Reading, UK

Forbury Place

Creating agile, flexible and highly efficient office space within a landmark design, bringing Central London standards of design and specification to the Thames Valley; an award-winning high calibre development, with dynamic architecture, quality finishes and proven success

Project Details

  • Location Reading
  • Type New build
  • Area 45,000m² 375,000ft²
  • Status Complete
  • Sector
    Offices
  • Client Bell Hammer
  • Services Architecture
  • Contractor Galliford Try

Collective Team

The Forbury Place development creates two highly efficient, agile office headquarters buildings that provide unrivalled quality in Reading to attract national and international occupiers.

Developed speculatively by owners M&G and development manager Bell Hammer, the Forbury Place Estate consists of three buildings: two new office buildings and a third, older building that has been renovated to complete the estate.

No 1 Forbury Place was completed in 2015 followed by No 2 Forbury Place in the summer of 2018 which consolidated this exceptionally high calibre development with dynamic architecture, quality finishes and proven success. No 1 was entirely let to SSE at completion, and three years later No 2 achieved the largest letting in Reading for 25 years and the biggest deal in the Thames Valley for over a decade.

No 2 Forbury Place was winner of the BCO Regional Award for Best Commercial Workplace in 2019, following No 1 Forbury Place being shortlisted in the same category in 2017.

No 2 Forbury Place also has a Wired Score rating of Platinum, and both buildings have achieved BREEAM Excellent ratings.

Pedestrian piazza links the two buildings
Site plan
The three buildings that make up the Forbury Place Estate
Blades on the exterior give the building identity

The massing and sculpted form of the eight storey building responds to its gateway location and prominence from the railway, while responding sensitively to the historic urban context of the neighbouring Forbury Gardens.

The east and west façades are protected from solar gain by innovative vertical blades which twist through 90 degrees to reveal a rich bronze colour, creating a sense of movement as one passes the building and give the buildings their immediately recognisable and strong identity in this gateway location to Reading.

Concept sketch
East elevation
Detail of twisted blades
Detail of twisted blades
Detail of twisted blades
Elevation
Detail of 'twist'
West elevation
Sculpture by Simon Hitchens

The two buildings are entered from a central space marked by a beautiful Simon Hitchens sculpture that echoes the twisting blades giving the buildings identity and movement.

Typical floor
Upper floor with deep terrace overlooking Forbury Gardens

Deep-plan naturally lit floor plates are provided through the introduction of a striking atrium, generous floor to ceiling heights and an openness that promotes views to Forbury Gardens and the wider Thames Valley.

The efficiency of the building was maximised by positioning two perimeter cores on the east and west perimeter of the building, in a highly efficient layout that provides only two staircases to the entire building and maintaining two tenant per floor flexibility. Furthermore, the cores’ position to the east and west facades provided protection against low sun angles, and optimise views out to the north and south over Caversham Lakes and Forbury Gardens.

Forbury Place brought value to the client through its delivery of their strategy of to bring West End quality office space but at appropriate costs to the local market

View to atrium roof
Changing areas

The design places emphasis on delivering a highly efficient, agile and sustainable workplace that recognises the increasing importance and convergence of health, wellness and productivity to meet prospective occupier needs.  Cycling is encouraged by an enhanced parking provision that goes beyond BREEAM and BCO guidance, and shower and changing facilities are well equipped.

Generous south facing terraces at sixth floor provide amenity for the building’s users and link the building with the historic landscape of Forbury Gardens, helping to knit the building into context of central Reading.

Cycle storage area
Roof terrace overlooking Forbury Gardens

No 2 Forbury Place was winner of the BCO Regional Award for Best Commercial Workplace in 2019, following No 1 Forbury Place being shortlisted in the same category in 2017

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