A ground-breaking office fit out

Located in the iconic Three Snowhill building in the heart of Birmingham’s business district, BT’s new home is definitely one to remember. Our works included the Cat A and Cat B fit out of 283,000 sq. ft. over thirteen floors within the newly constructed building, which is set to be home to around 3,500 BT colleagues. The project was delivered collaboratively with architects TP Bennett, project managers Stace LLP, M&E consultants WSP, quantity surveyors Rider Levett Bucknall, and most importantly BT themselves. Following BT’s aim to bring thousands of its colleagues together into one location as part of its Better Workplace Programme, we knew we needed to create an office that was dynamic, inspiring, and well-equipped for the future of contemporary working life.

Project partners

  • Stace
  • Rider Levett Bucknall UK
  • TP Bennett
  • WSP
  • Acivico
  • CBRE
  • Cushman & Wakefield
The fact that you are locally based with local knowledge and access to a local supply chain helped massively

Arvind Busra, BT Group

Project description

Stripping things back

Before we began implementing the new design, we undertook an initial minor strip out of the existing space along with the enabling works of the ceilings and raised access flooring. We also modified a number of the building’s M&E systems – including ventilation, sprinklers and fire alarm services – and installed new power and lighting systems.

A workplace for the future

BT wanted their office fit out to match the iconic status of the building’s location. The space makes a dramatic first impression with a double-height reception, complete with a striking feature wall, bespoke branded desk and visitor waiting area.

The new café on the ground floor provides a warm, welcoming space that is perfect for informal meetings or simply socialising with colleagues. Open to all users of the building, the café is a vibrant addition that encourages greater interactivity and connection between BT’s employees.

On the upper floors, the office space has been kept open and airy with minimalist furniture and plenty of natural light. As part of BT’s objective to reintegrate its employees into the workplace after long periods of working from home, they wanted their new office to accommodate flexible ways of working. We installed a mixture of hot desks, meeting and huddle rooms with capacities ranging from four to twenty people, and video conferencing rooms for wider connectivity. Throughout the office, working areas are fitted with stylish refreshment zones, all equipped with the necessary amenities to add that extra dose of comfort.

To help fuel all the new employees and make them feel at home in the office, we installed a full catering kitchen on the 16th floor with comfy sofas and booth seating. Moreover, a large event space and meeting suite were added to the 17th floor which in turn created a town hall space for up to 120 people.

Dynamic design

Matching the cutting-edge style of the building’s exterior, the interior feels sharp and modern but not cold. Throughout the space there is a dynamic juxtaposition between the industrial, which is represented by the exposed ceilings and the material palette of dark steel and concrete, and the natural, which is embodied in the timber floors and panelling and an array of indoor plants.

Lighting was another key aspect of the project. To compliment the swathes of natural light pouring in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, we installed a network of suspended LED light channels which follow the curves of each floor to provide every space with a balanced light.

Sticking to schedule

To ensure the fast pace of the project was maintained, we had to overcome numerous challenges that arose including COVID-19 social distancing requirements and site closures for scheduled deep cleaning. With careful planning and constant communication with the client and other partners involved, we incorporated all the necessary adjustments into the schedule, allowing the project to be completed on time.

Take to the skies

Working on a project of this scale in a city centre location can certainly present a great deal of logistical challenges. We needed to install some critical power supplies on the roof of the building, however the conventional use of cranes for the installation would have been limiting and disruptive for the local area. Our solution was to take to the skies and use a helicopter to lift the equipment onto the roof safely and efficiently. This innovative idea meant that the entire operation was executed in just a few hours rather than several days.

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