Royal College of Physicians

The Royal College of Physicians at The Spine will be the first office fit out that targets BREEAM Outstanding under the 'Refurbishment and Fit Out 2014' scheme. On completion, the building has applied to become WELL Certified Platinum, the highest rating level in the WELL Building Standard.

The Spine, Liverpool

68,462 sq. ft.

The healthiest workplace in Europe


The backbone of the Royal College of Physicians

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has provided part of the medical research into the concepts of the WELL building standard. So, it stands to reason that the organisation required a workplace that meets those very criteria. The RCP tasked us with creating a space that would be one of the world's healthiest workplaces and one that reflected its core values. We worked with architects AHP, CBRE and the Liverpool City Council to create their northern HQ in The Spine.

Situated in Paddington Village's Knowledge Quarter at the heart of Liverpool's city centre, the RCP occupies 75,000 sq ft of the 151,000 sq ft building, its facilities spanning seven of its fourteen storeys. The Spine itself has made history as the first Grade A office to be unveiled in the Liverpool City region for over a decade.

Living wall with modern seating

If you can touch it, it's real

Our approach to the fit out was 'If you can touch it, it's real'. We used oak extensively throughout the space, including on floors, walls, ceilings, steps and balustrades. The carpets are predominantly made from recycled fishing nets which have qualities designed to improve air quality. The result is a genuine connection to nature throughout the building.

Greenery throughout the building further deepens the connection to nature. There are numerous planters containing high-oxygen-producing plants to improve aesthetics, bolster the internal air quality and ultimately improve the health of building occupants.

Plants and natural light in office fit out
floor to ceiling windows and planting
impressive helical stairwell in fit out

Plants are located in well-lit spaces with high ceilings. This together with the biophilic lighting system mimics the outside world, allowing the plants to photosynthesise as normal.

Double height spaces represent lungs in the building which further intertwines with nature. These features are an important component of The Spine's bid to receive WELL Platinum and BREEAM Outstanding accreditations for its fit out. As a result of this, it is one of the healthiest buildings in the world.

Double height windows at office entrance

Taking inspiration from nature

Much like the human spine, trees are a sturdy backbone of the natural habitat. Our biophilic colour design echoes the growth of a tree through the rise of the building.

Earthy browns are the primary colour of the lower floors before greens become more extensive as you climb the building. A mix of blues adorns the top floors to mimic the sky above the forest. The effect of a woodland canopy, which can be enjoyed by occupants through integrated seating.

Natural materials and planting for maximum wellbeing

The colours are backed up by patterns and finishes to truly bring the building to life. A clay works wall dominates the first two floors, which leafy patterns are prevalent among the green walls.

We used air purifying paint to minimise toxin levels and further contribute towards a healthy environment.

Office fit out with timber interior

Fit out for long-term sustainability

We selected furniture and fixtures with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in order to meet the WELL building standard. This means that the installations have a minimal impact on contributing toxins to the atmosphere.

Furthermore, we selected ergonomically designed chairs and tables to provide a healthy and comfortable experience for all users.

Natural planting enhances office users wellbeing
Informal meeting spaces with calm colours

Celebrated by the city

Upon the completion of The Spine on Friday 21st May 2021, Liverpool's new Mayor, Joanne Anderson, and the City Region's Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, visited the building to celebrate irs launch as one of Liverpool's most iconic structures.

Both Anderson and Rotherham were provided with a full tour of the building and met with the young apprentices that supported the project and helped to bring the innovative fit out to life.

RCP's new home in The Spine is an exciting chapter in the RCP's history and a fitting space for its first outside of London.

RCP team on full width timber staircase
“The biophilia improves air quality and provides a natural environment, with patterns in nature to ease the mind and natural products that give a total sense of calm. Three of our spaces are linked together by helical staircases to encourage walking rather than taking the lift to improve overall health, and the natural light that flows through floor to ceiling height on all levels is just majestic. It’s the most amazing building I have had the pleasure to work in.”
  • Cathy Hardman, Workplace Manager, RCP at The Spine
soft calm wood for office users' benefit
a place to eat, drink and meet in office fit out
natural materials in a healthy office building

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