As the coveted BCO Awards 2017 approaches, we take a look at our favourite winners of the last few years.

Glitz, glamour and red carpets – yes as the end of the year approaches so does awards season! For those of us in workplace fit out there is always one ceremony in particular that draws our attention – the British Council for Offices (BCO) Awards. Leading the forum of discussion and debate of issues affecting the office sector, the BCO’s coveted awards provide public recognition for office projects that represent design and functionality excellence in the workplace. In anticipation of this year’s awards at the start of October, we’re taking a look at some of our previous winning projects to see what has grabbed the judges’ attention.

BBC Media City | 2016 Test of Time Award | 2012 BCO Northern Fit Out of Workplace

Interior Designer: ID:SR Sheppard Robson

When the BBC took the bold move to create a new creative hub at MediaCityUK in Manchester, it was one of the most ambitious and challenging people moves in its history. The resulting project was recognised with a 2012 BCO Award, praising its success in delivering an inspiring workplace that would promote ground breaking ideas and creativity. 

The revolutionary design succeeded in meeting the stringent principles of the BBC’s 2020 Property Strategy, and in 2016 the project was awarded the BCO Test of Time award. The project has met the increasing demands of a growing workforce, thanks to the building’s flexibility, quality of design and continued efforts towards the evolution of the buildings. The BCO said: In 2012, the judges said that the fit out of MediaCityUK created a place that provokes smiles, not just for staff but for visitors too. Now, four years later there are still smiling faces everywhere. The buildings that make up BBC North have truly stood the test of time.”

LandRover BAR | 2016 Innovation 

Architect: HGP Architects

When yachting legend Sir Ben Ainslie set out to bring the America’s Cup home to the UK it was essential that LandRover BAR had a facility that would match the high standards of the team. The result was a stunning facility on the Solent which featured a communal office space, gym, boat development and assembly area, an entertainment space and a visitor centre.

In 2016, LandRover BAR was awarded the BCO Innovation Award. BCO commented: This is a very impressive project. The intelligent, ergonomic and economic design, the combination of multiple uses in such a unique way, its sustainability and the speed of delivery make this centre of marine and maritime excellence a worthy Innovation winner.”

PwC Edinburgh | 2015 Fit Out of Workplace

Interior Designer: BDP

When PwC relocated its Edinburgh offices to the city’s newest and greenest development, they seized the opportunity to transform their working practices and create a workspace that their employees would love. The single floor workspace at Atria One was developed following staff consultations to ensure everyone had an input into their new space. 

The result was a selection of meeting rooms, collaboration spaces and amenity hubs that truly embrace the PwC mission of ‘Together: one firm, one space, one future’.  The BCO wrote: There is a fantastic blend of fixed workstations, breakout areas, quiet rooms and meeting space. The management systems employed ensure that all the varied space is utilised efficiently and effectively. Through its attention to detail, endeavour and desire for quality, PWC has taken an already excellent base build and enhanced it considerably.”

The Guardian | 2014 Test of Time 

Architect: Dixon Jones

Interior Designer:  tp bennett

The Guardian’s move into their new office in King’s Place in 2008 marked the start of an exciting new era for the 200 year old news corporation. The iconic King’s Place, winner of BCO 2009 Best of the Best Award, provided an innovative new work and leisure space that combined a gallery, theatre and conference space. 

Within this impressive setting, they created an office which met the demands of a digital media business that featured flexible meetings rooms, open plan and cellular offices and a seminar space. From this point, the team at the Guardian continued to evolve the workspace, continually improving the space and ultimately winning the Test of Time award in 2014. Speaking of the project, BCO explained: “This is the epitome of what the BCO Test of Time Award stands for. After moving into one of the best office buildings in the UK, the media company and its team could easily have rested on its laurels and played it safe. Instead, it enhanced this great building in King’s Place which now provides a benchmark workplace.”

Astellas Pharma | 2013 National Fit Out of Workplace

Architect & Interior Designer: Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will

It’s incredible to think that what is now an award winning workplace was once a derelict, abandoned building! The project maximises use of its woodland location with an external decking that leads to a lake and garden for people to enjoy. Extensive repairs took place, sustainable materials were selected and efforts made to reuse existing infrastructure and furniture, ensuring it was awarded a SKA Gold accreditation.  

Refurbishing the space with exacting sustainability targets resulted in winning the 2013 BCO National Fit Out of Workplace award. BCO stated: “This once neglected building has been re-invigorated into a magnificent workplace that has a bright future ahead of it.”

PwC Embankment Place | 2014 Refurbished/Recycled Workplace Regional Award

Architect & Interior Designer: tp bennett

For a business that holds sustainability in high regard, the BCO Refurbished/Recycled Award was a fitting acknowledgment of PwC’s efforts to create sustainable workplaces. The project, which achieved a BREEAM Outstanding score of 96%, was a complex project in a building encompassing Charing Cross station. 

The dated and inefficient offices were refurbished to create a modern, flexible space that supports agile working for 4,500 staff. BCO said of the project: An exemplar sustainable office that provides an active, stimulating environment for staff and clients alike.”

National Grid Warwick | 2015 Fit Out of Workplace Regional Award

Interior Designer: AECOM

The 50,000 sq ft office space for 3,000 people was the result of considerable planning and information gathering, leading to a flexible workspace with multiple meeting, breakout and collaboration zones. 

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, said “National Grid House is an inspiring workplace and is evidence of the importance of considered planning and a commitment to gathering and assessing post-occupancy performance in order to continually improve. The results of taking this approach speak for themselves.”