Unruly, Veuve Cliquot Business Woman of the Year 2016

 

“Long life and loose fit has been a holy grail for the industry. With the convergence of societal, technological and environmental considerations we are seeing the opportunities to make this a reality. Tom Alexander at Aukett Swanke is a passionate exponent of this quest and his work is offering us the ability to collaborate around tangible solutions.”

Andrew Moore, Senior Director, Sweets

 

 

   

"The future proofing of office buildings in today's marketplace is not only vital to ensure longevity of stock but also to attract long term occupiers with continually changing business practices. Flexibility of design and specification is required to achieve this aim and what could be more flexible than a structural frame based on 8m slab to slabs. Who knows, we may soon see workspace measured in cubic rather than square feet as proposed in Aukett Swanke’s R+D!"

Paul Smith, Director & Co-Head London Offices, Colliers
 

"How tenants use and think about their office space has changed a lot over the past decade, however it's the next 10 years that is going to be full of change that will really challenge the traditional office. This could be due to a change in tenant behaviour, the need for an adaptable environment or the reluctance from tenants to sign long leases when growth and contraction is uncertain. Whether it's for the aforementioned rational or not, a more impactful change is on the way. It's for these reasons that we are very excited by the Aukette Swanke R&D proposal."

Shaun Simon, Director Colliers

 

 

   

"An adaptive, multifunctional and interactive working place can greatly enhance the environment in which we work. The design of adaptive facades to complement and enhance this experience, not only is achievable but is critical to provide a holistic and integrated design of the internal space and it's interaction with the surrounding environment. The external envelope can contribute to the flexibility of a multi-functional workspace by designing in compatibility with modular internal partitions thereby allowing users to configure and re-configure their working environment to suit their evolving needs. As well as providing effective performance from the façade, interactivity is further enhanced by allowing flexibility in the visual connectivity between the internal and external spaces as well as playing with the indoor/outdoor nature of the spaces.  User control, blending in with a response to the weather patterns, allows the building occupants to customise their experience of function and comfort, by interacting with the external environment to provide additional benefits to the internal space."

Charis Cosmas / Kenneth Zammitt, Directors Buro Happold Facades
 

“The principle of a regular office space combined with high volume spaces works well from a servicing strategy point of view plugging in to central core services. The large volume spaces offer the opportunity to simplify the servicing strategy minimising cooling requirements and using the volume to create light and airy spaces. Tempered air can be introduced at low level and extracted at high level, which combined with high level background heating will resulting in the same number of service connections as a single floor plate. The large volume spaces create a higher level of flexibility with a simpler servicing strategy as we have found in our own London office."

Mark Wilkinson, Partner, Hoare Lea

 

 

   

“Some view Aukett Swanke’s proposals as both refreshing and vital. Whether such scheme is viable remains to be seen, but little in history has been achieved without pushing the boundaries.”

Tim Clark, Property Week
 

“The plan for Aukett Swanke now is to share its idea and see where it goes, but if an operator did pick up the concept, Alexander says, the future of sustainable building design could happen now.”

Emily Wright, Global Editor Estates Gazette
     
   

 

 

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