Creating a landmark for a growing team to flourish

As a provider of affordable housing, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) is constantly welcoming people through its doors who need specialised care and support services. Overbury's re-fit turned the MTVH office into a welcoming epicentre of housing services.

Project partners

  • Stoneticket
  • C2 Strategy
  • The Anslow Partnership
  • RPS Group
  • Bradbrook Consulting
  • Arno Acoustics
  • Robinson Low Francis
Without doubt, I would score you a ‘10’. You are just very good at what you do, that’s the short answer, but I will elaborate throughout the meeting.

Ian Tarbet, Robinson Low Francis Ltd

A lasting investment

Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) provides affordable housing and support services for people living across the eastern parts of England. MTVH’s headquarters needed a refresh to support future growth and be a lasting investment that introduces the MTVH brand from the first step.

The project, designed by C2, put an emphasis on delivering value - wherever possible, materials and services were reused or reconfigured to fit the new design. With the project taking place in occupation, special consideration was given to minimising noise levels, maintaining accessibility and isolating electrical main lines.

Unmistakable presence

Following a concept design and the creation of a new entrance, our team created a steel frame structure that gives MTVH an unmistakable presence in the building. We experimented with materials for LED light boxes to illuminate the sleek arch, settling on TRESPA – a durable weather resistant material that evenly distributes light across each panel.

A unified space

Split across two floors with no connecting passage other than external staircases, we removed four internal columns and cut through the concrete floor slab to create an eight-metre square atrium at the heart of the space. Here, we constructed a DDA-compliant glass lift and a feature staircase to connect the upper and ground floors, unifying the office space.

Upstairs, a timber balustrade and handrail with internal support frames the double height atrium whilst artificial plants and trees have been used throughout the space to promote employee wellbeing. Plants near the central atrium have incorporated speakers playing soft birds calls to mimic being in nature.

Changing spaces

Acoustics were an important consideration for MTVH, particularly around the bank of meeting rooms on the ground floor. We modified the initial plan to better control acoustic levels by extending the walls to full height and realigning the ceiling to allow light fixtures and services to be positioned square with the rooms, reducing acoustic imbalance.

Real time problem solving

External condensers for the upgraded HVAC system had been positioned outside the office windows on the ground floor. These loud units would have been noisy and unsightly, so we relocated them to behind the kitchen, hiding them from view and controlling noise levels.

Our pre-work surveys found multiple issues including missing fire barriers in the ceiling voids and underperforming or broken HVAC systems - identifying issues that had been overlooked and delivering work to bring the building up to compliance and fix issues.

Despite the additional works, the refurbishment was delivered on time and precisely as promised.

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