Albert Works triumphs at BCO Nationals and Sheffield Design Awards

Following its success at the RIBA National Awards, Albert Works has this month been named among the best workplaces in the country at the BCO National Awards and taken home two Sheffield Design Awards.

The BCO’s respected National Awards programme recognises top quality office design and functionality, setting the standard for excellence across the office sector in the UK. Albert Works, a recently completed workplace converted from disused, and previously dilapidated, traditional red-brick industrial warehouses, is home to digital agency Jaywing. It is the first phase of a larger £10 million ‘Alsop’s Field’ regeneration project in the heart of Sheffield’s Cultural Industry Quarter (CIQ) conservation area.

The project was also triumphant at the Sheffield Design Awards, winning Oustanding Project of the Year and the Large Project Award. Judges described the project as ‘an exemplar of conservation, design quality and innovation’. “The design has breathed new life into a series of derelict buildings, creating a series of vibrant, exquisitely detailed spaces around the central area. Modern elements blend with the industrial heritage with a playfulness that delights and inspires.”

The office footprint provides 1,446 sq.m. of space, of which 55% is retained structure from the older warehouses – with a number of original industrial features left in place to recall the site’s heritage. Linking the older buildings is a new structure providing a large open plan space on the ground floor, and a series of suspended walkways and staircases above.

The BCO judges praised the sensitivity and quality of both the restoration of the brick warehouse and the seamless integration of the newer intervention, describing the main external façade as boldly different, yet delicate and sympathetic to the historic industrial context. The panel were also impressed with the “witty” interior design, such as stacked shipping containers creating meeting rooms and coffee bars, which in their view provide a modern nod to the building’s industrial past.

“What sets this project apart is the marrying of the client’s vision with the design team’s bold creative. The result is a ground-breaking and energetic space for local business, which has helped regenerate the local area. It shows how good design can help businesses and communities make the very best of our industry’s offering, and adapt and change our built environment for the future.”

Nigel Clark, Chair of the BCO’s National Judging Panel

“Albert Works is a bold and inspiring workplace located in a series of refurbished warehouses that have been sensitively restored to retain their industrial heritage. The restoration has resulted in a reinterpretation of these brick warehouses for the digital age that is sympathetic to the historic industrial context. This outstanding scheme demonstrates the breadth of inspiring workspaces we have in the Northern Committee region.”

Phil Doyle, Chair of the BCO Northern Committee